Happiness: Narratives From Dana and Chris
The discussion in this paper provides two perspectives on the topic of happiness. Two interviews were conducted on two women, Dana, 33 years old, and Chris, 30 years old. The close proximity of their ages was deliberate, as the author-interviewer would like to have a good comparison of how the two women in their early 30s think about happiness in general, and based on what they have experienced in life. Dana and Chris have contrasting personalities, the former being more serious and contemplate and the latter, as cheerful and tends to be funny around people. The discussions that follow provide a summary of the interviews conducted, sharing their views about happiness.
Happiness according to Dana
Dana is a 33-year-old nurse who is actively involved in community development work. Dana is a friend of the author-interviewer's brother, and gladly allowed permission to have an interview…… [Read More]
Kahneman & Schwarz (2009) confirm that the link between advanced income and happiness is fantasy. The two researchers further ascertained that inheriting a lot of money or earning as anticipated does not make one happy. This is because once one is in possession of huge sum of money; one does not necessarily spend it to make him/her happy.
The third hypothesis point out that education and income increases the level of happiness in a person's life. Studies carried between 1965 and 1994 confirmed that education and income level are causes and correlates of happiness. Education and occupation correlate with subjective well-being.
The research method for quantitative approach will be based on questions and hypotheses that are subject to rigorous testing under controlled conditions. This paradigm is strappingly linked with a quantitative research instrument, which include the highly structured questionnaires and statistical analysis. Quantitative research assists the researcher in affirming…… [Read More]
Happiness is perhaps the most illusive, but most sought after mental state in life. Like all human experiences, happiness is also a very subjective state; different things make different people happy. This is why it is so difficult to say what happiness is, and why there has been so much disagreement among philosophers, who have nonetheless not been deterred from attempting to describe this elusive emotion. oth Plato and Aristotle have attempted to describe happiness in exact terms. They have broken down into steps the way to true happiness, and described the nature of happiness as they viewed it. It should be kept in mind however that, as mentioned above, any human emotion is highly subjective. Plato and Aristotle were just two men, and they lived centuries in the past. Doubtlessly their judgement would have been influenced by the time and society in which they lived. To demonstrate this, Plato…… [Read More]
Interviews on Happiness
Happiness is a complex topic, with often divergent meanings for different people. This paper explores how two people of vastly different backgrounds view and define happiness. One of the interviewees is a female colleague who works as a nurse for a medical surgical unit; the other is my mother, a 72-year-old mother of three who has been married for 45 years. Although the interviews were slightly different for the two, each contained several basic questions relating to happiness, including what happiness means to them now, when they were most and least happy, what happiness meant to them as a child, and the possibility of whether their definition of happiness might change in the future.
Both interviews began with the difficult question of what happiness means to each of the individuals now. It was difficult to interview my mother since while I am fairly certain that she…… [Read More]
Nature tells us the biologically we are seeking that endorphin rush from these particular acts, and others. But happiness is more than pleasure, is it not? Perhaps what we call happiness is a learned behavior; a nurturing condition brought about by cultural and observational learning from the social orders. You will be happy if you get the right job, the right mate, the right house and car. It is possible that we follow these guidelines but as individuals we often discover that these can be things that do not really make us happy, in fact they may eventually have the opposite effect.
Follow your bliss involves an innate knowledge that can go beyond the stereotypes of society and go towards the archetypes of Jung's collective unconsciousness. Some can experience this directly, some have to go through the stages that society presents in order to get back to their inner vision…… [Read More]
I approached Jonathan Haidt's book The Happiness Hypothesis with the same sort of hubris that I tend to exhibit when someone asks me if I like a work of art. I am quite confident that I can point to art that I like, while being less consistently able to tell why I like or don't like a work of art. Similarly, I have been quite confident of my ability to describe what appears to make me happy and, further, I believe that I have rather unerringly sought what seems to make me happy. But a reading of Haidt's book made the ground shift under my life tenets much the same as wet beach sand gives way -- where standing still for any length of time, I find that little pools of water have mysteriously appeared under my toes and heels. Where did the solid footing of the hard…… [Read More]
Happiness -- its true value and the right means of achieving it -- has been pondered by many people including Plato and Socrates, Stoics, church fathers and Aristotelians. Philosophers have had different arguments including that happiness is a matter of: faith, passion, reason, pleasure and/or contentment, mind and/or body. Some of them have also argued that happiness is a way of being or feeling.
ho is happy?
ho are the people who are happy? Does being happy depend on one's age, race or sex? Does wealth contribute to happiness? Does happiness come from a particular trait or job, friends, age or income-level? ith a spiritual dimension? ith an active faith or with close supportive relationships? (Myers, 56)
Happy people are usually those who feel that they are in control of their lives. Those with little or no control over their lives such as citizens of undemocratic countries, very poor people,…… [Read More]
" This could not even be termed a desire to do good, as then it would be fulfilling someone's desire to do a good deed, and would therefore have a selfish motive. Kant is one of the very few that attempted to divorce happiness from morality; even though lying to the mass murderer would save many lives, Kant believed that lying was wrong, and therefore one could not lie even in such a situation and remain moral. Unhappy or dead, yes, but definitely not moral.
