Some of life's contradictions:
1. True happiness stems from leading an authentic and meaningful life. Unfortunately, sometimes being authentic - acting in ways that reflect your true nature and core values - leads to suffering or death. It is not always possible to be happy and live authentically. Such is the case for martyrs.
2. Total contentment in life is extremely demotivating. If a person is completely satisfied with life then he has nothing to strive for; he becomes complacent. Thus, complete happiness is not necessarily in our best interest.
3. In contrast, dissatisfaction and unhappiness are powerful motivators for growth and positive change.
4. Actively pursuing happiness tends to have the paradoxical effect of making people unhappy.
5. People often cope with their fear of death by withdrawing or pulling back from the fullness of life. Thus the fear of death sometimes prevents people from really living.