What is your Purpose?

Happiness lies in striking a balance between striving for the future (purpose) and enjoying the journey along the way.

Pleasure is happiness in the present. Having meaning or purpose in your life satisfies the hunger to be happy in the future as well. Look at your life. What you striving for? How do you derive meaning from your life? In Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote about his fellow prisoners in the Nazi concentration camp, noting that having a purpose or meaning gave his peers motivation to survive. It may have been to be reunited with loved ones but in some cases it was enough to, in the moment, serve as an instrument of hope to others. In his book, Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar Ph.D. purports that true happiness cannot be derived only by staying in the moment and experience happiness there. He refers to this group of people as the Hedonist. Nor can one obtain happiness only by setting and achieving goals, thereby sacraficing pleasure in the now. He calls this group of people the Ratracers. The happy doctor prescribes a balance of both: having a goal and having a sense of purpose or meaning but also enjoying the present moment – the journey.

This is but a thin slice of the teachings from the last Happiness 101 class. Next week’s class will cover the currency of happiness. Happiness 101 is a free class offered every Monday night at 7pm. Call 801-262-0317 for recorded information.

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