Both men attempt to justify their ethical systems, not surprisingly, with completey contradictory suppositions. Kant supposes that there is such a thing as universal morality, which can be recognized by all and therefore adhered to in all situations. Mill believed that no such universal morality existed, but rather that society was based on a general consensus of treating everyone with mutual respect and liberty, creating…… [Read More]
According to utilitarian ethical theory, a lie would be very moral indeed if it increased someone's happiness without creating detriment to anyone -- telling a child that their unintelligible crayon markings is a great picture of a house, for instance, boosts their self-esteem and helps them to feel loved, and no one in the art world suffers for this white lie.
Utilitarianism also provides a solution to conflicting duties that Kant's theory not only ignores, but actually renders impossible. Given a choice between stealing or starving, Kant's theory would state that the only moral choice would be to starve, as stealing is always an immoral act. According to utilitarianism, however, as long as the person being stolen from would not starve from the loss, the act of not stealing would actually be immoral; the consequences of the theft would be to stop someone from starving, whereas the consequences of not…… [Read More]
Happiness Means to Others
Happiness seems on the surface like an easy thing to explain and describe. Certainly there are things that make everyone happy, like the return of a loved one from a prolonged absence, or winning a prize that includes substantial amounts of money and other things of value. But there are major differences in how people from different cultures and different geographic locations view happiness.
The first person interviewed for this assignment is Phillip. He is a retired police officer who has moved to this community to enjoy retirement. He lives nearby but we are not close friends at all; we wave at each other when we pass by mornings and evenings. e're neighbors and we respect each other but that's as deep as the relationship goes.
Interview with Phil, a neighbor across the street
Question: "Phil I'm doing a survey on how people view the concept…… [Read More]
org 2010). Such direct contact is definitely preferable to the distribution of anti-union literature; the ability an willingness to actually discuss issues with employees rather than simply providing them with printed statements that cannot be engaged in a dialogue shows an empathy and a desire to address issues that pamphlets and fliers cannot put forth (ABC.org 2010). Such actions would also undermine the solidarity of labor, causing larger problems for management (Jain 1979). Using these conversations to counter exaggerated claims made by the union, and even more importantly to make it clear why certain changes are necessary, and why certain other desires of the employees cannot be reasonably met, will increase the likelihood that an agreement between labor and management can be reached without the need for unionization and union representation in the relationship at Happy Trails (ABC.org 2010).
In conclusion, it is recommended that management and supervisors all be…… [Read More]
Happy Birthday Copyright
Copyright law: Happy Birthday
Is Bobby Bandleader violating the copyright of Johnny Singstealer?
According to copyright law, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to: "reproduce the work in copies; to prepare derivative works based upon the work; to distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; to perform the work publicly; to display the copyrighted work publicly," and "in the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission" (Copyright infringement, 2012, Copyright.gov).
Of course it is true that many people sing Happy Birthday every day and do not have to pay royalties as a result. But when they do so, they are singing for their own pleasure, not to receive monetary compensation. If I sing in the shower, I cannot be…… [Read More]
This is a service industry, so anything that can be done to provide better service is valuable. The shop will basically be able to see the customer's entire history when the customer calls in, and this allows for quick reference and being able to really be attentive to the customer's needs. In addition, the scheduling feature will help the shop become more efficient and generate more revenue as well. Further, new customer contacts can be stored in the database, and immediately the marketing program can be initiated.
Cost is a big risk. CRM programs are often not cheap. If the company doesn't use it aggressively to both increase efficiency and increase marketing efforts, then there is definitely the risk that the software will not pay for itself. Otherwise, there are really not that many risks. Security and privacy are minor risks, but the system is typically password protected and…… [Read More]
Please answer the questions about making employees number one. How prevalent do you find this to be?
This is an important strategy that is utilized by employers to retain and attract the best talent. Evidence of this can be seen with data from a study conducted by World at Work. They are an independent pollster which examines total rewards programs. What they found is that 86% of firms were using some kind employee benefits initiative to motive everyone. In most cases, they average employer had between four and six of these programs. (Schrader, 2004) ("Trends in Employee ecognition," 2012)
How prevalent do you find this to be?
