The Formula For Happiness or Whatever You Want

"There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means - either will do - the result in the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society."

-Benjamin Franklin

I think that this quote from good ol' Ben is a true principle of success, prosperity, happiness, righteousness or any other battle we face here on this earth. He is talk specifically about being happy. But it can be applied to other aspects fo our lives. There is always a way we can better our situation. Some ways maybe be easier than others. There are different methods described that can be taken to be happy. For the truly wise (i.e. more successful, happier, more righteous) you have to do all you can.

In this quote I see 4 different techniques to being happy.

1. Only diminish wants
2. Only increase means
3. Diminish wants and increase means
4. Diminish wants and increase means with the purpose of helping others.


Sports: You might win by only playing good defense or just offense, but the champions are good at both. The legendary players do both and make all their teammate better at the same time.

Physical health: Some stay healthy by just watching what they eat. Different people are fit because they are very active. Guys like Richard Simmons do both and inspire others to be in shape too.

Financial Freedom: Some save, others just spend less, some do both, and the wise do both while helping others.

If any of you can think of some other examples share them in the comments for this post.


I don't know exactly what practical application this contraption might be used for but it sure looks cool. Its like you are riding on several tiny metal horses. It is almost a little too creepy. I wouldn't really want hop into a car that moves on hundred of tiny legs.

I highly doubt that this could ever compete with Segway or Goodyear for any kind of mode of transportation. Yet I like the idea of not "reinventing the wheel" but completely changing to a different solution:no wheels just articulating legs. It might be that a drastically different solution is need for some problems.

When considering engineering problems and problems in general it seems that you must always give up something for another. Everything requires give and take. A phrase that I have heard my dad say over and over again is "You can't have your cake and eat it too." So when do you eat your cake and when do you leave it alone? Maybe you just eat half. Do you reinvent the wheel or do find another way or a hybrid type solution? Could it be that in some cases this is the best decision to completely change designs. Or is a different approach just filled with a new and larger set of problems.

I guess when it comes down to it, you have to compile a design matrix (problem solving chart) that incorporates all factors and variables pertaining to the problem(i.e. design requirements, resources, abilities, and time allotted). Then you would have to rank each according to importance and decide on the best solution. Once you have chosen the approach focus all you efforts and resource to improving and refining the details of that method. If you hit a wall, re-evaluate and move forward from there.