Essay Title: The Significance of Happiness
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be”
— Abraham Lincoln
Former US president Abraham Lincoln defines happiness as the way a person makes up his/her mind to be. Numerous attempts of disciplines like philosophy, psychology and religious studies have put forward their verdict on happiness. Analyzing the various perspectives, we are going to deduce what happiness feels like in real life.
Famous Benedictine nun and psychologist Sister Joan Chittister proposes that happiness cannot be quantified by the amount of success one enjoys; rather it is a quality that can be pursued.
Living in a modern era, we often measure happiness through our comfort and convenience. An urban socialite will define happiness as a “material” that can be purchased through money. Moreover, happiness and pleasure are the two significant sensations that are completely misinterpreted, somewhere lost in the materialistic world; we lack the ability to distinguish between the two words.
According to some eminent philosophers, pleasure is a temporary sense of gratification, even though at times, it is mistaken as a permanent feeling. The other way round, happiness is build up of experiences that bring an overwhelming feeling of contentment in our souls.
From a psychological point of view, the feeling of happiness varies from one person to other. A number of researches and studies have been conducted to try and find out the common events that characterize the feeling of happiness.
Theories on positive psychology depict human nature explaining their happiness on the accomplishment of goals, recognition in society and engagement in challenging activities. In addition, a number of studies have been conducted to realize the connection between happiness and religion. According to the teaching of non-theistic religion ‘Buddhism’, happiness can be achieved if we learn to overcome all forms of need.
A Survey performed by Lachman and Koshmin (1993), citation in the Handbook of Religion and Health, shows that people belonging to some form of religion are happier than those who do not belong to any religious section. Highly religious people are likely to be more contented in life, motivated and evade all the negatives. Often, people are seen to describe happiness on getting a lucrative job, lavish lifestyle and successful relationships. Control over thoughts can significantly change our attitude towards life and happiness. Thoughts materialize! So, we should learn to think positively and be careful about pessimistic and cynical attitude as a result of negative thinking.
However, from the above presented arguments, it can be deducted that the feeling of happiness is abstract that can be described in various ways. To be precise, the true feeling of happiness is beyond measure. Happiness can be better defined as sentiment that consumes us with infinite gratitude and contentment. However, being a variable determinant, happiness depends upon the individual prospect and choice as to how you feel it.
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