This is very prevalent among employers. The reason why is because they are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees in different areas. The only way that they can keep them is to offer some kind of benefits package that will address…… [Read More]
I was born on September 21, 1983 in the city of Landstuhl in Germany. Most people who think of Germany concentrate on the sad historical events of the 1930s and 1940s. The subsequent decades were all influenced by those events. In 1983, Germany was still separated by the Berlin all. Landstuhl was in est Germany. The division of the country, which ended in 1989, had a pronounced effect on me as will any child who grows up in a politically turbulent atmosphere. Besides the continued division of est and East Germany, there were individual events that affected the culture in which I was born. 1983 was an important year from Germany both for its citizens and for the nation's position as a potential world power. Internationally, Germany made an important endeavor to regain political power by finalizing the Solemn Declaration of the European Union. The political atmosphere was…… [Read More]
First, because Vaillant was ultimately unable to answer his research question, Shenk's article reveals the complexity of psychological research and cautions future psychologists against looking for simplistic answers. Second, it highlights some parts of psychology that are considered woefully out-of-date, which serves as a caution that even the most cutting-edge theories may be found to lack support. Third, it describes a successful longitudinal study, in contrast to most psychological studies that focus on college-age students. The fourth reason the study should be included is simply because it is interesting; the study followed the lives of some men that went on to become the most powerful men of their day, and is the only psychological study to investigate men like that in-depth. The final reason the study should be included in the curriculum is that it serves as a great reminder that bias informs every part of how a researcher approaches…… [Read More]
Happiness" and "The Experience Machine"
Harvard philosopher Rober Nozick made an interesting observation about happiness. Suppose one was to reflect on two different lives that contain the same amount of happiness. One life begins at a low point, and continues to get better with each passing moment. On the other hand, the second life begins on a high note, and continues to move downward towards an unhappy ending. The eternal question is, of course, which one would be preferable? Like the majority of people, I would choose the life that begins at a low point and slopes upward. Nozick believed that this says something fundamental about the human relationship with happiness. Humans, by nature, are seeking something more than the total happiness in their lives. Nozick refers to this as the "narrative direction" of happiness, and finds that we as humans seek structure in our positive experiences. Rather than hope…… [Read More]
In contrast, the stoic philosopher Epictetus focused upon changing one's mindset to accept the ways of the world, rather than striving to change the world to achieve happiness. Epictetus' tone is far different than Plato's. Rather than focusing upon changing the structure of society, in his Enchiridion the Stoic philosopher instead focused upon bending the mind to accept whatever life may bring. Epictetus would no doubt say to Plato that creating an ideal society is virtually impossible to achieve in reality. Instead of the philosopher himself yearning after an ideal that cannot be created, it is far better to focus on how to live in the here and now.
One similarity which Epictetus shares with Plato is the fact that both are highly distrustful of common notions of happiness being equated with pleasure. Pleasure is seen as transient and ephemeral. Being happy cannot be equated with gaining material wealth or…… [Read More]
The author also gives readers the tools to create their own happiness, and it is clear that in his view, he believes his tools will work for anyone, no matter what type of situation they face. He shows that in the story of the family who lost their young son, and then bonded afterward, as they never had before.
The author's views are difficult to disagree with. While sometimes he sounds overly optimistic, he shows that his practices work, even in the most debilitating situations. It is hard to argue with that. It is also hard to argue with the idea of happiness. Just about everyone wants to be happy, and the author gives them the tools to find their own happiness. It is really hard to disagree with that, no matter how you view the author and his ideas. He might seem overly positive to some, but it is…… [Read More]
To afford what is considered a normal, middle class lifestyle requires an individual to work twice as much as people did in 1948 (During 73). hile "some cynics" say that additional leisure time and a shorter work week or year would result in simply more time spent in front of the television, the authors raise the intriguing possibility that the reason Americans watch so much television is a lack of creative energy. Americans work more hours than their European counterparts, are twice as productive at the office or factory than their grandparents, yet have less leisure time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. True enjoyment of leisure demands meaningful use of time, rather than the wasted time that comes at the end of a hard day. Sports, poetry, religion, and time spent with family are more valuable than the items that can be bought with money. Perhaps the current…… [Read More]
Ultimately, his system seems to the best for a number of reasons, including ease of understanding. Aristotle is clearly trying to define happiness while still noting how to live happily, while Epicurus is simply giving advice on how to live a happy life. Happiness certainly means different things to different people, as these two men show, but Epicurus seems to have a deeper understanding of it, while Aristotle is still struggling to define it, before he can live it. As a reader of both philosophies, it seems Epicurus was a just man who wanted happiness for everyone, while Aristotle was a snob, who felt the "masses" did not understand the true nature of happiness. They were shallow, and could not possibly lead fulfilled and happy lives. That alone makes Epicurus' beliefs more appealing and more equitable for all, rather than the "superior" beings Aristotle believes can only find happiness. Aristotle…… [Read More]
Aristotle's Happiness and the Virtues.
Aristotle's ideal of happiness and virtues has been drawn to a large extent from his mentor and teacher, Plato. The context of his ideas is firstly that ethics and politics are closely intertwined, together forming the concept of Political Science. Secondly, virtue according to Aristotle is an innate human quality, which can be enhanced and developed by practice. Since it is innately human to be virtuous, this element is also closely associated with what Aristotle views as the ultimate good: to be happy.
According to Aristotle then, happiness is the purpose of all action (Smith viii). Furthermore this is seen in the social and political context of the time. Thus, happiness is a collective effort of individual and state, rather than just of the individual. While the ideal of happiness is to a large extent individual, the state plays a prominent role in making this…… [Read More]
The morality of the act can be defended by the Utilitarian principle that the number of deaths (250,000+) caused by dropping the weapons of mass destruction over Hiroshima and Nagasaki was less than the deaths that would have been caused by a land invasion of Japan ("John Stuart Mill").
However, despite the considerable improvement and sophistication provided by Mill to the philosophy of Utilitarianism and the practical usefulness of the 'greatest happiness principle' the theory still suffers from serious flaws.
