1. Happiness Quest Fallacy: Happiness can be attained by searching for it. In fact, the search for happiness is usually a self-centered, selfish enterprise and is therefore doomed to create even more unhappiness. Most people who seek gurus, psychotherapists, life coaches, or self-help books will inevitably find their lives in more ruin and despair than before. As the director Werner Herzog once said, psychotherapy is the equivalent of looking at yourself in one of those warped mirrors at the fun house in which the more you look the more you see a distorted self-image. Focus on the self always leads to self-distortion and eventual self-loss.
2. Dominance Fallacy: Happiness can be achieved through Darwinian dominance over others, such as making yourself better looking than others and accruing “better” things, will make you happy. In fact, exercising your impulse for Darwinian dominance, focusing on self-aggrandizement and ostentation, and turning your life into one big boasting session, and animating all your talk with “look-what-I-got” braggadocio makes you obnoxious and therefore lonely and loneliness is a clear indicator for unhappiness.
3. Chimera Fallacy: Most of your cravings and longings are for what you believe will make you happy are not focused on reality at all but on a chimera, an idealized phantasmagoric representation of life that entices and tantalizes you, but at the same time always eludes your acquisition. In other words, you are often in love with the idea of life more than life itself. You are more in love with the idea of certain car, or the idea of marriage, the idea of home ownership, or the “perfect” body than the realities, which in comparison are always banal, corrupt, grotesque version of the ideal that animates your imagination. Related to the Chimera Fallacy is the Pulchritudinous Fallacy, which states you can not be happy and worthy of love until your body is stunning, beautiful, perfect and embodies the word pulchritude.
4. Perfection Fallacy (perfection is a chimera, see above): The fallacy of perfection says you cannot be happy unless you have the perfect body, the perfect car, the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect house, the perfect wardrobe, etc. No perfection can be obtained and the process of trying to attain this perfection makes your anal-retentive (or is it the other way around?) and therefore obnoxious and repellant. Further, this perfection quest makes you afraid to live because you fear subjecting your perfect things to real life will ruin them. Thus you cover your furniture in plastic and keep your cars garaged. Your house is more like a mausoleums or museum than it is a real house. Your life is a stage to others and yourself.
5. Hedonistic Fallacy: The fallacy of hedonism states you cannot be happy unless you are always augmenting your pleasure. To live is to experience pleasure, or so says the hedonist, until he finds that his pleasure quest becomes an obsession and an addiction and that his numbness to stimulation compels him to inflate his hedonistic stimulators to greater and more dangerous levels. The final outcome of hedonism is always nihilism, the sense that life means nothing, addiction, emptiness, numbness, and boredom.
6. Effortless Fallacy. This fallacy says you cannot be happy unless your life is completely absent of conflict. You no longer have problems, conflicts or crises to deal with. Life with all its responsibilities can be such an inconvenience, after all, and therefore you cannot be happy until you relieve yourselves of these inconveniences. Of course, in doing so we retreat from life itself and regress back to the Womb, the state of Unconscious Slumber (through drugs, alcohol, TV?) and find that we have become spiritually dead.
7. Narcissistic Fallacy: You cannot be happy unless you persuade the whole world that you’re not only right about things but that your lifestyle (the way you eat, dress, your musical tastes, etc) is so superior to everyone else’s that the whole world should conform to your ways or at the very least aspire to be like you.
8. Spiteful Fallacy: You cannot be happy unless you have exacted revenge. Someone has wronged you and you cannot find satisfaction in your soul until you spite this offender. Your desire to spite the person is so obsessive that you’re willing to “bite your nose to spite their face.” Your spite will blacken your heart and eventually kill you.
9. Vindication Fallacy: You cannot be happy unless you prove to your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend that you are “a winner” and “were the one” and that they “blew it” by dumping you. Or you must prove to a parent or an authority figure that they were egregiously mistaken to predict that you would fail in life. Your whole existence is centered around going back to your ex or your parent and rubbing their nose in your “success.” Of course, you’re acting like a petty egotist and petty egotism evidences woeful unhappiness.
10. Intellectual Fallacy: This chimera (see above) states that you cannot be happy until you’re worthy of others’ admiration and love through intellectual prowess. Through your extensive research, you become the “highest authority” on some subject or other or you are simply plain smart and you therefore deserve the admiration, love, and respect of others. You may feel that your happiness is contingent on a PhD or the publication of a book or a guest spot on CNN or some such nonsense. In fact, intellectual pride will only make you obnoxious, lonely, and therefore unhappy.