The Happiness Trap

The truth is that what we seek is not happiness. And it’s a shame, because the whole of society is immersed in it, in a sort of frantic search for a State that few know about.

Despite everything that is said about her, very few people catch up with her, and those few end up losing her. And that’s because there is a much more lasting and stable source of well-being.

But before getting to know it, let’s see what the ancient Greeks had to say about it.

    The facets of happiness and human fulfillment

    For the peoples of ancient Greece, Happiness (“Hedonia”) was a way, but not the best, at a time when the social was more important for the survival of city-states.

    They thought the pursuit of personal happiness was secondary, childish, meaningless. Maybe it’s because feeling good was only part of the journey, part of the process before you did what you had to do. They knew better than we do that the pursuit of personal happiness is a selfish process that ends up leaving you empty-handed.

    Against this, they opposed “Eudaimonia”, which would become human development or flowering, feeling good and doing good, the search for meaning and meaning in life. Be part of a larger context (whether or not they have religious beliefs). We are talking about creating a life according to our personal nature in a social context.

    Going back to our time, we find ourselves with a growing existential void: we discover that all the formulas that are sold to us since advertising do not work. Our life is no longer full of consuming everything they put in front of us.

    Curiously, it was discovered that happiness or its absence is not a good predictor of suicide. But the feeling of an empty and meaningless life is.

    We need a meaning, something that answers the eternal question of “Why” which assails us so often.

    And this is where our journey of research begins, perhaps the most important journey of our lives, a journey that knows where it begins, but not where it ends, a journey as appropriate for religious as for atheists.

      The journey of self-discovery

      Make no mistake: the journey of self-discovery and search for meaning is enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be painful.

      And whether we like it or not, the answer lies in developing the best of us according to our deepest principlesfind the true meaning of our life.

      And it is precisely there that many “merchants of meaning” make their business and offer us their masterful formula. But it still doesn’t work. Because no one knows why each person has different needs and talents: some speak of “God” and others of “Cosmic Lottery”.

      Because what really works is a self-controlled process, in which you discover what your true values, talents and gifts are, which makes you feel full. And little by little, with the gaze also turned towards the real world, to materialize this vision. Thus, a sense of “meaning” or “vital mission” develops.

      What’s amazing is that when people find their “vital mission”, they always say something like “deep down I already knew that”.

      And this is within the reach of whoever wants to do it: there are accessible and mastered methodologies. It’s up to everyone to find them.

        There are no routes already drawn

        To begin with, it is always healthy to be wary of all those people who tell us that they know what we need, that they have the answer to our great question in life. And that’s because it’s something personal and unique. Each person is a unique combination of talents, values ​​and needs and must find the answer on their own.

        And well-being plays a role in this process, a preliminary role: we can learn to live well, but as something before making our contribution to the world.

        It is the key to a life that has meaning and purpose, a life that is worth living. And that is what our society lacks so much.

        This is perhaps the real challenge of our time.

        Leave a Comment