You and I, and so many other people know what make us happy. We bear hard things, we hit the books, we work our fingers to the bone, just to grab some moments of pleasure, satisfaction and happiness.
Relationships. Wealth. Fame. Food. Travel. To name a few.
Different people may have different kind of experience but we know very well what make us happy and we all want to pursue it.
Is happiness our biggest goal we should aim for? Happiness is momentary, it comes and goes. We have drown ourselves into an endless loop of seeking, feeling and losing happiness. That’s why pursuing happiness often makes us unhappy and unsatisfied instead.
Some people may say that they want to seek for joy, because joy lives as the innate ability and lasts with us on our way of experiencing the world. Some, as their ultimate purpose, may look at peace, faithfulness, or even mindfulness. But again, is it enough?
The positive psychologists have distinguished between the hedonic happiness, the pursuit of pleasure as we have just discussed, and the eudaimonic happiness, the pursuit of a deep sense of purpose. Eudaimonia is a concept of Aristotle, a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. In Aristotelian philosophy, eudaimonia is seen as the highest good for human beings. By having a deep sense of purpose, one has an extraordinary capacity to lead a virtual life, to do what is worth doing, and be able to overcome great adversity, even in survival case.
Thus, bear in mind that your Why, your ultimate purpose in life, isn’t something hedonic, and it shouldn’t be. Instead, it is something that truly matters. Something meaningful. Something extraordinary. Something that is bigger than yourself.
I wrote an article about the biggest question of mankind: “Do you know your Why?” which I addressed this eudaimonic problem and even introduced an interesting method for you to know your own answer.
“You don’t become happy by pursuing happiness. You become happy by living a life that means something,” Harold S. Kushner.
In some people’s belief, the eudaimonic Why is always bigger than one’s self. Those people always seek for high-quality relationships, in which they serve as the “givers” to the outside world. This belief relates to the feeling of one’s connection to God, to Mother Nature, or to the universe.
The base for rebuilding society begins with you and the way you and I and everyone else thinks and the decisions each one of us makes. They all reflect in our self awareness, how we treat our neighbors, our friends, our workmates, and the people we pass on the street every day. Like throwing a pebble in a pond, the ripples begin and gently drift outwards, touching the lives of thousands of people you may never meet.
Write a comment below about your eudaimonic happiness, share with us your meaningful moments. I’d love to hear it.
Or are you still on your way to find it? Check out my ebook for a method to know your Why.