Research Paper Help on My Guide to Happiness

My Guide to Happiness

            The phrase, “This is water” was used by Foster Wallace In His Own Words to illustrate that I have to keep reminding myself about the most essential and real aspects of life. This is to help me always remain aware and conscious of the most important aspects in life and therefore I need to keep reminding myself constantly (7).

            According to David Foster Wallace, I should believe that I am the absolute key of the world, and the most significant person who is in existence. I should know that I am the absolute centre of everything that is part of my experience, and therefore I should be able to have control over it (3). Other people’s thoughts and feelings may be channeled to me in a certain way, but it is my own thoughts and feelings that should be real, urgent, and immediate. He suggests the importance of seeing everything through my own perspective. He says people who are able to adjust their natural setting in this manner are said to be “well adjusted” which is a good thing and therefore I need to be “well adjusted” to be able to respond to various issues in life. The academic education that I have acquired will enable me to over intellectualize things, and get lost in abstract argument in my own head, instead of paying a lot of attention to what is going in front of me and concentrating on what is going on inside me. He says, “learning how to think means being able to control what and how one thinks. This implies that I should be conscious enough to choose what I pay attention to and how I construct meaning from my own experience. He quotes the old cliché that, “The mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master”. Thus, I should be able to choose to think positively to avoid loosing my own happiness. He states that, “One’s needs and feelings should determine the world’s priorities.” Therefore, I have ability to control my thinking; I can either choose to be irritated by many situations in my surrounding or I can also choose to stay positive and ensure that I remain happy (4).

He states that the true value of education is the ability of an individual to stay being “well adjusted”. I therefore have to decide what has to be given more meaning and what will not. He also states that, “Freedom is another secret to happiness; this freedom comes from discipline, awareness and attention”. I should have the ability to really care for others and be able to make sacrifices for others in all ways. It is of great importance to always stay aware of the most important things and real things, and I should always keep reminding myself about them (7).

            Happiness comes from taking life seriously such that I can die for people even the ones that I do not know. “Happiness is all about caring for other people; it’s all about enjoying life even in the most odd places and finding fun always. It’s living life as if I will never die” (Hikmet 3). I should always be happy irrespective of the sad situations that I may come across, since sometimes the earth “will grow cold”

 I have to enjoy every moment of life, even when things changes from what they used to be initially. When I will grow old and remember my younger years, I need to find happiness in the way my life has been. Life will always give me an opportunity to be thankful for what I have been through. Life will always give me an opportunity to be happy and rejoice at various stages of my life.

            I have learnt that the purpose of getting my college education is to be in a position to enjoy life. According to Socrates, “An Unexamined life is not worth living.” Tom Trevenen also states that “Happiness is not a goal, but a by- product of other, more substantial things.” I have learnt that even if what I have are good and happy days, I should always be hopeful that there are better days ahead of me. I can with care, thoughtfulness, kindness, and intelligence, make each decade of my life better than the one before it”. Life is worth living and if I do the right things, I am surely going to experience happiness. He also makes a pledge to learning “I pledge to myself and before others that I will never stop actively learning, never stop acquiring knowledge, and though I know this is extremely difficult thing to do, I will never stop questioning what I know and what I believe. In short, I promise to dedicate myself to Life- long learning.” This is a challenge to me to continue with the learning process, since in life there will always be something more to learn. This knowledge will bring fulfillment and thus happiness in my life.

            I have learnt that I should always look for ways to build confidence. I should not at all be swayed by the opinion of others, even if they are the majority. I should never follow the majority, just like the way sheep follow each other, since the opinion of the majority may be wrong. “Just because an opinion is supported by many does not make it right.” I have learnt that people should not act like sheep that just follow each other without thinking; we should be thinking people. Even the people in authority do not have to be necessarily right. If I believe the opinion I hold is right, I should be confident enough to hold that opinion even if I am the only person who believes it is right. He stated that most of the powerful people could be holding great positions and could have all they need but have inadequacies, such that most of them are rarely happy with their lives. I should therefore be motivated by the idea of searching for the truth. I should develop my own beliefs and hold on to them. I should always workout what I think and believe in and I should also scrutinize carefully; with this, I will be able to demonstrate logically what I believe in. I should also not listen to ideas that are not well thought of.

             Epicurus on Happiness – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness, He argued that, “we can all find ways to be happy; it’s only that we do not look for happiness in the right places”. I should not be guilty in seeking ways of living a pleasurable life. Money cannot solve all my problems since there is more to happiness than having money. Pleasure is the most important thing in life that we should seek. Sometimes we do not understand what we need to be happy. Friends are most essential source of happiness. Without friends to share and have fun, life may lack meaning. I should always have friends to make my life worthwhile. I should always have the company of friends to make me happy. Freedom is also another very important key to happiness and this mostly is financial freedom. I should seek for ways to gain financial freedom. This does not mean earning a lot, but having enough income for my own needs. In addition, I should consider having an analyzed life, whereby I should get time to reflect on the worries and anxieties of life. I need time for quiet thinking about our own life. “If you are happy, the more money you will accumulate, which may make life even better” (Epicurus, 2012).

