Instructor: Mary Seel
23 October 2014
What Are the Factors That Lead to Happiness?
Where does happiness begin? Happiness comes from us; perhaps, it is an inner product of our consciousness, and mind forms happiness. Besides, happiness may be the ideal of imagination, the dream that fills life with sense. Happiness can also arise from the light side of human nature - the best qualities and moral principles. So factors leading to happiness can be various, but one of them is definite. Publius Ovidius Naso, or simply Ovid, a Roman poet, said that a happy person is one who protects his beloved. I totally agree – we get true happiness only if we love and take care about who we love. Love is the most powerful and only one true source of happiness. True love leads us to nothing but happiness; and happiness can be found with the best forms of love – love to family, friendship, and passion for work. From ancient times the question “What leads to happiness?” was extremely vital and relevant for people; and as times goes, different and even discordant answers appear. So what are the real sources of happiness? What sources of happiness can be applicable for everyone, or at least for most people? It is interesting to look at modern specialists and essayists’ opinions – where can people find happiness today?
The true contents of happiness are stated in the article “A Formula for Happiness” by Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks states that people realize life and view happiness depending on genes, one-time events and basic values: faith, family, community and work. He pays special attention to the last one. According to Brooks, meaningful work and success considered as passion can make people happier. Brooks cites as an example Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words: “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it Yablonskaya 2
lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort” (Brooks 2). “In other words, the secret to happiness through work is earned success” – Brooks adds further. (Brooks 2) Many people consider work as the source of happiness, but for some unclear reasons they fail to find happiness and wonder what they do wrong. Usually they think it is because they work and earn not really much. The truth is that they look for pleasure got from work not in the right way. The value of success is not in material result, it is in improving skills and mastering. Then, Brooks broadens this idea with the phrase: “You can measure your earned success in any currency you choose. You can count it in dollars, sure — or in kids taught to read, habitats protected or souls saved.” It is the great view of success; with such an approach, success will become happiness indeed. Richard Schoch, a cultural critic, in his essay “A Critique of Positive Psychology”, assumes work as the obvious source of happiness. He states that “Work itself—challenging, rewarding and secure employment—also contributes greatly to happiness” (Schoch 451). In fact, it would be strange if successful work could not lead to happiness. Work takes the large part of everyone’s life; being passionate about work, loving it, seeing use of work for society, getting positive results from work – all these are powerful sources of bright emotions and happiness. When a person puts all the efforts and then gets the benefits of it, he or she realizes that life has sense. It definitely makes people happy.
Meaningful work and success are the most accessible sources of happiness as they depend on person’s skills and qualities. The next factor leading to happiness involves people. Person can reach the state of the highest happiness if he or she gives love for other people; love is the talent and art, and the hard task to manage. The best demonstration of love is help and care. The article “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy; Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right” by Elizabeth W....
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