Misery

The Misery Game

What people do to make each other miserable

Misery is that state or feeling of great distress or discomfort of the mind, which can affect the body - making one feel ill. In more severe instances, it can lead to depression.

Hedonism[1], as an ethical theory, claims that good and bad consist ultimately in pleasure and pain. Many hedonists advocate that we should first seek to avoid suffering and that the greatest pleasure lies in a robust state of profound tranquility that is free from the worrisome pursuit or the unwelcome consequences of short-term pleasures.

While, those definitions seemingly makes long-term pleasure the ultimate goal, for many it is the most difficult goal to achieve as they are hell-bent on making themselves and others miserable and devoid of any pleasures of life.

It is a pretty good bet that you have been miserable in a relationship before - maybe more than once. Obviously, most people believe that someone in their life has made their life miserable. It seems to be inborn into some - okay - most of people to make others miserable. One of the most common complaints that are heard is, “He - or she - makes me miserable!” The obverse is that there are just as many - or more - who make their own life miserable. The solution is simple:

“Learn to Think, Think to Learn”

Learn how to think for yourself and you will think about how you can fix your problems one at a time - as they arise - learning how to make each day better than the day before.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship is aware of the myriad games that people play during the meeting, getting to know one another, friendship, dating, and getting serious. While, relationships do not always produce happiness they certainly do not have to produce misery.

The art of relationships is more than a game; it is a process of coming to know and being known by another person. It is also an opportunity to discover new levels of intimacy across a variety of intimate relationships; friendship, dating, or married. Whether you are currently single, in a friendship, dating, married, divorced, or widowed, it is always a good time to start becoming the right person rather being fixated on finding the “right person.”

In a relationship, you must realize that it is not about you, your needs, or your wants. Those are your personal responsibilities to yourself and they should not play a pivotal role in your expectation of others.

Stop trying to make everyone else - or even your partner - responsible for you, your wants and needs. It isn’t their problem and they certainly can’t fix you or solve your problems for you. Only you can do that. In a relationship it should be your goal to build the absolute best relationship. If you satisfy yourself, and meet all of your own needs and wants - you get what you want. If you expect others to give these to you - you are always going to be met with misery.

How anyone can possibly reach the dating age and not do everything that they can to make themselves and the other person happy is an age old question - and certainly one with no answer, other than there are people who simply thrive on making others miserable.

Let’s think about the ways in which people make themselves and other miserable and possibly learn something about ourselves and solve the problem of being miserable. We will begin with how you may be your own victim.

What you do to make Yourself Miserable

“Unfortunately, too many blame others for their misery, rather than accepting the fact that they just might be the source of their misery.”

If you have a sense that the beliefs you hold are correct and that others are the ones with the problem, you may have a problem. If you are perfectly happy when you are alone or with the close friends that you have, but have trouble meeting and making new friends, you may have a problem. Because if you are correct and others that are wrong then you might as well head out and buy that winning lottery ticket right now - because you won’t have to share your winnings with others who chose the same numbers.

No, the truth of the matter is that you and pretty much the rest of the world are wrong more often than right. You didn’t win the lottery, you don’t have all the world knocking on your front door wanting to be your best friend because everyone tells them how great you are, and you would have stopped reading this segment of the article if you really thought you were not partially to blame for your own misery.

Of course, you have the choice of not accepting the blame for being your own victim of the misery and continue to live your life in the way it is, or you can consider that you might be partially to blame and begin working on some of the myriad problems that are causing the misery in your life. Get your pen out and check these off if you can accept some responsibility for being guilty of some of the following. Be real with yourself because only you will see your score. Some ways that people make themselves miserable are;

Being Demanding

If you really want to make yourself miserable try making demands of others in your life. No one that has a healthy mental outlook will allow you make demands of them and you will only suffer the consequences of your own behavior, which will guarantee your misery.