Dr. Ruut Veenhoven, a professor of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, for instance points out in an article that the 'greatest happiness principle' is particularly problematic when applied at the level of individual choice. This is because we cannot usually foresee the consequences of our actions or whether they would produce happiness or pain but paradoxically the Utilitarian theory deems well-intended behavior to be a-moral if it happens to pan out adversely.…… [Read More]
happiness that goes beyond the mere absence of pain and suffering. People feel joy and happiness for things both minor and major. I would describe the absence of pain and suffering as contentment perhaps. The Buddhist would argue that the absence of those things leads to a state of permanent bliss, which is more powerful than transient happiness. However, the Buddhist view also assumes that the fleeting nature of happiness we feel is a source of suffering, because even during those moments we are weighed down by the idea that the happiness will not last. I do not feel that this is necessarily the case. Permanent bliss and happiness are two different things, and the possibility of one does not eliminate the value of and possibility of the other.
Even a refugee can experience euphoria, yes. This is a loaded question, actually, because of the framing. It is certainly less…… [Read More]
happy birthday. I know that you must have heard this from me numerous times, but I would like to speak again of my undying love for you. You are the love of my life and my heart is filled when you walk in the room. I am but a humble man from Lebanon, and I came here to the United States looking for a better opportunity; yet love had other plans for me, and my venture here lead me to you, as well. I recall the day I first laid eyes on you as if it were yesterday. It was when I was working as a salesman in my brother's store in New York when luck had struck me and you walked into my life. My jaw dropped and my eyes felt as if they were deceiving me since I thought you were too beautiful to be real. It was…… [Read More]
Film Reflection: Happy (2011)
The 2011 documentary Happy seeks to understand a very simple question—what makes people happy? As well as interviewing professionals in the field of psychology, the filmmaker Roko Belic solicited the opinion of a wide range of individuals, spanning from a rickshaw driver, a victim of a car accident, and individuals from a variety of nations, occupations, and socio-economic statuses. Belic’s search was spawned by the fact that while some individuals in the developed world enjoy high levels of affluence, they are very rarely happy. How is it possible that someone can be happier as an impoverished Cajun fisherman or a rickshaw driver in India than someone with all of the material comforts one could want in an American suburb?
Belic found that community and a sense of purpose was the driving factor in what made people happy. For example, the rickshaw driver he interviewed said that…… [Read More]
It is true that extreme happiness precedes a corresponding feeling of extreme sadness. In the midst of regular medical check-ups with my doctor, and constantly educating myself with child care and rearing, I was constantly plagued with worst-case scenario thoughts about me and my child's future. Would I be able to support my child? Would I be able to balance my studies with parenting? What if my child is growing, would I encounter the hardship people had so often reminded me whenever they see me with my child? These are the doubts and uncertainties I had to go through before; in fact, even though I now gave birth to a healthy child, I do experience these feelings of insecurity about our future.
But these insecurities give way to feelings of happiness and fulfillment when I think about the 'other facet' of our life. I now have someone I who would…… [Read More]
When I see inequality in the world, I am visibly moved and affected. The only thing that makes me feel better is knowing that in America, we do value equality and many groups have been able to attain equality under the law on a collective level as well as respect on an individual level.
Introspection is a value that I deem extremely important and I believe it comes from a variety of sources from my parents to Oprah Winfrey and her progeny. My parents repeatedly advised me that it is alright to make mistakes as long as we reflect upon them and find a way to learn and grow from the errors of our ways. Furthermore, I have a closet addiction to watching self-help shows, buying self-help books, and following self-help websites. Inside of me is a budding psychologist who finds great pleasure in finding out the real emotional process…… [Read More]
Happy families have certain traits and attributes in common which make the relationship between their members stronger and more respectful for each other. The most important factors which make a happy family include love and care, effective communication, commitment, conflict resolution, and resilience. When family members show true care and respect for each other, resolve their family conflicts in a polite and friendly manner, show a high level of resilience in bitter circumstances, and ensure an effective communication without distance and time constraints, the members live like a happy and ideal family. Family happiness gets spoiled when hatred, mistrust, arguments, and criticism take the place of love, care, and mutual understanding.
A Happy Family
Before discussing what makes a happy family and what elements contribute towards making a strong relationship among all family members, it is important to explain how the word 'family' has been defined by the…… [Read More]
eligion has the ability to give people hope especially the hopeless. Despite the harsh situations and challenges that people face, religion plays a fundamental role of giving them hope and optimism from which they draw strength. eligion is also an agent for socialization. It is no doubt meeting with other believers for religious events is more than just practicing faith (eeve 2006).
People use the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, sing together and above all socialize. Interactions can be a powerful source of happiness to individuals. eligion provides more than just individual hedonism to guide behavior. In essence, religion provides guidelines for faithful to follow and in the end live an orderly and moral life (Furness & Gilligan 2010). Even though people appear to be happier within the spheres of religion, many researchers show that people in relatively nonreligious nation are the happiest lot. Scandinavian societies…… [Read More]
In fact, both Weiner and Cutler have described the same thing, in a sense, yet through very different lenses. For some, money becomes less and less important if there is enough, but for others who truly know happiness, this is something that truly has no bearing on how one leads his or her life.
