Saturday, July 24, 2010

Piecing Together Happiness

What makes us happy? An age old question that today is still trying to be discovered and completely understood. This past school year in college, I took an English course in the spring semester that was very writing intensive. Among the few papers we had to write, the first and probably the most intriguing to me was the one centered around actually trying to determine for ourselves what makes us happy. We read an article from online magazine, the Atlantic, actually titled What Makes Us Happy? by writer Joshua Wolf Shenk, in which he wrote about a specific Harvard case study investigating the key to happiness.

"Is there a formula--some mix of love, work, and psychological adaption--for a good life?" Shenk questioned. Perhaps amidst all the experimentation and critical thinking we are overlooking the true meaning to living happily. Maybe it isn't about trying so hard to find the secret to being happy, maybe it's more about accepting happiness for what it is -- simplicity. Sometimes the simplest things in life can be the hardest to understand. We as humans, with our inquisitive nature, always try to find complexity within simplicity. Maybe we should just take a smile for a smile, a hug for a hug, and love for love, because when it all comes down to it, they are all like intricate little puzzle pieces that each have a place within a much bigger puzzle. Once we have our pieces together, so to say, we can assemble the puzzle and admire the big picture. However, sometimes in life we may lose sight of how important each one of these "puzzle pieces" really is-- it only takes one to make the puzzle incomplete. Once we find out what we're missing, we can, with a sigh of relief, finally realize that our "puzzle" is complete and that we are finally happy.

Link to Joshua Wolf Shenk's Article:

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