5 Reasons Happiness Is Hard To Discuss

A Good Life vs. Happiness photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/alsal/

My last posted ended with the question: if we can choose to be happy no matter our circumstances, what motivation does that leave us to improve our lives?

Personally, I have realized that I’ve been stuck on this question for several years now, and it has impacted decisions I have made in my life. I’m still trying to fully sort out the answer for myself, but one of the things I’ve realized is that there is a problem with the ways we discuss happiness and the language used to do so. To move our discussion along, I believe it’s important to think about why happiness can be so difficult to discuss. I’ve outlined five main reasons this discussion is so difficult:

  1. Short vs. Long Term Happiness
  2. Conceptual vs. Physical Happiness
  3. We Aren’t Good At Predicting What Will Make Us Happy
  4. We Aren’t Sure We Want To Be Happy
  5. We Don’t Have A Quantitative Way of Measuring Happiness

Over the coming weeks, I will take the time to consider each of these reasons in more detail, and I hope you will join me on this journey and spend some time reflecting on these with me. For me, this is the clearest example of a philosophic question that has and will have direct, tangible results on both the path and the quality of my life.

To get us started, I have a survey that I would really appreciate some feedback on. Submissions are anonymous!

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