The Pursuit of Happiness

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by Debe on January 27, 2020

in Motivational Quotes

The Pursuit of Happiness

One of the most memorable parts of the Declaration of Independence is its preamble. Certain phrases contained within the preamble. Contained within are “unalienable rights” and among those are “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Now, while Thomas Jefferson and his counterparts had more broad meaning to unalienable rights and happiness, let’s hone in on happiness. The pursuit of happiness is very real. We all want that, right? After all, life is better when we’re happy, healthy and successful.

Declaration of Independence Preamble

Aristotle distinguished between four different levels of happiness.

  • Happiness level 1:  Laetus. Happiness from material objects
  • Happiness level 2:  Felix. Ego gratification – being better, more admired than others.
  • Happiness level 3:  Beatitudo. The happiness from doing good for others and making the world a better place. We move away from the focus on ourselves and broadly focus on the well-being of others.
  • Happiness level 4:  Sublime Beatitudo. Where we should all aspire to be. You simply must find your own calling!

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence (…) Happiness depends upon ourselves” – Aristotle.
(Hmm…seems we’ve heard this message before!)

There’s that ‘no one is responsible for our happiness’ sentiment again. Similarly, there’s something very real about the pursuit of it, happiness is up to us, as individuals.

Happy happy everything 2020


A great exercise for us as individuals to do is to list your tasks you do each and every day for a week. At the end of the week, circle those which bring you joy. Now, somehow, some way, find a way to eliminate those things which don’t bring you joy. If you’re a business owner, perhaps those are the tasks you hire someone else to do – perhaps someone who loves to do those things.

For example, I will work on the paperwork in my business. While I review each and every piece that leaves my office, managing the paperwork is mundane to me. It simply doesn’t bring me joy. So, I hired an assistant to manage my files for me. I receive comments all of the time from office admins who review the paperwork about how they love not having to chase my paperwork down – it’s always there and on time. Now, THAT makes me happy!

Happiness is a state of well-being. Happiness encompasses living a good life -  one with a sense of meaning and deep contentment – not superficial, deep and deep from within.


Happiness Quotes

“Be happy with what you have. Be excited about what you want.”     – Alan Cohen

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”     – Albert Schweitzer


Oh Happy Day - Two kinds of happy

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”     – Abraham Lincoln

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”     – Alain De Botton

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | | The Pursuit of Happiness

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