Happiness should be a verb!

Happiness should be a verb!

from Scientific American

Flourishing should be the new happiness. What most pursue now ignores old wisdom and the logic of our biology. A verb capturing the required recurring effort is better than a noun describing the desired static state—by nature, not a thing we can be or get but that we do. It is perhaps better harvested than pursued.

Many see their main goal as maximizing pleasure. But even the ancient hedonists took pains to distinguish between types of pleasure and happiness. They typically thought pleasure was necessary but not sufficient.

Enlightenment thinkers believed that humans were “intended by nature to achieve happiness,” as Darrin McMahon notes, requiring only knowledge to overcome ignorance. But Jeremy Bentham increased ignorance by blurring once useful distinctions. In probably the Enlightenment’s saddest sin of synonymy, he equated happiness with pleasure for the sake of easier calculations.

Many psychologists today remain confused. Daniel Kahneman writes: “it is logical to describe…life… as a series of moments, each with a value” of positive or negative feeling, and to evaluate an experience by the “sum of the values for its moments.” He complains that our brains are illogical in not working that way. But it’s futile to wish our physiology was different. We’d be better served by adapting our reason to fit how our biology works.

The field of positive psychology is less confused…

…keep reading the full article HERE