I recently found out my sister, a professor, teaches a course on living well and happiness. This doesn’t really shock me, because I see my sister as a very happy person. Sure she has her struggles, but she deals with them and moves on (sometimes she holds a grudge, but for the most part she moves on). She has a beautiful family, I am pretty sure she loves her job. She is healthy and fit and generally has a good outlook on things, though she can be a bit snarky and snooty at times. When it’s all said and done, I would have to say she has a full, rich and well balanced life! Love ya sis! =)
There are many definitions, but most agree that happiness is more than a mere “happy” smile with a giddy feeling. The most useful definition of happiness includes an overall sense of a content or satisfied life. Happiness is more than skin deep, more than a motivational self-help seminar and more than a shallow smile! Pretty vague definition, eh? (the eh is for my brother-in-law, he’s Canadian)
The concept of happiness is far from a new idea, though the past decade in America the “Happiness Movement” has exploded. If we go back about 2350 years or so, Aristotle came to the conclusion that everyone was in search of the highest good. A state of “eudaimonia” (“happiness”) and “eu zên” (“living well”). All things we do should direct us to this purpose. That sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? It’s pretty much the basis of most motivational speakers, self-help gurus, life coaches, snake oil merchants, Jack and his magic bean stalk beans (ok maybe that one is a far stretch) and the 20,000+ results when you search "happiness" on Amazon.
We will explore more on this later.....