How ociety and Media Impact One's Happiness
This last section will describe how media impact happiness. For even if a person is truly happy, there are always outside forces that can disturb this sense of well-being. The media in this country in particular makes happiness seem as though it is solely constructed through money and power. In fact, it is duet to this wrong concept of what happiness means that most people believe that happiness is objective, for all agree on this very definition.
However, as can be seen from the paragraphs above, money is only…… [Read More]
Psychology of Happiness and a Life Well-Lived
In this paper, I have discussed that happiness as well as morality (meaningful purpose) are actually the ultimate goals and the true sign of a life well-lived. I have tried to explain how morality must be considered as the most important factor to signify a well-lived life. I have also given the ideas of Aristotle and Plato regarding morality and happiness and have tried to assess the literature on my chosen factor.
If we ask people to elaborate the definition of a well-lived life, we would surely get very different answers. For some, money will be considered as the means to be happy and successful; others may count recognition of peers as the basis of a well-lived life. A well-designed and useful product will be the success for some; for others it can be a beautiful garden. Good relationships would be a mode…… [Read More]
Happiness Means to Me
My strategy for creating and ensuring thorough happiness for myself and others is simple: I will treat myself and others well, with kindness and compassion. As a nurse, I have already dedicated my life to helping others heal and experience overall well-being. My profession will continue to bolster my happiness as well as the happiness of others. However, happiness for me is not limited to my job; in my personal life too, I will maintain high standards of ethics, health, inner peace, and prosperity. Happiness to me means not the fleeting moments of bliss that can accompany daily life; this is but an obsolete definition of happiness that will lead not to true joy but to the mindless pursuit of sensual pleasure. I will, however, lie in a literal and figurative bed of roses in order to experience those moments of happiness that come from pure…… [Read More]
The arm Fluidity
For the most part, internal (as opposed to external) influences bring me the greatest degree of inspiration and happiness. hat this statement means is that I am not necessarily inspired by appearances, and I am much more of a verbal person (whether accessed in spoken language or via the written word) than I am a visual person. As such, I derive significantly greater insight from music and films than I do from paintings and architecture -- which is not to imply that I see no aesthetic quality in paintings and architecture. It is just that I do a lot less so, and generally to a lesser degree, than I do in music and films.
Music, the world of sounds and emotions, precious words, harmony and intangible associations such as fire and ice, has long been my world and that with which I am most comfortable. I…… [Read More]
For example, many individuals value freedom and knowledge as things that can bring happiness. So, having their own value, these things are parts of happiness.
Mill believed that everyone's happiness is important. He believed in what he called the 'greatest happiness principle.' According to the greatest happiness principle, a person is ethically required to try to bring about the consequences that would lead to the greatest amount of happiness for everyone affected. More simple stated, if a person can produce more happiness (and/or less suffering) in a certain situation, then he or she is ethically obligated to do so. In more contemporary ethical terms, this is called the requirement to 'maximize happiness. If one was considering doing something for one's own happiness, but that action would cause others suffering, then Mill would have to take both of the sides into account in deciding whether or not the action should morally…… [Read More]
This can be seen as both a negative and a positive thing; on the one hand, it means that nothing will ever really raise someone's happiness level significantly over the long-term, which could be seen as a negative thing. On the other hand, the set range of happiness also means that individuals will also not drop significantly below their happiness level for long periods, which means that people tend to be resilient when circumstances change for the worse.
The other major facet of the set range of happiness has to do with what Seligman terms the "hedonistic treadmill," which is the phenomenon that constantly spurs people on to higher and higher levels of gain. Seligman discovered through his research that we become used to the things and situations we inhabit, so things that we once strived for can become boring once achieved, and we are constantly seeking higher and higher…… [Read More]
Reason in Promoting Happiness
John Kekes and Plato have argued the involvement of reasoning when it comes to the pursuit of a "true happiness." While both are proponents of elements of reason regarding the state of happiness, Kekes focuses on a much more subjective approach to reasoning and happiness. In his The Examined Life, Kekes defines happiness as a culmination of episodes leading up to an attitude, which he views as one's overall view of satisfaction in life. If one is satisfied by the degree of smaller elements -- or episodes -- of one's life, then one has accomplished a measure of happiness. To Kekes, happiness is a subjective emotion, one determined by one's views of one's life. In this respect, Kekes believes that a person's reasonable distinction between episodes allows the person to evaluate his or her attitude toward the degree of happiness. One satisfying episode does not ultimately…… [Read More]
Seligman's Authentic Happiness
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive
Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
Martin Seligman is a pioneer in the movement of "Positive Psychology." This new branch of research examines our ability to cultivate happiness. This ability is what Seligman calls "learned optimism" and is the basis for his bestselling book, Authentic Happiness. Seligman says that by focusing on our strengths and positive emotions as opposed to negative ones, we can bring about positive results in our lives. The traditional focus of psychology has been on pathologies and psychiatric illnesses. "For the last half century psychology has been consumed with a single topic only - mental illness."(p.xi). This focus has neglected the potential of human beings to create happiness and fulfillment in their lives. Seligman hopes that by introducing people to his "positive psychology," they may learn to appreciate and find contentment in their…… [Read More]
Psychology of Happiness
Analysis of "Flow: The psychology of optimal experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
In the book, "Flow: the psychology of optimal experience," author Mihaly Cszikszentmihalyi offers an alternative perspective in which to view how people have re-defined the concept of happiness and changed it according to the experiences of people at present. Now that we have a relatively higher level of comfort and ease in life, we have changed the way people measure and achieve happiness: while others try to look for it through material things, others still experience it without so much effort. This is the primary difference that Mihaly sets out in the first chapter of his book, people who achieve happiness without looking for it and those who were not able to achieve it even though they tried to.
