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Anthony Hopkins on Happiness

Eighty-three-year-old actor Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar for Best Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards. In an interview soon after, he was asked about being happy:

The irredeemable past—we can never go back. The sadness of life is that we go on—we're born in this world, and at the end we leave, and you think, ‘What was that all about?' My life ... at the end of it all, I don't know what is … what's it all about? Is there meaning in it? So what makes me really happy is—what makes me free—is the feeling that nothing is of that much importance. We're pretty insignificant little dots in our vast universe.

Life is important only because we choose to make it so. And that's the freedom I have. Free from worrying about this, that and the other. You know, being significant, all that stuff. But there's finally nothing to prove, nothing to win, nothing to lose, no sweat, no big deal. And that's my philosophy. Ask nothing, expect nothing and accept everything. That's it.

He told a struggling young actor: “Enjoy it. Just do it. You can either do it or you can't. If you can't, it doesn't matter. Who cares, finally, in the end?”

Hopkins enjoys happiness in life’s meaninglessness:

That's to me happiness: to acknowledge that I know nothing. I'm insignificant. It's all meaningless to me. And it's a bit of fun to have a little bit of acclaim and be successful or achieve things—it's fine. ... Enjoy it while it lasts. We know nothing. And that comes back to me. I know nothing. I don't know anything.

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