Happiness & Aristotle
We have so many refrains about happiness: “don’t worry, be happy”, “Carpe Diem”, etc.
We have so many specialists and so many methods: spirituality, psychotherapy, alternative care, drugs under and over the counter, sports and biochemical, travel agents, love specialists, etc.
We have so many claims, research, testimonies, and experience in social science, health science, other science and in fields including everything men can use to provide answers to this “holy grail”.
All in all, except few specimens who claim they know how to live happy, we are faced with the same question, the same search, the same dilemma: “We want to be happy but we do not know how”.
I am not an expert since I am not happy every day and all the time but from readings and experiences both personal and professional, I have come to understand misunderstandings that we commonly entertain regarding Happiness.
- I cannot pinpoint any given long term experiences such as marriage, child rearing, carrier, or any other endeavors that provide full time Happiness without a load of difficult moments.
- I do not think that short term success is equivalent to Happiness as a long term achievement.
- Neither material reward nor belongings can maintain Happiness in a lifelong perspective.
- “Being in the Here and Now” does not equal Happiness. Being fully involved in the present moment does not necessarily give access to Happiness. It does, however, involved focus because it demands the use of all our sensing faculties and, therefore, provides a sense of peace from the stress an overworking mind creates. Taking the time to really commit to the present moment usually enhances the quality of the experience which delivers, in turn, moments of pleasure also called tiny bits of happiness.
- Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Could it mean that Happiness is greater than all the short moments of our lives during which we experience tiny bits of joy? No, it does not. It means that one tiny bit of happiness leads to the next one and as we go throughout the day these moments have the tendency to expand and multiply giving us the impression of a good day. The concept here is that when we foster positive experiences such as a smile or a good word, acts of gratitude or support, observation or care of nature, just tiny bits of happiness, we tend to enhance and multiply positive experiences which linked together create the synergy of Happiness.
Tiny bits of can be located in many different places, situation and things. Most of us relish in social contacts. Some of us need alone moments without screens, food or drinks. Quiet activities such as reading or listening to music are necessary for some whereas physical activities offer excellent therapeutic experiences for others. We must ask ourselves what it could be for us and collect these moments, connect them, enjoy them and rejoice at the end of the day for another great day, a whole that is now greater than the sum of its parts because it becomes Happiness!