Sunday, 17 January 2016

Seeking Authentic Happiness

What is authentic happiness?

The concept of happiness is such an indeterminate one that even though everyone wishes to attain happiness, yet he can never say definitely and consistently what it is that he really wishes and wills. – Immanuel Kant

As it is the beginning of my Romeo Project and the month of Be Authentic, I wanted to explore authentic happiness.

Little did you know mere mortal, there is a difference between happiness, and genuine real authentic happiness. At least according to all these writers who make their money off of selling the secret to real happiness.

“Happiness is not so much a feeling to be attained as it is a by-product of how we live.”
– Ezra Bayda, ‘Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment’ 

For these writers, like Martin E.P. Seligman who wrote the book on ‘Authentic Happiness’, genuine happiness is more than a fleeting emotion caused by a happy moment. It’s more a way of life. Sure, you might feel happy when you win a free book after entering a competition, but how long will this happiness last? Happiness that is related to things, as opposed to life itself, doesn't last.

"Authentic happiness comes from identifying and cultivating your most fundamental strengths and using them, every day in work, love, play, and parenting." – Martin EP Seligman, ‘Authentic Happiness’

This quote from Seligman really struck me as it resonated with my Romeo Project goals. Identifying and cultivating your strengths in everyday life is just like my Life Handbook where discovering my strengths and values has helped me to map out my plans of action. As I work through my resolutions in the year ahead, I want to be using these values and strengths in everything I do.

To accomplish authentic happiness, we need to work towards it. It doesn’t appear overnight; it has to be achieved.

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance.
The wise man grows it under his feet.” 
– James Openheim

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