I’ve been focusing on happiness lately, but today I wonder if I need to make my message a little. Happiness, by itself, can be damaging. It can create a self-serving person who is only interested in themselves and that can lead to unhappiness and depression. I am not advocating that for anyone, including myself.
But, I think many people have allowed their job/career, family, and responsibilities to add stress to their lives in an unhealthy way.
In The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote: “that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights – that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today, I decided to look into other writer’s insights about “why we should look for happiness.” I was surprised that I found several blog posts that were against pursuing happiness.
Let me share with you.
“Happiness is not enough: Why a Life Without Meaning Will Make You Sick” by Belle Beth Cooper explores the idea that happiness alone is dangerous. That we, as humans, need meaning in our lives as well. What she does suggest is that we work to create a balance between happiness and meaning in our lives.
Frank Martela writes about the dangers of pursuing happiness in all the wrong places and how pursuing happiness can be dangerous.
I felt a little more hopeful about happiness when I read Scott H. Young’s article “Should You Strive to Live Happily or To Live Good?” In his article, he links living good and living well, the trap of happiness-oriented living, but that virtues matter and happiness is a virtue.
While three articles that seem to argue against happiness may not seem many to most of you, the researcher in me wants to look for more. So, I continued to search.
I found the blog “Happy Sis: Learning How to Be Happy Daily. “One of Glee’s articles, “Why You Should Not Pursue Happiness”, addresses why people should not pursue happiness. In her article, she points out the wide variety of definitions for happiness, and that one day you may be happy and the next day sad.
But the article that resounded the strongest with me was written by Angel Chernoff on her blog “Marc & Angel Hack Life.” Her article addressed the mistakes we make when trying to pursue happiness, but at the end, she talks about the secret to a fulfilling life.