Thursday, July 5, 2007


"The man who radiates good cheer, who makes life happier wherever he meets it, is always a man of vision and faith."
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I heard an interesting interview with Tal Ben-Shahar, who is a teacher at Harvard. Apparently, one out of every four students takes his course on Positive pyschology which focuses on the idea of achieving personal happiness. Ben Harar has many good things to say about how to be happier (which is the title of his best selling book, Happier. He says that happiness is both simple and incredibly complex, for instance he defines happiness as:

happiness = pleasure + purpose

I like this definition as it includes the important aspect of purpose. A lot of people I think try to be happy by chasing pleasures (we all do this) and then being dissapointed when those pleasures ring hollow. I think that it is only when life is lived with purpose that we can truly enjoy the pleasures that do come our way.

Ben-Shalar also believes that one of the biggest things that people can do to become happier is to act towards their happiness. Action is the only way to achieve happiness. Everything meaningful takes work (action). This fits with what I am reading in Eclessiastes about enjoying one's work.

May Light increase!

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