Can We Be Happy by Doing Only What We Want?

Life does not get better by removing limitations. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. We have a hole, and we are trying to find a piece that fits. We manage to find a piece that fits on one side (what we want) but the other side does not fit (what the world wants). So, we have to give it up and look for another piece. If all the pieces were square, we could remove the limitations—we would be able to fit any piece with any other pieces, but what exactly would we achieve by doing this?

There are plenty of rich people who do not have to work, so they can do whatever they want, all day long without worrying about making money from what they do. Social creatures that we are, can we actually feel any sense of fulfillment by just entertaining ourselves doing what we want? It reminds me of the scene from the documentary “Born Rich” where the director’s father, the heir to Johnson & Johnson fortune, is painting in their massive house alone. He looks like he is just killing time until the day he dies.

As I think deeper about what I want to do in my life, I realize that the line between what I want and what the world wants is blurring. If the world doesn’t want it, then I wouldn’t want it either. In this sense, the world is not imposing any kind of limitations on me. Or rather, my desire is to solve the puzzle that these limitations create. Without these limitations, we would have no game to play.

Given that it is so easy to find anything in the world today, the days of anyone becoming famous posthumously is over. If nobody needs or wants what we do or create in our lifetime, it means we’ve made no contributions to the society or mankind. What do we ultimately want? Just pleasure ourselves by doing only what we want, or make meaningful contributions as a social creature?