Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Contrary to popular belief, being abundantly happy can cause suffering as well as sheer satisfaction. These days, people are being pressured into pursuing happiness to achieve ultimate success, which shouldn't be the case as one does not need a temporary mood to determine their levels of motivation to achieve their goals in life. Enthusiasm and ambition is what should drive someone towards their aims in life.

If one were to go around and ask others what happiness was, they would receive a number of divergent responses. Happiness is subjective to what a person's experiences are and what they have been through in life, rather than objective as one may argue.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves" is a famous quote by Aristotle, which is self explanatory in it's meaning, however, it states that what you find happiness in is solely down to yourself. Different people have different perceptions of happiness, this is due to the mere fact that happiness doesn't have a definition, it isn't measurable. Giving happiness a definition would limit it's true meaning, it would put a restriction to people's perceptions on the subject.

There is a consensus on what happiness is, however, what people lack to understand is that happiness isn't what it is deemed to be. In reality, it is an illusion that lures you into the false perceptions of life. Happiness is not measured by material worth or status symbol, as some may believe. It can, however, cause a person to become gullible, selfish and in some cases unsuccessful in life. On the contrary, people who have the tendency to show more anger, resentment or sadness are those who are critical in analysing, those who seem to be more attentive to the minor details in life, who are particularly meticulous to society and are, in fact, more motivated to reach their goals.

Research by Ed Diener, psychologist, also known as "Mr Happiness" for his research in the field of subjective well-being, endorses this whole idea as he stated “Once a moderate level of happiness is achieved, further increases can sometimes be detrimental.” His research to support this was written by him in the 'Journal Perspectives on Psychological Science' which stated that “On a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is extremely happy, 8’s were more successful than 9’s and 10’s, getting more education and earning more.” This in itself speaks volumes and again, validates my point.

I would like to finish off by saying that one should not aim for total sadness in order to achieve success, instead they should consider balancing their moods which may motivate them into achieving something in life, rather than striving for complete and utter happiness, which may give the mind the impression that they are perfect as they are and don’t need to endeavour any further. One should always move forward, no matter what. On that note, I'd like to leave you with this quote, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward” – Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. I agree. Abundance of anything, whether it's sadness or happiness, is not normal. The most important thing is that how one tackles the situations despite the moods they're going through.

    1. Very true. Like they say, excess of everything is bad.

  2. I think this post is very interesting, because when I think of the concept of happiness, it isn't synonymous to the feeling of happiness. Aristotle considered happiness to be "eudaimonia," which translates to "living a flourishing life." And he definitely did also believe that living a flourishing life involved having a balance in emotions as sadness and joy. I kind of follow Aristotle's point of view and see happiness as living life to its fullest. Society has kind of twisted things because our response to "How are you?" is usually "Good." It's obviously not true and I think it definitely reflects what you're saying. Lots of people these days are pursuing happiness the feeling, not happiness the concept.


    1. I'd definitely have to agree with the idea of society twisting things and just responding for the sake of it, not actually thinking about what they are saying. They are and you know, they aren't to blame when they put their happiness in materialistic items which are definitely not satisfying enough to grasp the whole concept of happiness. Thank you for sharing your views.