The other day I came across this article about happiness and usefulness:
If you're looking for an inspirational article, then it's definitely for you. Stop here, skip whatever I wrote below and read it.
However, what I'm about to write here is NOT inspirational at all. Perhaps it would make you doubt even more. I just wanna share a little bit from my own experience. You should finish the article I mentioned above first, then come back here.
So, I'm pretty much like most of you, I've been searching for happiness for as long as I've been alive. I thought I got it some years ago, but then I lost it. Till this day, happiness is still a far-fetched thing for me. I do feel satisfied when I do things I like, but when I stop doing such things, I feel empty - perhaps a bit frustrated, too.
In the article, Darius Foroux said that happiness is just a by-product and the main purpose of life should be usefulness. If that's the case, then I think I've been pretty useful, you know. I've been trying to help others around me in any possible way, actively giving them a helping hand even if they don't ask for it. In some cases, to outsiders, it even looks like someone is taking advantage of me. And I'm fine with it, because I know I can help them and I just can't leave them like that. (if I were paid every time I help people, I'd have been pretty rich now, but then that wouldn't be "help" anymore, right?)
Those who got my help are usually thankful to me. Just usually, as sometimes they would forget about me in just 2-3 weeks. I just want them to be my friends and talk with me sometimes. I don't want to always be the one to bring up a conversation, it feels like I'd bother them too much. When things are peaceful and people have no problem, almost nobody would talk to me (except a few who truly appreciate my existence).
As I usually help out, many would assume that I have almost zero problem in life. Heck, they're so wrong. I have as many problems they have, and my problems are as serious as theirs. It's just because I'm a man of pride and ego that I wouldn't usually let anyone else know my problems - even the closest ones to me. So most of the time people would see me laughing and smiling.
It's hard for people to understand each other, so even if nobody can understand me, I don't blame others. But I feel sad and lonely when they don't even put effort in trying to understand me - they just assume that they know enough about me. And that makes me stressed severely, to the point I feel that I need to relieve sometimes. And so a few weeks ago, I got myself drunk and cried in front of a bunch of new acquaintances - just a few hours before that I was talking happily with them. Quite an embarrassing moment for me, but there was no other way to relieve the stress that built up within me.
I believe we are all fucked up somehow. It's just different from each other. Some are struggling to earn their living, others are struggling to find love, so on and so forth. Some find solutions and some find distractions. If you can find the much needed solution, then it's great. But if not, then distraction is your only choice most of the time. You won't be able to do anything if the problem occupies your brain 24/7, you need something else to push it away, to make yourself forget about it.
Even among many kinds of distraction, some are pretty "healthy" like computer games or other hobbies. The rest are... not so, like drug, sex, alcohol, etc. I've seen people - including myself - indulged in such things. They clearly understand that they are doing the wrong thing - but by doing the wrong thing, they could feel they are at their right mind, even if only for a moment. The satisfaction from their desire being fulfilled keeps their problems at bay and helps them move forward, even if it's just a little bit.
Back to myself. The more I'm trying to be useful, the more I feel like don't even live for myself. I feel lost, I don't know what I truly want. If I can't give myself what I want, then perhaps can I ask for it from others? But then I may risk losing the relationships I'm having with others as they may not want to give me, and there is no second try in life - once you fuck up, you lose it. And so to minimize risk, I try to know even more people, being even more useful to them, losing even more of my own life. And so this is an endless loop.
And so if "happiness is just a by-product and the main purpose of life should be usefulness", my life is so efficient that it makes no by-product.
I believe people don't even need to be "useful", "happy" or "understood", they just need to be "recognized" in some way, good or bad. Even Hitler was recognized greatly - in a bad way, yeah - I think.
After all, fuck life.