If you are intrusive, persistent, and demanding of others you cannot expect that they are going to be happy to be around you. No more so, than if you bring anxiety in their life, act in an agitated manner to get your way, or attempt to force others to do as you wish. If others are not happy to be around you because of your demanding attitude you can pretty much bet on being miserable.

If you want to be happy forget about your sense of entitlement, empathize with others, cease trying to control the actions of others, act in a decisive manner, make the right choice for all concerned, be committed to success, learn that others - and yourself - are not perfect and accept them as they are, respect the structure and limits of others, cease making others responsible for meeting your needs and wants, lose the fear of dealing with the realities of life and learn that when others say no it means no!

People are what they want to be and they will never measure up to what you want them to be - live with it - or be miserable.

Comparing Yourself to others

Stop looking in the mirror every time you pass it to compare your looks to what you looked like the last time you looked. Face it - our physical features change - and that there is nothing you can do other than have cosmetic surgery to mask the problem. Does it go away when you have the surgery? No more so than the flaw you cover with makeup or the comb over to make it appear that you are losing your hair.

Stop spending hours putting on makeup fretting over how you can make yourself more beautiful than others. You say you want to be accepted as you are, but then you spend hours trying to appear to be something else with the attention to your makeup or that comb over. Stop worrying that you are not as creative enough, not intelligent enough, not insightful enough, as others. Your are only going to make yourself miserable when you think about it, or look in the mirror without your make up or before you have combed your hair over your baldness.

Interrupting Others

Do you interrupt others while they are speaking or perhaps do others and then forget what you were going to say? Why is this? Could it be that you simply want to be the center of attention and love nothing more than hearing your own voice?

The rules of conversation state that, obviously, interrupting another person is disruptive and can be perceived as inconsiderate or even rude. Knowing what to say at the right time is important. More importantly is knowing what to leave unsaid at the wrong time.

The first step towards correcting any communication problem is to become aware and recognize that your behavior is negatively affecting others. Certainly everyone knows what it feels like to be interrupted, but not everyone is aware that they are the ones doing the interrupting.

Yes, interruptions happen all the time, everyday. People interrupt people. People even interrupt themselves (with phone calls, or email). Sometimes people interrupt for good reasons (like asking for clarification) but often it’s just a bad habit!

Don’t expect to find happiness if you are constantly interrupting another, especially when you have nothing to add to the conversation, but drone on and one about something completely unrelated.

Simply wait for your turn to add your own comments about what is being discussed. Knowing that others may have more to say or take longer to explain their thoughts that you might like. Afford others the same compassion as you wish to receive. If you do not enjoy being interrupted - then don’t interrupt them.

Interruptions make people miserable and thus you will become miserable if you are making others miserable. Don’t do it.

Listening to Others

When you listen to others tell you how great of a person you are, especially very close, long-time friends - no matter how much you want to believe that they would never lie to you, fight that belief. It’s only going to make you miserable to believe them. It should come as no surprise that people almost always tell you want they think you want to hear, because they can’t face the truth about themselves any more than you can. They, like all people, have been led to believe in the Golden Rule:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

When you place your beliefs in what others tell you - you are giving them control over your life. They tell you that you are a great person, even when you know you have flaws and are not perfect. But, pretty soon you start buying into what others are telling you and you begin to believe it yourself - you are a great person. But, then you look in to the mirror and realize that you are not happy with what you see - what you think they saw - and you become miserable none the less.

When you give others that kind of power over you, belief things that you know are really not true, do things that you do not want to do, or allow other people to choose your life direction and your priorities for you, you will most likely be setting yourself up for the inevitable misery that will befall you.

If are willing to really think about it, you will see that you allow others to this in order to avoid the responsibility. And, when you end up being miserable, you can blame those who you allowed to make the decisions for you. And you are still miserable.

The bottom line is that - just as you - your friends and family members, not matter how much you love and trust them have also been wrong more often than they have been right. You should never gamble when your life and well-being are subject to loss.