             Psychologist Ed Diener describes happiness as what Psychologists refer to “subjective well-being” as a combination of life fulfillment and having more good feelings than bad ones. Martin Seligman, one of the leading researchers in positive psychology, describes happiness as having three parts: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Pleasure is the “feel good” part of being happy Engagement describes living as “good life” in terms of occupation, friends and hobbies. Meaning consists of making use of our strengths to make a greater purpose. Among the three components, engagement and meaning bring the greatest difference in living a fulfilled life. I can measure my state of happiness by determining when it increases or decreases as an individual, I can be able to determine this from my feelings (McGee, 2). Happiness involves a combination of daily positive feelings and a world sense that life is important.

            Money may ruin relationships that were good initially, since it makes people become selfish and antisocial. This is because most People use money on the wrong things. To find happiness using money, I need to spend it on other people especially in charitable activities. “When we spend time on other people we tend to find more fulfillment than when we spend it on ourselves.” We fail to get happiness since we do not spend money in the right ways (Norton, 2012).

            We may look at people and think they are very satisfied with life and are happy, but deep within their hearts, they got issues they could be struggling with. We could even admire them for the way we see them satisfied with life. This may shock us when we hear of a terrifying story like the way Richard went home and shot himself in the head (Robinson, 2). Thus, happiness is more than we can be able to see from the physical and therefore I should appreciate my own life as it is

Happiness comes from what we already have and thus what we get later will not make us happier than we already are. The more one pays attention to self does not make one any happier; in fact, it just ends up in misery. If I want to be happy, I should forget about myself. “The people who do not focus much on themselves but focus on helping others are the happiest in the world.” The world needs my participation; there are numerous people out there in the world that needs my help. “The hearts of happiness is in how we cared and were cared for by others and how we helped and were helped by others”. We should strive to make the world a better place and our lives will be worthwhile; when we make our lives worthwhile, we will be happy (Crichton, 1).

            I have learnt that anger is a massive problem in our lives. Modern life is full of frustrations that may drive us to experiencing feelings of anger. However, we can manage anger. We mostly experience anger because we are too hopeful that things will work our way and when they do not, we experience an element of surprise and feelings of injustice, which results to anger. It is sometimes good to follow something we have no control over and cannot change to just remain happy. We should always remain calm and collected whatever life presents to us. We should always be prepared to face frustrations and have a calm meditation of all the things that may go wrong against our expectations. We should not deny the fact that bad things will sometimes happen to us and thus the best thing we can do is to be prepared.

In life, we are likely to experience feelings of inadequacies; bodily, intellectually and from being judged by others. Montaigne explains that we have problems because we have the ability to reason and we possess minds. This makes us feel we are inadequate and not as good as others are. Physically, we feel disgusted by our bodies where we feel we do not look good. When I experience judgment from others, I should try to move away from the negative environment of the people who make wrong judgments on me and with that, I will experience a time of reflection on myself. With the right behaviors however, I am likely to be accepted by others and not be judged so much. Intellectually, we may have feelings of being inadequate especially if we are not academically competent. However, we should know that being wise does not come as a result of academic qualifications and therefore we should not torment ourselves with things that are beyond our control. Even if we sometimes feel inadequate, that should not humiliate us.

I have come to realize that we can never be all equal. Some people will always be better than us, in terms of wealth, intellect and body forms. We should appreciate ourselves just the way we are and avoid comparing ourselves with others (Lefkowitz 1).

            When we feel bad, one way to make ourselves feel better is by praying for others. Friends and family are always important during those moments when we feel down and suppressed by life. When we focus on other people’s needs and problems, our own problems seem less serious and somehow not very pressing when we experience feelings of guilt, we should stop wishing away guilt and start acting in ways that we will not feel guilty about. We should strive to look for ways to keep our minds quiet so that we may always work in peace (Sharma 1).

Works Cited

Wallace, David F. This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life. New York, NY: Little, Brown & Co, 2009. Internet resource.

Socrates, “Philosophy – A Guide to Happiness by Socrates. (Online video clip. You Tube, 18th Oct. 2011. Web. 1st Dec. 2014.

Seneca, “Anger – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness by Seneca. (Online video clip. You Tube, 23rd May, 2012. Web. 1st Dec. 2014.

Epicurus, “Happiness – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness by Epicurus. (Online video clip. You Tube, May 23, 2012. Web 1st Dec. 2014.