Psychology: Happiness as a Way of Living
While discussing the topic of happiness and people’s attitudes toward this concept, it is possible to speak about many individuals who view the idea of happiness differently. Thus, happiness can be defined by people in the most unexpected terms because of differences in their visions.
It is even possible to pay attention to people who share absolutely opposite ideas regarding this emotional state. Some people can view happiness in the context of a specific word that is used to name feelings when they buy new things or achieve career goals; other people can view happiness as a metaphorical concept because individuals often cannot define clearly what they mean while speaking about happiness.
However, each person can try to explain the idea of happiness to oneself in order to set realistic goals associated with this phenomenon. Although the pursuit of happiness can be viewed as a meaningless task, happiness as a specific approach to perceiving reality can be achieved while referring to simple steps instead of focusing on ‘global’ and complex projects oriented to an individual’s success.
Happiness can be defined as a feeling, an experience, and a way of perceiving reality, the world around a person, as well as a way of living with the focus on positive and optimistic moments, events, and achievements.
From this point, happiness is a phenomenon that has several dimensions associated with an individual’s approach to observing everyday reality and routine events and with an individual’s response to these aspects while organizing his or her life. In this context, it is possible to agree with Lyubomirsky’s idea that “happiness is a choice” (par. 18).
Thus, it is an individual’s choice to live a happy life and focus on positive moments or concentrate on negative aspects. Hardy supports this vision while stating that “life isn’t about what happens to you. It’s about how you proactively respond” (par. 11).
There is also an idea that happiness is not provoked by events in the external world, and people can become happy while changing their ways of evaluating those things that can be observed regularly (Achor). From this perspective, it is important to discuss specific simple steps that can be taken by people in order to change their perceptions and achieve happiness.
A series of steps can be proposed in order to lead a person to a happy life. According to Hardy, “happy people live in the present” (par. 67). Therefore, the first step to take is to concentrate on moments of the present without referring to the past or future because memories or expectations can prevent people from enjoying current events.
The second step is to develop social connections and relationships in order to avoid loneliness. This method to achieve pleasure is proposed with reference to the results of a prolonged study on the problem of happiness (Waldinger). The third step in the plan of becoming happy is to find meaning in one’s life.
However, according to Smith, it is important to concentrate on simple ideas while speaking about meaningfulness because the pursuit of meaning can become a frustrating activity if people choose to achieve some ‘global’ goals instead of living a happy life and helping others (par. 6).
Thus, there are many ways to become happy, and they can be viewed as rather simple if a person understands what activities, situations, or actions can be discussed as real sources of happiness.
There is an idea that money cannot make people happy, and they should focus on many other sources of happiness. Still, money can be regarded as an essential source of happiness, similarly to love and friendship. In spite of the fact that people can become at risk of ignoring simple pleasures when they have wealth, a secret is in persons’ perceptions of their money, opportunities, and success (Lyubomirsky par. 7).
Therefore, money can become a source of happiness when people spend them on developing their personal qualities, strengthening relationships, accepting challenges, and supporting communities. Thus, relationships are also a source of happiness because a simple word of a partner or a relative can make a person happy or unhappy.
When people have an opportunity to communicate and share ideas, the level of their satisfaction increases, as well as the level of their happiness (Hardy par. 11), furthermore, happiness is associated with optimism, and positive thoughts can improve a person’s state significantly because of influencing productivity and successfulness among other factors. As a result, it is possible to state that happiness does not depend on ‘globally’ important actions or career successes.
In conclusion, it is important to note that people’s emotional states are affected by simple events rather than their successes. The problem is in the fact that many people do not understand that they can build their happiness while focusing on a few steps.
Even if persons have wealth and many opportunities, they can fail to feel happy because they cannot define what happiness means to them. Therefore, a secret is in starting a happy life while focusing on the present, changing lenses, developing relationships, and concentrating on positive moments.
Achor, Shawn. “.” TED.com, 10 May 2011.
Hardy, Benjamin. “.” Observer 2015.
Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “” Scientific American. 2010.
Smith, Emily Esfahani. “.” The Atlantic. 2013.
Waldinger, Robert. “.” TED.com. 2015.
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