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How Can You Define Happiness? Essay

922 words - 4 pages

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same (Anne Frank). In the classes recent readings we went over Chapter 2, “Happiness Can It Be Defined?” in our handbook America Now. The major issue of this chapter is what happiness is all about and how people define their happiness. This chapter drew my attention right away because I am all about being happy. When it comes down to it, we all want to be able to feel as though at the end of our lives, we lived happily on Earth. Based on the issue, happiness is considered to be very important in life, but it is so difficult to define. What factors are important in achieving happiness, and why are people in today’s society so misguided in their pursuits of happiness?
It would appear that the feeling of happiness is the main goal in life that we strive for on an everyday basis. If you go to a number of random individuals and ask how they live a good and happy life, you would get a different answer from each person. Most people are bound to say that they are still striving for their happiness. That it is an everyday struggle to maintain happiness throughout life. Some may question, how can happiness be defined because of all the different ways and things that make people happy. For some the American dream is what will make them happy and that takes hard work and persistence. In the beginning of that dream is a struggle, but it is possible. Everyone is different and has different perspectives of this so-called “happiness”. Happiness is individualized, situational, and can also be defined as unique. A lot of people can experience depression because they are unhappy. We work so hard, refrain ourselves from enjoyment and distractions, in the pursuit of happiness. However, what does it really mean to be happy in life? And what is the significant aspect in achieving this?
Happiness is hard to define because no matter what, as human beings we do not settle for what we have, we always want more. In one of the short essays written by Adriana Barton, she quoted Victoria Medvec, “On average, bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists.” (Barton 83) Then naturally the question of “How could someone in third place be happier than someone in second.” Well, from others experience being in third place is such a great feeling because nine times out of ten the athletes were not even expecting to be in the top eight. On the other hand, when people come in second they have that “if only” feeling. That feeling is doubt and judgment; “Only if I would have ran faster, jumped higher, or...

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