This project opened my eyes to happiness and how to achieve it. Thats what we learned in this project, we were able to elaborate on how to achieve happiness for the better of our lives. We learned about flow and meaning and how finding flow and meaning really changes the way you view life. Also, I learned personally about how consumerism doesn't give you long lasting happiness but only grants a temporary happiness. I also learned about how connecting as friends and a community is a way to achieve happiness.
Art piece and essay
Reach for Happiness
Happiness can be granted through consuming, but it will never give an authentic true feeling of happiness. An example from my life is from back when I lived in florida, I always wanted more and more legos, toys, candy, etc, but what made me truly happy is helping this one homeless man I saw everyday, I pushed and forced my mom to help him and once I was able to help him it made me feel true authentic happiness. Through finding meaning to help this stranger made me feel truly happy and If everyone everywhere could do the same thing and connect to better the world, everyone would be happy. Happiness without meaning isn't what we should reach for, we need to shift values from consumerism to achieve meaning, and connect people across the nation to achieve happiness.
Happiness is a privilege that has to be achieved, and has to be achieved with meaning. In the article There's More to Life Than Being Happy it states “Meaning is not only about transcending the self but also about transcending the present moment” This is saying that you should make the most of the moment and make the most of your self to achieve true meaning in life because if you don't make most of that moment then you missed an opportunity that won't happen again. Transcending the present moment and transcending yourself is the way for you to learn how to enjoy yourself and find pleasure in finding meaning. True happiness is a mix of pleasure and meaning and their must be a balance to achieve. From the article, The New Era of Positive Psychology, it reads about a balance of meaning and pleasure, “If you have both pleasure and meaning in life then you are living a full life.” Achieving this balance is very important for you to achieve happiness but this balance is fragile. If you have to much pleasure you may lose sight of the importance of finding meaning and the same can go for seeking meaning too much and not leaving yourself time to enjoy life. In the end achieving balance and meaning will lead you a fulfilling life and if not achieved will leave you the same way you began.
People should actively strive for achieving happiness but to do that, must abolish the idea of consumerism from themselves. From the movie, I Am, it includes ideas about money and consumerism. “Money, consumerism is what stops you from achieving authentic happiness, people must psychologically change to achieve that.” Consumerism keeps from achieving happiness, it's psychologically affecting you and making you believe that buying and getting more will grant you happiness but it really doesn't. Humans are the only creature on earth that takes from the Earth more than it needs, It is Human nature for us to get more and more that's why consumerism cannot be abolished but we can or could change our view on what consumerism is. It is a difficult process to change ourselves for the better, but it is possible. Once again the movie, I Am, Speaks to meaning and happiness, “If you were to influence a culture that seeks happiness and meaning then the idea of finding meaning will fade away.” This is saying how influencing a culture that seeks meaning and pushing the idea of consumerism on them that their idea of happiness will change. The people that are influenced by the idea of consumerism might never feel authentic happiness again. Commercials, other people all influence people to buy things that are not necessary to them and keep you from achieving authentic happiness and that influence of other people makes it a lot harder to achieve happiness. Consumerism is what psychologically keeps you from achieving happiness and to make a change would be a step in the right direction.
As a nation, we should make an effort to come together as a community, in order to achieve happiness. From The OECD Better Life Index it shows statistics on happiness it says Switzerland rates a 9.9/10 on the happiness scale and most people in Switzerland (96%) know someone they can rely on and trust. Switzerland is such a happy country because most people their live in a tightly knit community where they can rely on each other, and having that kind of trust with one another makes them content and happy with the state of their lives. From the movie, Happy, it shows us that, “Being a tightly knit community with many connections is important not only for yourself but for others too, and influences you to do good things for others.” Having those friendships, those connections is more of an influence to you. If a friend is in need it gives you meaning to your happiness and gives you something to strive for and you can do something good in the process. The US needs to make an attempt to connect their citizens. We as a nation should model ourselves to somewhere like switzerland and strive to make connections and be one as a community.
In today's society people's idea of happiness is to consume, more and more and to do that will leave with a hollow happiness that doesn't truly make you feel authentically happy. We also need as a nation connect as a community learn to trust one another and figure out what we can do as people to help another and make the world a better place together. If we could abolish the idea of consumerism and connect together as friends as a community and trust one another then authentic happiness could truly be achieved. In the end if we could all connect together as a community and find authentic happiness through meaning then the world and the our homes could be made a friendlier better place.