Meaning Of Pursuit Of Happiness

Meaning Of Pursuit Of Happiness

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Meaning Of Pursuit Of Happiness


The pursuit of happiness is a phrase that has been under much discussion since its inclusion in The United States Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.

Described by Jefferson as an "unalienable right", meaning a right held by all American people, regardless of law, custom or belief, the exact definition of the right itself defined by "the pursuit of happiness" rather than simply the right of "happiness" alone has been argued and studied by many.

The phrase seems to suggest that the right in question is actually the right to pursue rather than the right to happiness itself. However, if we have the right to pursue something, do we then have the right to attain it after that pursuit?

Many great minds throughout history seemed to think so, and actually believed that pursuit was in fact the real key to happiness. From Aristotle to Confucius, there is collective appreciation to the theory that although short-term happiness may be gained through external or circumstantial factors and influences, that long term and lasting happiness is only achieved by those who actually seek it.

The popular notion of happiness in Jefferson’s era was that it was a god given right, and therefore his inclusion of happiness in the Declaration of Independence suggests that he appreciated its importance. However, the fact that he included it in terms of pursuit rather than simply as a right to the state itself is interesting. It could be argued that his belief was that the path to finding happiness is the thing that brings happiness itself

There is much theory in modern day thinking to support this argument. The study of positive psychology, developed by Dr Martin Seligman, Professor at The University of Pennsylvania, has added weight to this theory with research finding that choosing or pursuing a positive approach can increase a person’s happiness by up to 15%.

Many of us appreciate that working for something brings greater rewards than simply obtaining it. To see happiness as something that we can pursue, and to actively pursue it is to understand its value it and to appreciate that it is worth the pursuit.

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Meaning Of Pursuit Of Happiness

People-Take-Different-Roads-Seeking-Fulfillment-And-Happiness      These words, originally from the Dalai Lama, and echoed by best selling American author of "Life's Little Instruction Book" H. Jackson Brown, Jr., instruct us to recognise that although we may be seeking the same thing - happiness, we must appreciate that people take different ways in order to find it. The rest of the quote reminds us that “just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost" More..