What then is happiness? Perhaps happiness is a basic and familiar concept, yet it may occur to be perplexing when one has to convey it through the medium of words. Lyubomirsky defines the term as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile” (Lyubomirsky 32). It is often subjective, personal, and can stem from a myriad of activities: some may experience similar feelings by engaging in sports, spending time with family and friends, others while reading or simply being in solitude. Due to the personal nature and subjectivity of happiness, a handful of myths pertaining to this concept has emerged. Three happiness myths were presented within the chapter: 1. Happiness must be found. 2. Happiness lies in changing our circumstances. 3. You either have it or you don’t. The first myth greatly piqued my interest, since I, too, have once externalized happiness and assumed that it would be found outside.
The authors of the article believe that there are three things that form happiness as a whole, “pleasure (or positive emotion); engagement; and meaning” (Seligman 540). In order to increase happiness, there needs to be a way to increase these three constituents in the lives of people. With this being said most people in the world cannot increase all three constituents, but a person can live a full life when “A person uses all three routes to happiness” (541). The main goal of people is to increase all three paths or constituents because through living a full life a person can have more satisfaction. This article gives many interesting facts about happiness and gives a very direct definition of what happiness is. This definition of what happiness is might match what some other people might think, but it cannot satisfy the definition that every one in the world
Everyone defines happiness differently, but everyone needs happiness. The book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse talks about how Siddhartha finds happiness through many ways. He leaves home and his friend, Govinda, to find enlightenment. He starves himself, he learns love, he even thinks of suicide… Fortunately, he meets a ferryman, who becomes his best friend, also his “teacher”, and helps him find the ultimate way to achieve enlightenment. Siddhartha abandons his relationships, money, and education which bring him happiness, and in the twenty first century, these still bring happiness as the essential steps to take.
There are many theories surrounding happiness, and the pursuit of happiness. Some believe that an external force must be present to bring about happiness, while others argue that happiness is individualized, and is completely up to a person's internal mindset of whether he or she is able to achieve and maintain happiness. Aristotle, a significant ancient Greek philosopher, believes that happiness requires an action. He affirms that there are many factors that play into someone's happiness; including materialistic things, which help support this state of being. His claim is that happiness is a holistic approach to life and must be achieved by living virtuously with moral character. Aristotle also indicates that happiness is not a moment in time, but rather a journey of exploration by way of living harmoniously, through a pursuit of achieving life’s goals and desires. He adds that a life of happiness is driven by virtue and emotions, which all play a role in achieving optimum happiness.
Happiness, an elusive eight letter word with a mighty punch! Many have sought to define happiness, but found it a difficult task to do. While reading an article published in the New Yorker by Will Sorr on July 07, 2017 titled “A Better Kind of Happiness”, I was informed that happiness is more than just a word, happiness is essential to the well-being of human health. Dating back nearly two and half million years ago an ancient Greek Philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, proposed the idea of eudaemonic happiness. He stated that “happiness was not merely a feeling, or a golden promise, but a
The pursuit of happiness is a timeless and ageless endeavor. Since the beginning of time people have searched far and wide for the source of happiness. Even the greatest minds attempt to discover the basis of all human contentment. The father of philosophy, Socrates, was one of those few that might have unearthed the key to human happiness. His understanding shaped the way that the western world sees pleasure, joy, and happiness. His views on how to obtain them are still alive today.
