What are the easiest and the most difficult things in life? Can we define a happy life for other people?

We learn that life is not easy. Some people might seem to be living unhappy lives, but hardly anyone would choose to live an unhappy life. Everyone wants to live a good and happy life.


Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Can we ever define what a good and happy life should be for others?

Some people seriously believe than we can define happiness for others.

Methods of Measuring Happiness

Does happiness come from health, money, beauty, fame, recognition, job satisfaction?

The ancient Greeks had the concept of eudaemonia, translated as happiness. Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson and countless others have talked about this concept of happiness.

Professor Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania is a great modern expert on this topic.

In 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the former King of Bhutan formulated the concept of “Gross National Happiness” to quantify how happiness can be measured and how the happiness of the people should be goal of the state rather than gross national production.

Israeli born Emeritus professor and Nobel laureate, Daniel Kahneman studies Hedonic psychology to understand what are feelings of pleasure and pain, of interest and boredom, of joy and sorrow, and of satisfaction and dissatisfaction from the biological to the societal dimensions, that cause suffering and enjoyment?

Another method is to measure the Economic Wellness, Environmental Wellness, Physical Wellness, Mental Wellness, Workplace Wellness, Social Wellness, Political Wellness of a people as developed by Med Yones, the President of International Institute of Management.

Significantly, the spiritual dimension is absent from this scale. We can encounter soulful, generous and happy people in countries at the bottom of the list. Meeting them makes you happy instantly. Strangely, we may even run into many grumpy, aggressive, and selfish people, on or off psychiatric medication, in countries at the top of the list, who often leave you unhappier.

Liked it
  • Pinaki Ghosh on Jun 13, 2009

    Nice article.

  • Jiten on Jun 13, 2009

    Very nice article. Enjoyed reading it.

  • Mr Ghaz on Jun 13, 2009

    Excellent!!..this is very interesting piece and well thought provoking too..I liked it..Thanx for sharing this great work.

  • Uma Shankari on Jun 13, 2009

    Very nice. I enjoyed reading this. The questions put to the sage of Miletus reminds me of the questions put to Yudhishtra in Mahabharata.

  • Lostash on Jun 13, 2009

    Hope and patience are essential! Nice article.

  • Joe Dorish on Jun 13, 2009

    Good thought provoking article, really made me think.

  • skylite on Jun 13, 2009

    Very nice article :)

  • Omar on Jun 13, 2009

    Good points to think about.

  • ahmad joko setyawan on Jun 13, 2009

    Very fasinating article.I liked how you added the questions by the sophists at the end. Great subject and very well written.Intriguing read.

  • goodselfme on Jun 13, 2009

    Good info, lots to ponder.

  • Kimberly Andrews on Jun 14, 2009

    Great article. And while I find the entire article very informative, this statement is especially true \”it\’s easy to give advice to others. Usually advice comes from our own realities, our own understanding and our own needs.\”

  • Amin23 on Jun 17, 2009

    I liked this article. Nice.

  • Rita on Jun 20, 2009

    So true.

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