Happiness - Synthesis Essay

Decent Essays
Mahatma Gandhi one defined happiness as “when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Barring any better definition of happiness from either positive psychologists, self-help gurus, or any other academic source, I tend to think this is a great summation of the definition of happiness. Gandhi doesn’t say anything about how these things make you feel, rather looks at it from a point of view of harmony between thoughts, expressions, and actions. Since one single accepted definition of happiness doesn’t seem to exist, and happiness is different for everyone, this begs the question; how can you increase your own personal level of happiness? Since WW II psychologist have been studying our brains as they pertain to our…show more content…
Gratification comes from any even that engages us fully. Seligman claims that “…individuals may find gratification in participating in a great conversation, fixing a bike, reading a good book…or accomplishing a difficult task at work.” (Seligman, Parks, and Steen 419) Senior also states that “doing something that engages or enhances our strengths is a gratification, whether it’s swimming, welding, or listening to a friend in need.” (Senior 428) It is interesting to note that engagement activities aimed at increasing happiness are not always enjoyable in and of themselves. Seligman notes that “consider, for example, the gratification that comes from training for an endurance even such as a marathon. At any given point during the grueling event, a runner may be discouraged or exhausted or even in physical pain; however, they may describe the overall experience as intensely gratifying.” (Seligman, Parks, and Steen 419) From this we see that gratification may help enhance our overall happiness, not through the activity itself, but from the feeling of accomplishment or well-being we experience as the end result. The third route to increasing happiness comes through meaning which is comprised mainly of the four basic values of faith, family, community, and work. (The NY Times) This avenue boosts happiness through a sense of being part of a higher thing that ourselves. “40 percent of married Americans describe themselves as ‘very happy’ compared with just
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