In this paper, the researcher analyzes Mihaly's discussion of what sets out the 'happy' individual from the…… [Read More]
Further, warfare and poverty have all but been eliminated. But in order to have happiness, the people are dependent on government produced stimulation, including Soma and promiscuous sex. The reason for this is because this society lacks the staples of human identity and individuality, such as family, culture, art, literature, science, religion and philosophy.
n this sense, Huxley's utopia is an ironic, or false utopia as without individuality and happiness, society is not really a utopia. Thus, Socrates would agree with Huxley's underlying philosophy that true happiness is only possible through an expression of individuality. Without individuality, society is in fact a distopia.
This is a sentiment that Thoreau would agree with as the premise of his Walden Pond was to create a personal utopia through an expression of complete individuality. Thoreau's premise was that by depending on pure individuality one would experience true happiness. n order to accomplish this,…… [Read More]
Ever since this time, many in psychological and social science arenas have taken for granted that people go back to a relatively stable happiness set point, even after experiencing apparently life-changing dealings.
There have been a rising number of researchers who are questioning whether that set point really exists. Some have recommended that in spite of people's resiliency, they do not inevitably go back to a specific level of happiness. Others have suggested that psychologists also need to take into account environmental impacts on happiness. In either case, people may be able to make a mindful choice to advance their well-being.
The long-term joy of happiness is often thought to be a set point of cognition. People who want to become happier should think about centering on altering their circumstances instead of their frames of mind. There is a certain irony because the other facets of happiness that are not…… [Read More]
Happiness and Pleasure: Plato v. Aristotle
Happiness and pleasure are often used as easy synonyms. However, two of the major philosophers, perhaps the major philosophers of antiquity, that of Socrates and Aristotle make a strong distinction between the two concepts of pleasure and happiness. Socrates states that the natural impetus of all human beings is to seek pleasure. However, according to Socrates, true and sustained pleasure is only found in the happiness of the soul. In other words, merely feeling good is of little benefit, only the difficult process of finding knowledge about the world can give a human being a truly worthy, happy, and profitable life. The ultimate end or final good of human existence is eudaimonia, a kind of happiness that is the 'flourishing,' the fullest expression of the human mind. In contrast, sensual delight, such as the pleasure found in sexual desire, is only a very…… [Read More]
Living morally means that the soul will be balanced and there are no extraneous factors interfering with what one thinks is right and wrong. This equilibrium is what some define as happiness.
Some individuals might look at this and think that it is not necessary to live by any moral code in order to be happy, and that might be true for that specific person, but what one has to always think about is that no matter what an individuals' beliefs are, every action affects those around you. One person's happiness could interfere with another's, and so it is important to always keep that in mind. Happiness is something felt internally, and although extraneous factors such as having money and luxury might momentarily bring a happy thought or two across someone mind, true happiness is brought when one lives by a moral code.
In all, moral behavior does bring happiness.…… [Read More]
However, Gilbert fails to adequately demonstrate this trait as universal. His other postulations are better-grounded than the concept of presentism for this reason.
On page 123 in his Jetsons-like vision of the future, he mentions FedEx. This is an example of a situation where presentism does not exist. The company was not founded to expand on an existing concept; it was founded to build an entirely new vision from the ground up. You can see this when radically-new governments replace old ones, as occurred with the Communist takeover of Cuba or the fundamentalist takeover of Iran. Gilbert's theory of presentism fails to account for the many occurrences in history where the future is envisioned as something radically different than the present. Moreover, these radically different visions can also come true, as was the case for FedEx and Iran, albeit not for Cuba. Examples like these run against his theory that…… [Read More]
ina Shum's 1994 movie Double Happiness combines cultural and parental friction with a touching coming of age story. Jade Li (Sandra Oh) is a young Chinese-Canadian who struggles to distance herself from her father's traditional set of values without becoming totally ostracized like her brother, who was disowned by their overbearing parents. Jade's father expects a lot from her: in his eyes Jade should be the ideal Chinese daughter, obedient and malleable to his image of her. Instead, Jade's creative energy and vivacious spirit help her blend well into Canadian culture. Her desire to be an actress widens the gap between her and her father. Their already strained relationship threatens to fall apart completely when she falls in love with a Caucasian man. Her forbidden romance and her forbidden career ambitions force Jade to ultimately choose between her family's wishes and her own.