Living in the Past

An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression and certainly make you miserable. We are supposed to learn from our mistakes and failure and move forward - not bury our head in the sand and expect that the world is going to cease if we make one more mistake.

No, you are going to make many mistakes in your life. But you do not have the make them again. No matter what happens in your life, no matter how many times you fail don’t allow the downside of life to take over your life. Find out what you did wrong, what you wanted to have happen and fix it. Patch it up, stop the leak, replace the faulty part with a new and better part.

You only have three choices, live with it, throw it away or fix the problem and do not allow it to continue to make you miserable.

“To live fully you must learn to welcome and embrace change.”

Loving Yourself

If you believe in the old and grossly incorrect adage that your peers tell you over and over - “You have to love yourself first if you want to be happy” - you had best get other that idea immediately. The truth is that not only is the adage wrong - it is one of the (if not the most) greatest cause of misery in the world. No matter how many times you have heard others say it - it doesn't make it correct. And, if it where then why are your peers who told you this not extremely happy in their own lives?

Self love has often been seen as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness. Cicero[2] considered those who were “lovers of themselves without rivals were doomed in the end to failure” Francis Bacon[3] in his condemnation of self-lovers described them as those “who would burn down their own home only to roast themselves an egg.”

If you are a religious person, of any faith or spirituality you should have read in one or more of the world’s 53 religious texts[4] - from Adidam[5] to Zoroastrianism[6] - that state to love one’s self goes against every religion.

If you love yourself more than others you are going to be stuck in the mire of misery until you get over it and realize just how wrong you are. Giving your love to another is the greatest gift that one can give. The second is being present in another's life. You cannot give your love if it is more important to you than receiving love in return and you will only find misery and heartache by trying to keep it to yourself.

If you love yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you will resent the time and energy you give another person that you are not giving to yourself.

Pleasing Others

While it should be the goal of all people to share their happiness and bring joy to others, this should not include pleasing others by basing your life decisions on the needs and wants of others. You are ultimately responsible for your own life decisions.

For most, people pleasing is a deeply ingrained habit with roots in the way that you view yourself and others. In following the Golden Rule, people often get into the habit of pleasing others because they want other to please them. Perhaps not surprising, is that being a people pleaser makes you vulnerable to mean, controlling people and are often the primary target of bullies, which only leads to the people pleaser being miserable.

People-pleasing drains you and prevents you from concentrating on your true needs and wants. It opens you up to others who are intimidating and demanding. You will only make yourself more miserable as you try to go along with keeping them happy. While it may seem to work momentarily - the pleasure will be short lived - as others become more demanding, and often treat you even more poorly over time.

It is far better to make others responsible for their own needs and wants and concentrate on what you need and want in your own life to maintain your own happiness.

Thinking of Yourself

There has been an extensive amount of research performed that explains that egocentric[7], self-centered, individuals score lowest in any test for measuring happiness.

When asked a question about what another person just said, do you have to ask them to repeat what they said? Do you find yourself unable to keep up with what another person is saying because you are thinking of what you might say to contradict their thoughts?

If someone asks you how your day went, do you tend to give them a detail account of your day, from the time you woke up, what you had for breakfast, where you went, who you met, and what time you arrived back home? This may because you love talking about yourself more than listening to others.

Those that only talk of themselves, do so because they have not yet figured out who they are.

If you are not interested in listening to others speak then you certainly cannot expect them to be interested in you and what you have to say. Having compassion for others is giving them what you wish to receive in return.

Waiting for the perfect time

If you find yourself waiting for a situation to be just right before accepting to enjoy you are going to be waiting for a long time and find yourself being miserable while you wait. This is true of just about everything from the right job, the right house, the right friend or the right life partner.

The more one expects of another to match their ideal, the less one loves the person for who they are. And that is not love - but love of ones self.

If you allow this to become a habit, you will quickly find yourself putting off life altogether and end up with only regrets to look back on. When an opportunity is presented - the almost perfect mate proposes - and you are stuck with fear that it might not work out, you will never know one way or the other. Is it not better to live with a bit less than perfection than to be miserable by yourself?

