One of John Lennon’s best quotes is about the key to life:
This is one of the many ways in culture, it seems we are all seeking happy. As millennials, we are job hopping at high rates. Hookup culture is rampant because we can’t commit to the person that isn’t 100% perfect. We look to our culture of consumerism and ambition to find where our happiness lies. We accumulate and we expect that when our salary rises that our happiness will rise.
No matter what our ultimate goal is to be happy.
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From ancient to contemporary philosophy, many have tried to discern the origin and meaning of happiness. Aristotle’s idea of happiness deals with human flourishing and virtue. Epicurus believed in the pursuit of tranquility and freedom from fear in an ascetic lifestyle. Maimonides believed that happiness is ultimately intellectual. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and an Austrian neurologist, believed that happiness was the byproduct of the meaning of life, which in many cases involved suffering.
When we feel unhappy, we change everything. Change our hair, job, friends, environment. We don’t settle in somewhere enough to allow ourselves to improve our environment, to make it more familiar. We seek new!
It’s even in our constitution – “the pursuit of happiness.” It’s ingrained in our culture – get that quick fix for your happiness. We don’t allow the bad situations to mold and change us. When we feel unhappy, we leave but we never learn.
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Why not something else? Why not fulfillment? Or the flourishing of others? We’re always seeking happy.
There is a theory of hedonic treadmill that states the change in our circumstances eventually go from extraordinary to normal. When millionaires win the lottery, a year later, their happiness eventually returns to the same level it was before they won.
Scientifically, happiness is a baseline, and no matter what we do, it always returns to a baseline. People that have $100,000 and $500,000 – often the change in income doesn’t fulfill a purpose in the long run.
What is the motivation behind your pursuits – losing weight, getting good grades, finding the one?
Why seek happy?
This post was just to get you thinking about the elusive thing we all seek – happiness. Tell me why you think we all seek to be happy.