Originally Posted by Heidi Anschultz
Ross and Yael, I don't want to argue about philosophy really. I mean, we all have our set ideas and something like this cannot be resolved, due to our own experiences and differing opinions.
I do think, though, that it is better to experience life for yourself than depend on being told how to live it; though the Chinese proverbs are usually helpful in advancing your wisdom as well, don't get me wrong.
I do agree with Greg though, that a simple life brings the least stress and most potential for happiness; I guess how you are made happy though depends on your personality. I'm very calm and nonchalant. To me, everything happens the way it should.
There is a third alternative to experience and doing as you're told though; you can try to think through how to live your life in a way that gets away from your own experience.
Obviously, the ultimate goal of this is to acquire some sort of knowledge that you can apply to your own experiences; but philosophy (as the attempt to better know your own particular experience by means of better knowing universals) is a good way to step back and get perspective sometimes.
You make a good point when you say that what you're happy with depends on your personality; there definitely seem to be irreducible natural differences between what will make one person or another happy.