Arjuna is a unique character because of the worldview he holds. Hindus in “The Bhagavad-Gita” hold the value of life slightly lower than most because they have the security of reincarnation to rely on. However, Arjuna is different than many Hindus because he values life to a higher degree than others. In lines 28-30, Arjuna’s value of human life is accurately displayed. “Krishna, I see my kinsmen gathered here, wanting war. My limbs sink, my mouth trembles, the hair bristles on my flesh. The magic bow slips from my hand, my skin burns, I cannot stand still, my mind reels” (Miller, 2004). Arjuna being struck with grief while watching his family members about to lose their lives exemplifies how his worldview is filled with empathy. Krishna, encouraging Arjuna to fight in the war and not to worry about the lives of his family, sparked the conversation about reincarnation. Krishna did not find death enough of a reason to cease fighting. There was no fear of death for most Hindus because their soul would simply be placed in a new life, possibly a better one. That is displayed in teaching two line 37 when Lord Krishna states: “If you are killed, you win heaven; if you triumph, you enjoy the earth; therefore Arjuna, stand up and resolve to fight the battle!” (Miller, 2004). Krishna’s viewpoint did not portray what Arjuna believed clearly because Arjuna had empathy for human life, whereas Krishna did not fret over a lost life. Ultimately, Arjuna’s view on life encouraged him to make the decision to drop
Happiness is one of the most significant dimensions of human experience. Many people can argue that happiness is a meaningful and desirable entity. Studies indicate that everyone pursues happiness in various aspects of their life. Our four fathers saw happiness as a need, so they made the pursuit of happiness as one of the three unalienable rights branded in the Declaration of Independence. There is a sense of complexity behind the meaning of happiness; its definition is not definite. Think of happiness as a rope; there are many thin fiber strands bonded together to become the strength of the rope. Like the analogy of the rope, there are numerous factors that can contribute to an individual’s overall happiness in life. This study is going to
Although the definition of happiness has been changed and rearranged for as long as humans have existed, thousands upon thousands of years, some philosophers want a hard definition of it. The term happiness signifies something different depending on whom you ask. The question of “What is happiness?” has been theorized and discussed by many philosophers throughout the years, and many have their own labyrinthine conclusion that may put off the average person who just has a subconscious thought of what is happiness and why we need it and/or experience it. A few theories on happiness have emerged from people who are educated in this discussion like Matt Killingsworth, Carl Honoré, Graham Hill, Dan Gilbert, and David Steindl-Rast. All who were featured in “Simply Happy,” a segment on the “TED Radio Hour” from 2014 and they give a more modern approach on being happy throughout life and share other theories. The Tao Te Ching by Laozi was written around the sixth century BCE and is one of the classic texts in China which separates yourself from your life to achieve happiness and a more recent theory of happiness from the past teachings of the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness which strictly distincts happiness from desire which are often thought of as related in today’s modern society.
Arjuna is faced with an internal dilemma during the Second Discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, and although the God Krishna seeks to help guide him towards an understanding of the meaning of his life, Arjuna is still wary of making the wrong decision. This decision concerns itself with either fighting in a civil war against family relatives, having to kill those Arjuna cares most about, or abandoning his dharma as a warrior and jeopardizing fulfilling his duty the greater Self that plays such a pivotal role in his people’s culture and beliefs. While advocating for the battle and fulfilling one’s dharma, Krishna utilizes the point that the Self – an overarching force in life – is a formless, eternal entity that cannot die and is more than the mere vessels that encompass the human beings across the battlefield. It is more important to the greater vitality of one’s existence to complete a duty to the Self rather than live with the temporary benefits of living in what may appear to be a more pleasurable life, but one with no fulfillment.
In modern society, the line between pleasure and happiness is commonly blurred. While pleasures are momentary feelings of joy, they do not entail true happiness. True happiness is present even at the worst of times. It is there in moments of delight as well as in moments of pain and distress. On the journey to a good life, discovering a true sense of happiness is essential. This concept is portrayed in The History by Herodotus and Happiness by Richard Taylor. While these readings define happiness differently, they both demonstrate the idea that a life well lived consists of long term happiness as opposed to short term pleasures.
People who are viewed as happy in our culture today are also seen as being rich, having a loving family, and a great occupation. Our society is attracted to material things, rather than spiritual ones. Can a person who does not have many possessions and an elevated social position still live a happy life? Epicurus believed that each one of us could achieve true happiness, and our only problem is that we stubbornly search for it in all the wrong places. Epicurus states that we only need three things to be happy besides the essentials needed for survival: friends, freedom, and an analyzed life. I will be comparing contemporary American notions of happiness to the Epicurean view.
“Happiness is in the enjoyment of man’s chief good. Two conditions of the chief good: 1st, Nothing is better than it; 2nd, it cannot be lost against the will” (Augustine 264-267). As human
Happiness is the fundamental objective of life. This bold statement is unanimously agreed upon among generations of people on every corner of our planet. However, the real question that has been contested for centuries is the true meaning of happiness? The true meaning of happiness is one of the most highly debated philosophy topics in history. Most famous are the writings of Aristotle and John Stuart Mill who both paint very opposing pictures of happiness. Mill believes happiness is obtained through pleasure and the absence of pain. On the other hand, Aristotle insist happiness is obtained through living a fulfilling, virtuous life. This passage will examine Aristotle 's and Mill 's views on happiness as well as give an opinion one which philosophical theory is most convincing.
At first glance, happiness is a state of mind that many, if not all people aspire to achieve in their lifetime. What exactly is that state of mind is up for debate among the east and the west, and varies between different cultures, traditions, and religions. In the west, happiness is mostly associated with success, wealth, fame and power. In the east, happiness can be viewed as freedom from mundane occurrences such as the occupation of western powers from within a country, the end of war, poverty and famine, and liberation of the false self. In contemporary times, and with the arrival of eastern philosophy, religions, and traditions in the west, many are turning inwards and using a tool believed to have more power than an atomic bomb, the human mind. In China, India and various other Asian countries, the mind has long been a powerful tool used to liberate one from suffering, the cyclic cycle of life, as well as a means to reach enlightenment and immortality. However, the mind is only a tool, and not the way per se.