ina Shum illustrates the father-daughter…… [Read More]
The men had returned from the war, Americans were buying homes and putting all their energies in to building a nest for the family filled with all sorts of creature comforts. The female form reflected these comforts: it was round and healthy. On the other hand, the 1960s and 1970s signaled the rampant winds of change; while some people attribute it primarily to the debut of Twiggy, the skinny supermodel of the era other reasons are relevant to examine as well: "popular during the 1960's because of the increasingly popularity of self-expression and women's rights movements during this time that allowed women to shed clothes and bare more body. Being thin allowed them to comfortably wear clothes like the mini-skirt, which maybe at that time stood for some sort of freedom and self-expression. Being thin and shedding weight may have given some women the ability to feel better about themselves.…… [Read More]
films (The Pursuit happiness the Soloist) Discuss similarities 2 characters commenting upbringing, determination skills Contrast persons experience poverty, commenting external internal factors, systems place hurt, attitudes money, strengths weaknesses character hat criminal acts person commit viewed society differently ? hy Not? Note symbolism movies ( racoons Soloist ) Discuss stereotypes poor people.
The Pursuit of Happyness and The Soloist
The masses are obsessed with the concept of a journey of self-discovery and about events that make it possible for people to progress significantly. Gabriele Muccino and Joe Right have both gone at discussing this topic in their films, The Pursuit of Happyness, and, respectively, The Soloist. The central characters in these films, Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness) and Nathaniel Ayers (The Soloist) both experience significant problems as a result of poverty and as a result of their inability to adapt properly. The two films are meant to provide viewers…… [Read More]
According to both testimonials and statistics, educated people report higher levels of personal happiness and job satisfaction. In her book, Nickel and Dimed, comfortably wealthy author Barbara Ehrenreich reports being taken out for a "$30 lunch and some understated French country-style place" and discussing "future articles I might write for [the editor of Harpoer's] magazine" (1). It is lunching with this editor from Harpers that she decides to take on a monumental task: leaving her posh environment and working in a blue collar job in order to prove, or not prove, that such one can get by making so little.
It is not only her work, but also her ability to take on such a task that proves the importance of education in both personal happiness and job satisfaction. Here, in the first few lines of the introduction, Ehrenreich alludes to her education and the choices it has allowed her…… [Read More]
Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Happiness
Nature vs. Nurture
How happy we feel is determined both by our genetic makeup and the way we live our lives. A significant body of research has shown that close ties to family and friends may overcome a genetic disinclination towards feelings of happiness and well-being. There are other steps that individuals can take to improve how happy they feel, including improving diet, exercise, spiritual practices, and cognitive therapy. Science may have thus provided enough options that any genetic shortcoming towards feeling happiness may have become irrelevant.
Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Happiness
Nature vs. nurture is a way of contrasting the genetic and environmental contributions to an individual's personality, disposition, and behavioral repertoire (The Open University, 2007, p. 104). Although the term 'nature vs. nurture debate' is still used today, it isn't much of a debate any longer. Countless genetic and behavioral studies…… [Read More]
Perseverance Is the Key to Happiness and Success
People in today's culture are experiencing tremendous challenges because we live in a fast-paced world. Throughout all endeavors, everyone desires to be successful and happy in spite of challenges. Due to the desire to be successful, individuals have become preoccupied with family, school and work as they struggle to maintain balance. hile some remain focused and achieve success and happiness across their pursuits, others give up because of discouragements and never achieve their goals. This begs the question, "what is the key to success and happiness in life?" As evident in the lives of those who achieve their goals, perseverance not only breeds success but also generates happiness. ithout perseverance, an individual cannot become successful or happy because he/she will lack the necessary values and courage required to thrive in the midst of challenges.
Garbriele Muccino illustrates the significance of perseverance in…… [Read More]
Path that Can Make You Happy
There are many people who are not happy in their life because they are binded to something that they do not really want. For instance, it is a common thing to know someone who is not happy in his job despite of the fact that it is in line with the kind of profession or study that he took during his school years. However, for some reasons like low salary or unagreeable company management, the person is unhappy with his job. Or, it is also common to know someone who is unhappy with what he does because he was just forced or was influenced by others (i.e. An unhappy student because his parents forced him to take a course he doesn't like).
I believe that one's level of happiness and satisfaction can be increased if he has the freedom to do whatever he likes…… [Read More]
Aristotle and Happiness
hat is the point of life? Happiness? Virtue? Power? All of these? The ancient Greek philosophers would have pushed us gently in the direction of virtue, although they would also have argued that both happiness and power derive from virtue and so the quest for a fulfilled life does not have to be seen in terms of a trade-off between doing good and doing well. This paper examines the perspective that Aristotle brings to bear on the (for Greeks) twinned concepts of happiness and virtue.
Aristotle's contributions to modern philosophy are substantial: He along with Plato was one of the two greatest intellectuals of ancient Greece, a civilization that produced hundreds of important intellectuals. Perhaps more even than Plato, the other most important Greek philosopher, helped to guide the course of estern philosophy (as well as science) as well as in many ways Islamic thought. Through the…… [Read More]
This example from Gilbert's book better illustrates our discussion of "constructivism" in class. As discussed, constructivism suggests that we actively construe much of our experience. The "reality" is filtered through our minds based on our wishes, expectations, goals, and mood. Also, what we believe to be real is a combination of reality (sensation) and how we interpret that reality (perception) ("Social Cognition"; "Constructing Reality: hat is and hat was"). hen Gilbert's respondents say that they would be devastated two years after the death of their child, they construct the future based on their mood and what they feel presently (Gilbert also refers to this as "presentism"). The thought of the death of their child affects their mood and their mood in turn influences their construction of the future (the "reality"). Their construction of the future is not totally inaccurate but is a combination of reality and their interpretations. As Gilbert…… [Read More]
The items are coded form 1= not at all to 7= a great deal. Two of the questions are:
In general, I consider myself not a very happy person (running the gamut to) a very happy person.
Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself: less happy (running the gamut to) more happy.
In order to most accurately and scientifically evaluate the effect of the differing variables, I will also closely scrutinize effects of other conditions in my life so as to ascertain that no stressors are occurring at the moment that may contaminate the study and raise or lower my happiness mood.
Being that this is a qualitative study, and that it will be difficult to bracket surrounding variables, I will use the phenomenological method to conduct this study. The phenomenological approach is best for understanding description of lived experience in regards to methods that include observation, interviews,…… [Read More]
Operational happiness is something that can be measured. For example, how many times a person laughs may be seen as a way to measure a person's happiness during a conversation. Although this is not a definitive indicator for actual happiness, it can be for operational happiness. In the United States for example, happiness is measured by financial success and having a spouse and children. When people are not in debt, have money to buy the things they need and want, and have a successful marriage with a child or two, which is America's idea of happiness. Income level, debt or lack thereof, and marriage and children can measure this of course. This is the individual measurement of operational happiness.
A country's entire measure of operational happiness could also follow along the same lines. Zero or little debt, a stable and updated infrastructure and a strong middle class. Countries like…… [Read More]
Furthermore, his choice to relate to his audience with humor and situations that they can understand allows him to tailor his argument to this audience. For example, Lewis sets out to show that the "right to happiness" is not considered a right in all matters, but only in sexual matters. He does this by suggesting that Clare, who was "rather leftist in her politics," would most likely take issue with someone who stated that "his happiness consisted in making money and he was pursuing his happiness," while pursuing money in a way that was harmful to others. Another example is his point that Clare might object to her friends' pursuit of happiness when that pursuit included "boxing her ears" (Lewis). Humor can also be found in Lewis's word choice and phraseology. For instance his statement that everything goes if "the object aimed at is 'four bare legs in a bed,"…… [Read More]
Freudian Reading of "The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber"
Diagnose Hemingway on the basis of the characters in Macomber. Freud felt that the work exemplified the author's mental state, so on the basis of the biography and the characters in the story, what might you conclude about Hemingway himself?
"The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is one of many of Ernest Hemingway's compelling and dense short stories. This paper will attempt to psychoanalyze Hemingway by critically reading and interpreting the themes, characters, and narrative of the short story. Hemingway was a man who was concerned with virility and masculinity as a writer and in his life. This story centers around a weak man married to a strong woman. Hemingway's female characters are often exceptionally alluring, but not because they are perfect or healthy. The women of Hemingway's stories and novels are imperfect, flawed, and often perceptibly…… [Read More]
Aristotle, happiness and pleasure was moderation and a middle action between two vices. . So, for example, modesty would be a virtue as it comes between two extremes or vices; egotism and low self-esteem. Another example would be working sensibly. The two vices of working would be overworking and laziness. The middle option would be working sensibly. This, according to Aristotle, is the correct choice of action. He said we should act in the right way, at the right time, in the right amount towards the right persons for the correct reasons:"...To experience these emotions [fear, courage, desire, anger, pity, and pleasure] at the right times and on the right occasions and toward the right persons and for the right causes and in the right manner is the mean or the supreme good, which is characteristic of virtue" (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II). Happiness, then, comes not at the end of…… [Read More]
Therefore, one should be mindful not to adopt even the superficial or apparently innocuous habits of non-Believers because they are dangerous in that respect. The second passage refers to the fact that relishing the inherent beauty and perfection of the Lord's laws provide a consolation and a safe refuge from sinful temptations.
The third and fourth passages go together and suggest that Believers must remember that any apparent benefits, advantages, or joys that come with sinful behavior or non-belief are illusory and transitory at best. They have no real value and do not last because they are like the chaff that cannot withstand the slightest breeze. Conversely, the benefits and value of true Belief in the Lord's laws and teachings are long-lasting, substantial, and fully capable of withstanding the strongest challenges, let alone mere winds that are sufficient to reveal the sinfulness of non-belief.
The fifth passage provides reassurance to…… [Read More]
Grief or loss can cause change -- force evolution, if you will, into the human ability for personal growth and self-actualization. Certainly grief is a human emotion; as much a part of us (Kubler-Ross, 2009). Psychologically, grief is a response to loss -- conventionally emotional, but also having physical, cognitive, social, philosophical, and even behavioral dimensions.
There are numerous theories about grief, some popularized, some scholarly, but all try to explain the "process" humans engender when dealing with loss. Even one of the more popularized, yet useful, theories, Kubler-Ross, though, states that the grief stages, "have evolved since their introduction, and they have been very misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss. There is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual…… [Read More]