At 70, I have many friends who are old, some in their nineties. During conversations we will look back on our lives. It seldom has to do with their accomplishments or the mistakes they made, but what they regretted. It was what they regretted not doing, the risks they didn’t take, the friendships and loves that they didn’t allow to happen. Life is either a daring risk or it is nothing at all. Don’t let yourself be miserable by what might have been.

The 4-Way Test

That was 2,346 words explaining how to make yourself miserable, and I could have written an entire book on the subject. To simplify how to be happy and make others happy only takes twenty-four words:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Those twenty-four words comprise four questions of the 4-Way Test[8] that are used world-wide as a moral code for relationships, be they personal or business. You would do well to follow them to find joy in your life and with others.

What You Do to Make Others Miserable

“Far too many people contribute to the misery of others - which is then reflected back on them.”

Consider if you are actually creating the very problem of your own misery - contributing to the misery of others. Perhaps you have a problem with your own self-esteem, or it was inherited from growing up in a dysfunctional home where one or both of your parents acting in the same manner.

Or perhaps you learned it from your peers. Either way, you should consider that you may be creating the problem or at the very least be partially responsible for perpetuating it’s existence in the relationship.

The good news is that most problems can be solved - either by acknowledging that your actions are not giving you what you desire out of life and making the necessary changes to take back your own life and health to create a happier, healthier and more fulling life, or seeking professional help to resolve deep-rooted problems that are buried in your subconsciousness.

Let’s take a look at the obverse of the situation, where you are doing every thing in your power to make others miserable. You can add these to any of the things you are doing that were in the previous segment on “What you do to make Yourself Miserable” to come up with more ways to improve the situation and be happier.

Hopefully, this will point out the destructive behavior that you may be engaged in that ultimately is creating misery for you when it is reflected back onto you. Have you still got your pen handy? Good, then you can check off the following that you have been guilty of. If you can learn to avoid the following you can make yourself and those around you much happier.

Assigning Blame

“Anyone can praise or blame. It is both human virtue and human madness.”

Assigning blame to others for everything that goes wrong, or at the very least asking them to accept at least half of the blame will ensure that others will avoid you like the plague. They will have little choice other than to fight back (which will give you more opportunity to blame them), choose to accept blame in order to keep you happy because hey - it’s free! - or they will run away and leave you miserable.

Who knows, you may get lucky and find a whiner, because when you put a blamer and a whiner together you get maximum miserability, which is exactly what you should have expected - mutual misery.

When things don’t go well or as you expected, instead of assigning blame, use problem solving to figuring out what went wrong so that you can ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Being Controlling

“Nothing good ever comes from acting in a controlling manner.”

One of the most common ways to make another person miserable to be controlling. You control by withholding — your presence, your speech, loving words, love itself, sex, information, and more — because you know it will drive others into a frenzy when you withhold these. And, the more the other person likes you - the easier it is for you to control them.

You do not want to be the victim, so you make the other person the victim of your controlling efforts. You demand so many demands on others that they are so busy trying to meet your expectations that they ask for little in return. Sooner or later however, others finally get the idea that you are bringing nothing to the table in return for all their hard work and they move on to someone who is less controlling. Now, who is the victim?

Nothing good ever comes from acting in a controlling manner, because quite frankly no one ever gets good enough at it. Others run away far quicker than the controller can work to improving their controlling skill set.

Comparing

“The need to compare self or another is an exercise in futility and misery that is a glorious waste of time.”

One of the quickest ways to kill a friendship or intimate moment with another is compare them with an ex-friend or lover. Comparing your friend to another or even comparing yourself to another will show them that you are a comparer - someone that has expectations that they may not be able to live up to. Even if you are attempting to paint them in a favorable comparison with others, they realize right away that you do not live in the present - but in the past and are searching for ways to feed on being miserable or to spread your misery to them.

