Free «The Happiness Hypothesis» Essay Sample

As Shakespeare once put it, "There is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so" was right because in our daily dwellings, we do encounter important ideas that can bring great and positive impacts in our lives but in most cases, we assume the ideas rather than implementing them only to discover later that whatever we rubbished before could have bared some fruits in our lives by bringing happiness. This essay tries to look upon Jonathan's discovery about happiness and how to achieve it using the greatest ideas he has discovered.

Happiness can never be seen as a right but it can be viewed as having good contacts and relations or virtues between you with the surrounding. With this, what is meant is that, starting from your inner self and others, your work and anything of more importance in life because without the above, one may live in a miserable life with no happiness at all. In his book "The Happiness Hypothesis", Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, holding a Ph.D in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania with training in cultural psychology tries to look deeply into the social psychology, the existence of a behavior combined with emotions that are important to once true happiness, fulfillment and the meaning of life by observing the most important aspects that are meant to determine the moral behavior of a person compared with their in-built cultures, cultures of liberal and conservativeness are part and parcel in his research especially in the modern behavioral science (Haidt, 2010). The book expresses the good virtues in a person and the culture where one belongs, sound scientific advises which represents the wisdoms of the old and modern ages.



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With his success about the psychological ideas which comes from his observation, Jonathan Haidt has become a source of inspiration to many who are seeking the virtue of happiness in their daily lives. To be appreciated for contributing much towards happiness, Jonathan has been given some rewards for his active role in the psychology contribution this are the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology, four awards for his teaching and the Outstanding Faculty Award bestowed by the Governor of the State of Virginia, Mark Warner.

Since happiness is a tool that never comes from within, in his book "The Happiness Hypothesis", Jonathan discovers that a human mind is divided into parts of which at times, they conflict in terms of consciousness and the implicit process. This thinking goes hand in hand with life metaphors which do control our lives. For one to know where the mind belongs or the conflicting side, re-examining or diagnosing yourself is the key thing to ones discovery because the two conflicts acts like a rider on the back of an elephant, of which a persons mind has got certain capabilities of thinking of which most of them are limited. This can be compared with the little tasks the elephant does after training. Nevertheless, earlier discovery or evaluation of oneself can improve the thinking capability of a person hence development of greatest ideas that can be shared to bring positive impact to our cultures and the surroundings at large. One needs to conquer with the Buddha saying that "Our life is the creation of our mind" by positively utilizing the idea by coming up with new greatest ideas. With this in place, three techniques towards happiness can be implemented. This is a combination of the ancient one and most probably the recent double ideas.

Interaction with others is an important matter because we need to live in a society full of love, friendship and among us is the family. When the society is unhappy, it also impacts you by making you unhappy and vice versa. Being alone can be considered to be seen as isolation from others or isolating yourself from others. However, as the Golden Rule states, "Reciprocity is the most important tool for getting along with people." This shows the spirit of interacting with the surrounding through sharing of ideas, things and many more. This contributes happiness in a person. According to the logarithm of the human brain size, people are meant to grow in groups of 150 (Derek Siver, 2010) of which sharing ideas through these groups maybe by story-telling can be of great importance to one part in search a way that one gets an ideas of which he didn't have knowledge about.

Even though social interaction can be seen to be a contributing factor towards happiness, some people tend to assume this interaction. A few follow the golden rule and others will wish to go against it because they want to benefit themselves from your reciprocity. Then one wonders with this trend, where the happiness does come from. Here one need to be smart by using whatever positive knowledge he has gained however it is believed that such advantage won't last for long. It is also believed that the happiness that emerges from within can be of greatest importance even though it all depends on the conditions of life around you. This idea of within tends to conquer with the Buddha and Stoics saying which says, "Happiness comes from within, and happiness comes from without." But to achieve this, the use of ancient wisdom combined the latest modern wisdom can live a legacy.

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Conditions of human growth are another way towards happiness. People grow in many diversities whereby there are those who grow in a life full of dilemmas while there are those who know how to cope with life. To avoid people living in such lives, imposing good virtues to the society can contribute greatly to the moral of the society. It is this moral that has changed morality over the centuries in a society (Silver, 2010). Persons living in an environment where there are negative virtues are not likely to enjoy the happiness the society offers to them because of them being involved in some activities which may instill some fear in them. Nevertheless, it should be noted that good virtues cultivated can be a reward towards our morality.

To sum it up, true meaning of life is important. All this depends with the seriousness and objectives one has in life. With good meaning, behind it, there is the purpose of living and the fulfillment in life. Monthy Python tries to describe the meaning of life as "Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try to live in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations" of which Jonathan Haidt in his book "The Happiness Hypothesis" tend to disagree by observing it as empty or mundane because it keeps on repeating itself even though it conquers with Monthy Python's wisdom that was their during the time of Christ about the meaning of life.

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With all the above, the book seems to be more fascinating than expected with most questions asked by Jonathan himself and answered. Jonathan Haidt has tried to tackle what can bring happiness and what cannot. He uses his wisdom to encourage whoever reads the book be great thinkers of great ideas. Throughout his book, "The Happiness Hypothesis" he observes from the ancient wisdom and philosophy to what the modern psychology entails. That is from Marcus Aurelius through to cognitive therapy and Prozac, never forgetting the Stoics, Shakespeare and even the Bible of which to some he contradicts with them while others he conquers with them.

In the conclusion, according to the book, no single person is given the right to be happy and can never be the shallow state of feelings that can bring happiness to you, but happiness is all about the good interaction with people that surround you, good virtues in your morals, knowing the true meaning of life, challenges, evaluating yourself through you growth and development (Haidt, 2006). Jonathan Haidt says for one to be happy, one needs to combine both the ancient wisdoms with the latest psychology. With this in mind, one is able to come with ideas that can remain a legacy in many people's minds for a long time. This can inspire one to aspire in achieving true goals and objectives of true meaning of life. "The Happiness Hypothesis" can only come from between.


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