We are all living in the best and most opportune era that humanity has ever seen. If you live in a developed country in the West, then you have everything you could ever ask for — awesome food choices, great income, cleaner air, and thanks to technology, the ability to live an incredible lifestyle and stay better informed than any previous generation on the planet. Yet, in spite of all the wealth, convenience and comfort, there’s one important thing that eludes most of us: happiness.
Here’s the harsh truth: Countless people in the Western part of the world are unhappy with their personal and professional lives. Many people choose to roll up their sleeves and start looking for solutions to this lack of contentment they experience on a day-to-day basis, and several others take the backseat and never even find it.
Have you ever wondered why we humans give so much importance to happiness and hold it in such high regard? For instance, so many people let go of their high-paying jobs and instead choose to live a meaningful life and pursue something they’re truly passionate about, to experience more joy in their lives. This is because happiness is a noble pursuit — it’ll always be the ultimate goal in a human’s life.
Even if certain people do things to attain fame, wealth, power, status, prestige or any other external goal, in the end, all these objectives are nothing but avenues to get on the supreme path — the path to happiness. Let’s say a person wants money to perform skydiving in different locations around the world and buy all the necessary gear and equipment. In that scenario, money for her is simply an instrument to help her do the activity that’ll make her happy.
David Hume, the British philosopher from the eighteenth century, remarked that whether it be arts, science, engineering, commerce, or law, all human pursuits exist with a singular goal: to enable people to achieve happiness. If we dig deeper, we’ll find that happiness and success are deeply intertwined and feed on each other. Many researchers such as Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King and Ed Diener have reported happy people attract greater success and do well in all areas of life, whether it be health, finances, business or relationships.
But what exactly causes them to be successful? It might be because happy people are naturally optimistic and see the world as an opportune place. Their positive outlook helps them create better circumstances for themselves, which leads them to having more favorable outcomes as compared to others. So, whether you look at happiness as an end goal or as a step to attract greater success, there are no two ways about the fact that it’s a worthwhile pursuit.
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