When you make any comparison you move out of the present moment and all hopes of intimacy that you might have shared with another will fly right out of the window. Comparing is just another way of being judgmental, which is never pleasant. And, of course, the comparison may very well backfire when the other person decides to compare you to another, which will feed your misery factor even more.

There's the story of Nasruddin[9], who was asked why he never married and answered, "I was looking for the perfect wife. I went to Damascus and met a wonderful woman but she had no spiritual side. Then I went to Cairo and met a woman who was deeply spiritual, but we didn't communicate well. I went from place to place looking for the perfect woman, then finally I found her and she was beautiful and spiritual and we communicated well. She was perfect in every way!”

Then his friend asked why he didn’t marry her, and Nasruddin replied, "Unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect man!"

Few of us are perfect. The perfection we seek is not the perfection of a person but the perfection of love. In that way, when we join in a relationship, the commitment to love allows us to serve something greater than ourselves or the other person, to serve a mystical third - the spirit of the relationship.

Complaining

“Unless you are willing to give intimacy, you will never experience it.”

This is especially useful when you are not getting what you need and want from others. Like complaining, “You never ask about me!” This usually right after yet another of those long-winded stories about comparing your friend with someone you met once. Why would he ask you about you, since he has listened to you talk incessantly about nothing else?

Or, when you complain about someone that you both know. Could you possibly be so transparent in showing your social flaws? Not only is this a sure fire way to lose the person you are complaining to but your friends as well - moving you from misery to abject misery.

If you are a female, you have become an expert at complaining, as women grow up sharing their problems with their sisters, mother or best friends. For women is is art form and socially acceptable with the gender.

However, males hate to think that you might be sharing really intimate things with your best friend, daughter, sister or mother. Who they know will share those intimacies with other women and eventually it will come back to them on the golf course just as he is making his putt.

When things are not going as well as what you need or want, that you will become anxious and call off the relationship, only to tell all to every woman that will listen. Then two days later, you call him up and tell him how miserable he made you and that you want to get back together if only he will change.

However, the damage is done as the cycle of rumors have began with the women you shared with. And, now that you are happy again with him changing, you don’t have the time or inclination to talk about him with your tribe members. They are left with only the bad stuff that you shared.

Every time you introduce him to your best friend, your daughter, sister or mother, he can see the reflection of Hitler or Jack the Ripper in their eyes. He will become the Antichrist in your family gossip circles forever. And, you will be Mrs. Antichrist for having chosen this terrible man. Now, who is the victim and miserable?

If you really are such a terrible person and can’t help complaining about others, at least complain to the person who is making you unhappy, where there is some slim chance that they will change. If you are too much of a coward to do that, then at least complain to someone who will never meet the person that you are complaining about.

Fault Finding

“The quickest way to misery is to find fault”

This is the biggie! The absolute very best, number one way to make someone miserable. With fault finding you can incorporate being judgmental, blame, complaining, and whining into one well turned phrase. And, the best part of fault finding is that since no one is perfect, you will have lots of opportunity to cast your net wide and scoop up a large catch. You will be in heaven - happy with yourself but miserable without those in your life that you need and want.

It is so easy to do. Just ignore all the things that others do right and fixate your thoughts on what what they do wrong. You will want to look for any mistakes, faux pas, or other missteps, then attack them with a litany of their faults, making them feel terrible. But don’t slow down - keep the negative feedback coming until they finally break down and leave you and your misery to suffer in solitude.

People shine in the face of praise. When others do something good, right or well, it is an opportunity to praise them for their efforts - increasing the opportunity for both of you to be happy and share an intimate moment together. Why risk that moment for a few minutes of abject fault finding? Lighten up and make life more fun and happy.

Getting Angry

“It should come as no surprise that opposites attract and aggravate the hell out of one another.”

