The Happiness System, By Daniel Nettle

Decent Essays

Happiness is something we as a human race value and treasure, but obtaining it and maintaining its presence in our lives can prove to be a difficult and exhausting task. Daniel Nettle writes that: “Most of us understand that the big issue in life is not being joyful, which is at best going to be an occasional perk, but being happy in the sense of generally satisfied overall (33).” Throughout his novel, Nettles explores the depths of happiness and what it means to experience it in all forms and aspects across generations and cultures, and how it helps develop us into the people that we are, and our success as a living species. The happiness system is designed to help us gain a better understanding of our core values, and to push us to continually strive to excel. Stagnancy is not beneficial to our relative fitness as a human race, and we must remain motivated by some force to avoid its grasp, as it has been proven over time to be a deadly mechanism of nature. Our “happiness” will be discovered as a result of not just what we choose to pursue in life, but how we choose to pursue it, and the fact we even chose to pursue it at all. Because happiness is in itself hard to define, psychologists have developed a scale of various levels of happiness to help describe it. But to understand the levels, one must first be introduced to the idea of “flow.” As defined by Nettles, flow is a “state characterized by total absorption in a challenging activity for which the individual has the

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