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Lessons From Hector

In my last post I mentioned that Lesson 3, Lesson, 7, Lesson 8, Lesson 13, and Lesson 17 were the lessons that made the biggest impact on me, the lessons I most connected with.

Lesson 7: It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal. This lesson is really interesting to me. On the surface it seems to contradict the entire exploration Anne and I are on. The first four books that we read for this course all positioned happiness as the goal. People read those books because they are searching for happiness. Even the quote at the top of this blog could be seen as contradicting this lesson (but if you look closely you can see how they can complement each other).

Three of the other lessons are closely related; they all have to do with other people:
Lesson 8: Happiness is being with the people you love.
Lesson 13: Happiness is feeling useful to others.
Lesson 17: Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.
I think the fact that I connected with these lessons says something negative about the places that I look for happiness: I place too much importance on the opinions of others. From this I have decided that my first lesson from Hector is that happiness is being secure in myself. Happiness is not needing the approval of others.

Lesson 3 (many people see happiness only in their future) is by far the lesson that is most important for me. I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember. I need to learn to see happiness in my present. It’s like The Alchemist says: the journey is the most important part.

One lesson that I didn’t put in my list originally is Lesson 14: Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are. It felt selfish to me, including this lesson in those that are most important to me. In many ways it also falls under the placing-too-much-importance-on-the-opinions-of-others  category. How can I expect someone to love me for who I am when I don’t even know who I am?

Arguably, this is one of the simplest works we have read so far, but I feel like I am taking a many lessons from Hector and his search.

Posted in Alexandra Funk.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Linking Up at Exploring Happiness linked to this post on April 6, 2011

    […] brings us back to Alex’s observation that she doesn’t know who she is. Do any of us? And if not, then wherefrom happiness? […]