Ancient philosophers' writings on happiness can be found. Hedonism, which derives from the Greek philosopher Aristippus, seeks to increase pleasure (such as a pleasant mood) while minimizing suffering (e.g., negative emotion).
The "feeling good" component of happiness is the focus of hedonism. When taken to its logical conclusion, it might mean the pursuit of pleasure and doing anything you want to get there. For instance, Aristippus lived a life of sensuous pleasure and did whatever to further that goal. He had numerous affairs, relished good dining and aged wines, and showed little regard for the social norms observed in Greece at the time. What might this look like in current life, given that he is the extreme of hedonism?
Hedonism can take many different forms, and some examples are as follows:
One other concept for understanding happiness is eudaimonia, which combines the terms eu (good) and daimon (happy) (spirit). According to the definition, eudaimonia is "a life well lived" or "human flourishing."
This strategy has its roots in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, which emphasizes the philosophical foundations of happiness (translated by Irwin, 1985). Aristotle emphasizes in this work the importance of acts of virtue, which include making the right decisions, in achieving eudaimonia. The "doing good" component of happiness is the main focus of eudaimonia.
Eudaimonia, according to Aristotle, is the "pursuit of virtue, excellence, and the finest within us." According to Aristotle, leading a life that is in line with virtues will lead to happiness. These ideas were first presented in Nichomachean Ethics, where he outlines the procedures for obtaining eudaimonia:
"The pursuit of eudaimonia is the life. In order to excel in life, one must push themselves to its absolute limits. A life that is eudaimonic will be rich in the joy that comes from overcoming a significant challenge rather than just receiving everything you want. The model of psychological well-being is one of the most widely utilized approaches to understanding happiness and well-being. The concept of psychological well-being put forth by Carol Ryff in 1989 attempts to encompass all potential contributing factors in life. Six essential components make up her model. You can see a sample item from her scale for each in brackets.
Even if you've learned a lot about eudaimonia, you could still require additional guidance. Here are some concrete actions you may take to encourage eudaimonia:
1. Be clear about your values and uphold them.
Each of us holds distinct values. When something is truly important to you, do your best to stick with it regardless of what others think. Additionally, this will make you feel more authentic.
2. List your most important objectives.
I realize that this seems like a difficult task but bear with me. This isn't your typical professional objective, and this isn't where you envision yourself in 20 years. These objectives correspond to your essential values. They may be connected to your profession, for sure, but think about it at a broader level.
3. Refine your Skills and capabilities.
Whatever your identity, you are skilled at something. You possess qualities that can aid in your goal-achieving. Perhaps you have an excellent ear for music, are detail-oriented, or are skilled at offering advice. Whatever it is, concentrate your efforts on honing the talents that make you happy.
4. Prefer Quality over Quantity of Relationships.
Although it may seem obvious, social relationships are really important for well-being. As you begin new chapters in your life, you will undoubtedly develop new relationships, but don't forget to prioritize the people who are most important to you. This can be as easy as giving them your gratitude or calling them occasionally to see how they're doing. Additionally, when relationships stop benefiting us, it may be appropriate to end them.
5. Carry forth your actual desires.
As you have learned, you may choose to do something because it will benefit you personally (intrinsic motivation) or because it will benefit others (i.e., extrinsic motivation). Find activities you enjoy doing rather than just those you must. Yes, there are many obligations and activities that are intrinsically driven in life, but even a small number of enjoyable side interests can be beneficial in the long term.
6. Be loyal to yourself and genuine.
Have you ever said something or done anything after feeling a little bit out of "yourself"? Me too. We've all experienced them. It is uncomfortable because it seems as though you are lying to yourself. It makes sense that "authenticity" would play such a significant role in eudaimonia.
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