Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

This week I have thought a lot about the basic foundation of our country. With the elections taking place, I have been contemplating how far we have strayed from the basic, fundamental ideals and principles that governed our country.

The-Declaration-of-Independence-1

For my business class I read several articles on the foundation for success. A lot of this had to do with how we perceive money and power. However, the one that stuck out to me the most was founded on the Declaration of Independence. In the beginning of the article it states, “The unalienable right to the “pursuit of Happiness”* is burned into the DNA of every American. Many believe it was instrumental in creating the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet; others blame it for the materialistic excesses of a people who have lost their way.” From there, it goes into how our pursuit of happiness impacts each of our decisions.

The first section after the intro, it talks about learning the basic difference between happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment. The article goes into how the different feelings affect our lives, but didn’t break it down enough for me. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, these words are defined as follows:

Happiness = A state of wellbeing and contentment; A pleasurable or satisfying experience.

Satisfaction = A happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you.

Fulfillment = To succeed in achieving (something) : to make (something, such as a dream) true or real.

Each of these are worthy goals, but the way in which we focus on them and seek after them determines how likely we are to achieve these states of being. While this is a bit of a long quote, I feel it is worth mentioning here.

“Quite simply, we long for fulfillment while engaged in a futile pursuit of happiness. We are lured into a rat race, believing that money or sensual pleasures will pave a path to satisfaction and fulfillment. Ironically, we already are happy, are likely to be equally happy in the future and are even likely to be quite satis ed with life in our later years. It’s just that our human nature leads us to be so wrapped up in a self-centered quest for an unattainable “heaven on earth” that we miss the chance for a Hero’s Journey that would lead to a more meaningful life. We remain locked in a downward spiral that leaves us more self-absorbed, less joyful, less satis ed and ultimately, we die less fulfilled.”

To truly enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must be careful about how we go about these things. Our perspectives matter and make a large impact on this! The way that we think largely impacts this! Even down to our job and the weather has a large impact on this.

If we want to successfully attain happiness, we must stop focusing on the pursuit, but enjoy the happiness that we already have, then work to keep it going. Only by doing this will the Hero’s Journey be a worthwhile journey.

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