Everybody suffered from their own demon I supposed. But to simplify, everyone’s biggest demon is actually just “a lack of judgment”, and it applies to any circumstances. In my case it's the disproportional view between past, present, and future, which manifests in a chronic procrastination. Which I recently suspected, stems from hedonism and fatalism.
The bounded definition of hedonism and fatalism, here, is a simplified one—and I supposed a personally-made one too. Hedonism, I defined as a pursue of immediate pleasure and an avoidance of pain or displeasure. While fatalism, I abridged as a tenet of “what will be, will be”, that human are helpless at the whims of fate. Both are superficially antagonize each other, but when applied to the practical-everyday life, I find they tend to be complimentary to each other. Both work as a cycle, one that sometimes traps a person in an addictive sense, and render it’s “victim” in it's powerlessness.
We all pursue happiness in life, and happiness often associated with pleasure. We might even define pleasure as a short-term happiness. This habit of seeking pleasure is what gave birth to a hedonistic lifestyle. But after a quick browsing through the Wikipedia and a few articles, it appears that hedonism has paradox on withholding it’s value; that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. In that, they cannot be acquired directly, and we often fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them.
I’ll make my own demon as an example: procrastination. When I procrastinate, I avoid pain and displeasure by not doing something unpleasant. But in a long term this will lead me to a bigger and more permanent displeasure: guilt, irresponsible image in front of my peers, and a pressure to get the job done in a relative short of time. So in short, while I busily seek pleasures, I also caused displeasure in the future. Erm, I just realize, I don’t know which came first; the hedonistic-lifestyle that cause my procrastinating-way; or the habit of procrastinate that build an attitude of hedonism. Hmmm.. both might be true.
On the other hand there is this fatalism; the appealing charm of Murphy’s law; the axiom of pre-determination; the one that put fate as the scapegoat instead our bad judgment. Fatalism is the stepping stone towards depression--and in some cases a blind-delusional optimism--, because it offers you nothing but a dead end. On the other hand, I think it is also fair to say that fatalism is a lazy way to draw conclusions. I mean, come on; blame it all to the fate and destiny?
From what I assessed, a habit to seek pleasure, in the end, often coupled with a fatalistic point of view in life. When you approach something in life hedonistically, it will definitely lead you to a chaotic outcome. And when the chaos is in front of you, the quick defend mechanism is to be fatalistic over it. I found this cycle almost everywhere; in many cases and a variety of manifestations. So, to a degree, hedonism and fatalism is what caused a crazy-twirling vortex of life.
What to do about it? Well, many find that a motivational books and spiritual guidance will help you back in track. But basically, one need to realize and analyze the working machine of hedonism and fatalism in order to overcome it. If simple-secondary motivational words or a rigid outline of religious script could help, then it's fine. But when the problem rooted deep inside you, and you are a kind who like to reverse-engineered things and be analytic about it, maybe an existentialist approach toward life will help. Because it offers you a basic notion of responsibility and how to get real. And It will give you a primary understanding of how every person is individually responsible for themselves, for their action, and for their decisions in life. And I'd like to argue, that these are the building block of human happiness as a homo-social.
I have to admit that I learn this in a hard way at a late age of my life. I grew up in an environment that value vague concepts, such as being compassionate and generous instead of being responsible and honest. I’m not saying that to be compassion and generous is a bad thing, but if you vaguely trying to build life base on compassion and generosity, without putting responsibility and honesty before it, well I guessed it will pull you deeply in a vortex of unhappiness. I assumed it relate--relatively--with the lifestyle of hedonism and fatalism, because both are trying to avoid displeasure, and what is the basic displeasure if not responsibility and honesty. Hmm, I need to point out that I just realize, that a façade of compassion and generosity couldn’t mask your irresponsabilities and bad judgments, no matter how hard you try to screamed it at the world.
It's painful to realize of who you really are, because often time we see our reflection not in glory and beauty, but in ugliness and humility. When the truth is laid bare in front of you, for the sake of permanent happiness, and for the sake of clarity of your life, isn't it better to embrace it fully and make it the first stepping stone toward a better self.
--after an unpleasant argument with one of the closest and dearest person in my life--