When it comes to undermining a relationship, becoming angry is almost as effective as fault-finding. The real advantage is that when you become angry over a very small thing and work it into a conversation there is a good chance that the other person will raise their voice in protest at a decibel level that befits the minimal size of the problem that made you angry. This gives you an addition to either find-fault with or to become even more angry over. Things can really get out hand quickly with this one. Even the slightest show of anger on your part can set off a fuse in the calmest individual that can create a huge explosion. Then you can take on an air of looking frightened by the other person’s actions of raising their voice in protest. Surely you can see how to turn this into an advantage to become absolutely miserable and go from 0 to 120 in just a few short seconds.

The victim will have no other recourse than to shut down or walk away. Either way you win on achieving misery in a very short time, with very little work.

Getting angry is normal, and even part of good communication. And, if someone is a great communicator, you may meet your match and your anger will backfire on your attempts to achieve misery. But, don’t worry - there are plenty of people who are terrible communicators you will soon have another opportunity at achieving misery.

Grasping

“Arguments are inevitable in all circumstances.”

Keep these three words within your grasp for instant misery; you, always and never. With these you can begin a statement with either, “You always…” or “You never…” These are guaranteed to give you ammo to use anytime you get stuck with someone who is attempting to be constructive. As soon as you get the sentence out of your mouth, the other person must come up with a counter example, then all attempts of constructive interaction disappears.

These are especially helpful when someone is disagreeing with you as a way of diverting the conversation and escalating it from a simple disagreement into a full scale war.

Arguments are inevitable, but be specific, stay in the present, and look for solutions, not blame.

Having unrealistic expectations

“Expectations are the death of serenity.”

Everyone has expectations of others in that they want to be treated fairly. This is your opportunity to make someone really miserable. Since they know that expectations are normal, you have every opportunity to slip in some of the most outrageous examples of expectations that you fully know that the other person cannot possibly meet. The more expectations that you can throw at them the better your chance of achieving misery for both you and the other person. Who knows, they might actually meet a few of them, but if you are really good at choosing the exceptions you can really shine here.

Relying on others to make up for gaps in your life, or trying to emotionally provide for another’s deficiencies is a mistake that therapists agree is ultimately damaging and undermining to relationships.

You should never ask another to be responsible for your feelings. When this happens, it sets up a dynamic in which there is no longer a partnership between two adults but a childlike relationship of the needy child to a providing parent.

Ask yourself, do I feel it's the other person’s role to make things better for me? Or on the other side, someone is upset, is it my job to fix things for him/her? If the answer to either question is yes, this understanding can help you start to change this pattern.

Sulking

“Sulking or pouting is akin to emotional terrorism: It’s a way to walk away emotionally while staying in the same room.”

This is the easiest way to make some miserable as it requires nothing more of you than to say nothing and let the problem fester in the other person’s mind, where it will grow and build until they can’t take it any more and has to approach you to apologize. Good for you! You get your way by doing nothing.

You know how this goes. When others want you to do something that you don’t want to do, make you feel bad or ignored all you have to do is is sulk or pout until they give in. While it may make you feel better to feel sorry for yourself, sulking or pouting will only usually make your partner feel guilty enough to say sorry. And, you don’t have to be too careful with this because you might anger the other person. Then you get a double whammy - double the misery for doing nothing. What could be better than that?

Disagreements inevitably occur between two people who are trying to function, no matter how temporarily, as a unit. Each has different experiences, background, expectations, skills, strengths, weaknesses — even different sexes. The question is, what happens when there’s a problem?

Why engage in constructive, helpful conversation when you can demonstrate your unhappiness without taking responsibility by acting sullen, sulking, and being unwilling to discuss the matter?

By not saying what’s wrong and not working toward a solution, you hold your partner hostage.

As with all situations in a relationship, honesty is the best policy. If something is bugging you, the last thing you should do is cover up the problem by causing a new problem. Sulking and playing child-like games can also blow a situation out of proportion. Just talk to the other person and resolve the issue. It will save you a lot of time and frustration and get you back into good communication and warm feelings again faster.

Whining

“Misery is contagious!”

