The rules of happiness according to Schopenhauer

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The rules of happiness according to Schopenhauer

Last update: Augusts 30, 2016

Arthur Schopenhauer was a brilliant German philosopher, deeply ingenious, whose influence characterized the second half of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXth. He stood out for his pessimistic position towards the world and life that he reported in his main work The world as will and representation.

His great realism and wisdom prevented him from seeing the world "all pink and flowers". However, Schopenhauer wrote an essay in which he illustrated 50 rules for achieving happiness.



Happiness is one of those imprecise concepts that, throughout history, has aroused opposing and discordant thoughts. We share the idea that it is a feeling of fullness and joy, but each of us comes to this state for different reasons. In fact, many claim that it is not even a state, a condition, but a passing perception.

Schopenhauer developed a concept of happiness based on prudence and ethics. According to him, happiness has much more to do with inner peace than with exultation or joy. Of its 50 rules for happiness, we have selected 10 that may prove invaluable to you.

Avoid envy, a basic rule in Schopenhauer's thinking

Envy is a very negative force that can take over our heart and block our joie de vivre. Those who are too focused on what others are doing or feeling neglect the task of building their own happiness.

Detach from the results

It is simply a matter of putting all the effort into what we do because it is the only thing that depends on each of us. We must have the satisfaction of having done it well. The rest doesn't matter.



Allow yourself to cheer

Many come to experience a strange feeling, almost a sense of guilt, when they are happy. This is because other people suffer or because they consider suffering a more laudable feeling than happiness. It is important to break away from these ideas and be able to feel joy, without conditioning.

Check the fantasies

Goya said that "the sleep of reason generates monsters". With our fears, as well as with our ambitions, we have a tendency to let the imagination run wild. For this reason, we end up seeing dangers greater than they really are or magnified successes that, however, are not realized just by dreaming of them.

Avoid unhappiness

While it may seem obvious, not everyone avoids unhappiness. In fact, there are those who seek it and, of course, find it. For Schopenhauer, it is essential to avoid or eliminate all those situations that cause unhappiness because, in essence, they are not necessary and are only a source of new difficulties.

Valuing what you have

Every day we should wake up and think about what we have and for which we should be grateful. Starting with an extra day of life to have a roof over your head, a bed and a conscience to value what we have and what others do not have.


Engage and learn


Having plans and projects is a source of excitement in life. It doesn't matter whether the program is about growing a plant or preparing a delicious lunch. These little efforts are a treasure. Likewise, learning always allows us to understand that we are growing and maturing and this contributes to happiness in life.


Take care of your health

Diseases completely change the perspective on life. Those who have had to suffer so much pain, discomfort or limitations know this well. Health is a real treasure to take care of in order to enjoy anything else.

Be compassionate with yourself

The first form of goodness is that towards oneself, said Schopenhauer. It is important to evaluate yourself, recognize mistakes and learn from them. Instead, we must avoid reproaching ourselves, criticizing ourselves more than necessary or punishing ourselves severely. In the end it is useless.


Prepare for the passage of time

When we are young, we have the feeling that old age is something that concerns others, never us. This fantasy prevents us from preparing for that future in which the passing of the years brings new limits and a new vulnerability. Those who are preparing for old age will experience that phase of life better.

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