Happiness and the good life essay

To many, the good life is a financially prosperous life, and happiness lies in the possession of wealth. A good life is made up of hobnobbing with the right people in the right settings, and happiness is a matter of gaining respect.

Happiness and the good life essay

Support Aeon Donate now Parents often say: When we lose a sense of meaning, we get depressed. What is this thing we call meaning, and why might we need it so badly?

Happiness and the good life essay

To be sure, happiness and meaningfulness frequently overlap. Perhaps some degree of meaning is a prerequisite for happiness, a necessary but insufficient condition. If that were the case, people might pursue meaning for purely instrumental reasons, as a step on the road towards happiness.

But then, is there any reason to want meaning for its own sake? The difference between meaningfulness and happiness was the focus of an investigation I worked on with my fellow social psychologists Kathleen Vohs, Jennifer Aaker and Emily Garbinsky, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology this August.

We carried out a survey of nearly US citizens, ranging in age from 18 to The survey posed questions about the extent to which people thought their lives were happy and the extent to which they thought they were meaningful. We did not supply a definition of happiness or meaning, so our subjects responded using their own understanding of those words.

By asking a large number of other questions, we were able to see which factors went with happiness and which went with meaningfulness. As you might expect, the two states turned out to overlap substantially.

Almost half of the variation in meaningfulness was explained by happiness, and vice versa. We narrowed our search to look for factors that had opposite effects on happiness and meaning, or at least, factors that had a positive correlation with one and not even a hint of a positive correlation with the other negative or zero correlations were fine.

Using this method, we found five sets of major differences between happiness and meaningfulness, five areas where different versions of the good life parted company. The first had to do with getting what you want and need. Not surprisingly, satisfaction of desires was a reliable source of happiness.

People are happier to the extent that they find their lives easy rather than difficult. Happy people say they have enough money to buy the things they want and the things they need.

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Good health is a factor that contributes to happiness but not to meaningfulness. Healthy people are happier than sick people, but the lives of sick people do not lack meaning. The more often people feel good — a feeling that can arise from getting what one wants or needs — the happier they are.Happiness can be attained if a person leads a good life.

The term a good life may be interpreted in many different ways, but ultimately a good life must be lead. Then and only then is happiness attained.

To truly reach full happiness you need to recognize that everything in your life if good and accept that you can be happy with individuals that help shape your life. Many people feel as if they are unable to live without many of their precious belongings but, some would be happy to give them up or throw them away.

So many disasters befall those who pursue a good life with no moral core, or reflective turn of mind, that it makes some sense, as philosophers argue, to pursue the wisdom to recognize the good life, and, within that life, such happiness human beings can attain.

Aristotle, Happiness and the Good Life. 5 Pages Words December Saved essays Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly! Throughout this essay, their works will be compared and contrasted to give clear argument to the meaning a good life for humans. Humans, their characteristics and their activities can be evaluated in relation to the parts they play in human life (Meyers-Levy, ).

Some people believe that the happiness is the good goal in life. But, other people do not think happiness is the good goal in life because there are some other factors can affect the happiness such as trust, satisfaction with job, satisfaction with family's life, marriage, etc.

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