While happiness may or may not be contagious, misery certainly is. If you can find something negative to say you’ll find that even the most energetically happy person gives up on you, gets angry, or walks away. The best part is that it doesn’t take very long to make others just as miserable as you.

If you want misery to ruin your relationship, think to yourself, “Why be miserable alone when I can make others miserable, too?” and then show your misery — don’t keep it bottled up. The hallmark of misery is the whine — that noise you make when you are uncomfortable, tired, or sick and feel the need to share your misery with others.

When you whine or whimper it makes others more miserable than opening the photo app on your iPad and start showing them the photos from your latest vacation. If they try to change the subject to something more pleasant, revert to phrases such as, “You are never interested in me”; “No matter what I do, it’s not enough for you,”; or “Why was I born?” (or its cousin, “I wish I were dead”), “That’s okay, even my mother doesn’t like me,” “Go ahead and leave me; everyone I’ve ever loved has.” Before you know it, you’ll be alone again with no one to blame for your misery except… well, just about everyone.

You do not want to ever be constructive or specific with your whining, because somebody might actually be able to help.

Whining doesn’t accomplish anything except aggravate and annoy the people you’re around. So instead of whining, figure out what’s making you unhappy and then try to really talk about it. You may be surprised how far real communication can take you.

Conclusion

Obviously, this is a short list of the ways in which you can make yourself and others miserable. It could have filled a book. It is one chapter in my soon to be released book, The Game, which addresses the games people play at the beginning, during and after a relationship. Making others miserable is just one part of the The Game, but it is a biggie. The items listed here are the Number 1 reason for most relationship failures.

Is your pencil now dull from checking off the ones that you are already expert? Have you worn the eraser quite well from your indecision? We all have quite a way to go in our relationship improvement skills. Hopefully, this helped you in some small way!

References:

  1. Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure, i.e. pleasure minus pain. Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them, assuming that their actions do not infringe on the equal rights of others. It is also the idea that every person's pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.
  2. Marcus Tullius Cicero - 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist.
  3. Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist and author.
  4. There are at least 53 religions with texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books. There are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or central to their religious tradition. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts are divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_text
  5. Adidam refers to both the organization of that Adi Da Samraj founded in 1972 and the religion itself. Adi Da Samraj, (November 3, 1939 – November 27, 2008), was an American spiritual teacher, writer and artist. Fundamental to Adidam’s philosophy is the essentially "eastern" religious concept that the purpose of human life is spiritual enlightenment, an awakening to ultimate reality that is the natural state of all human beings. Many of the most intelligent religious scholars considered Adi Da the greatest spiritual realizer of all time with his profound and unequaled revelations.
  6. Zoroastrianism or Mazdaism is one of the world's oldest religions. Leading characteristics, such as messianism, the Golden Rule, heaven and hell, and free will influenced other religious systems, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Gnosticism. Ascribed to the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, its Supreme Being is Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrian followers number at around 2.6 million currently.
  7. Egocentrism is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to untangle subjective schemas from objective reality; an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than their own. Although egocentrism and narcissism appear similar, they are not the same. A person who is egocentric believes they are the center of attention, like a narcissist, but does not receive gratification by one's own admiration. An egotist is a person whose ego is greatly influenced by the approval of others while a narcissist is not. Similarly, egocentrism and absolutism appear to be the same but are not.
  8. The 4-Way Test was developed in the early 1930s by Herbert J. Taylor in an attempt to find a simple, easily remembered guide to right conduct that would change the ethical climate regardless of one’s faith or thinking. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages and hangs on the wall of the most ethical people in the world. See http://www.4waytest.org/ for more information.
  9. Nasreddin was a Seljuq satirical Sufi, believed to have lived and died during the 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today's Turkey. He is considered a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but often, too, a fool or the butt of a joke. A Nasreddin story usually has a subtle humour and a pedagogic nature. The alleged tomb of Nasreddin is in Akşehir. The International Nasreddin Hodja fest is celebrated between 5 and 10 July in Akşehir every year.

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