If You're Happy & You Know It… Clap Your Hands

What is happiness? Finding the answer to that question was too “doggoned hard” for it to be such a simple question. We researched numerous sources and polled people from various walks of life. The common thread from all of the resources and the responses combined was complicated and simple all at the same time. In defining happiness, the simple side of our finding was that it depends on who you ask. The complicated finding is that the perspectives of participants were significantly impacted by factors like, values, religion, class, gender, race, income, education, general knowledge, knowledge gaps, etc. Even who their parents were and how they were brought up impacted responses. Here’s what surprised us.

The search for defining happiness revealed that acquiring or experiencing such bliss is more or less, a state of mind. The interesting finding was that there’s a dark side to happiness. That geeky state of euphoria can be. . . well, temporary.

The answer on how to transport yourself into uber happiness may lie within a quick history lesson. Let me explain. Okay, so a group of researchers whittled down happiness to two views with Greek roots: Hedonistic and Eudaimonia. Hedonia is just the opposite of suffering, and the presence of pleasure. It focuses on seeking pleasure. Yep. Whatever makes your socks go up and down. Or maybe you’re the signature happiness seeker who prefers to ask a few questions before diving in with both feet. On the other hand, Eudaimonia focuses more on striving for better and being better to achieve happiness. In your opinion, which view do you think has longer lasting effects? Why?

Philosopher and psychologist A. S. Waterman, who studied happiness extensively, says that Eudaimonia is likely to last longer because progress on the pursuit of happiness feeds sustainability, “as gains in talents are realized, there is concomitant to increase the level of challenges taken on.”

The shift in thinking is less on money and materialism. Maybe this explains why countries like Vietnam, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, and Jamaica made the list of some of the happiest places to visit. Many of the people there seem to love life on the lush landscapes, rain forests, and mountains.

Do you think the environment can have an impact on a person’s mood?

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