We had a wonderful discussion in Happiness 101 last night about four different archetypes of Happiness. What differentiates these archetypes is their focus on happiness – whether it is in the past, present or the future. The Hedonist seeks happiness in instance gratification, sacrificing the future. The Ratracer sacrifices the present in hopes of a brighter future. The Nihilist has, essentially, given up on happiness, neither deriving pleasure from the present nor even hope of happiness from the future. People can be find themselves in this frame of mind when past attempts to be happy have not worked and they give up. Then there is my favorite – the Happy archetype. Those in this category strive for their goals but remember to live in the moment and enjoy the journey. In his book, Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar sums up the happy archetype by explaining that if climbing a mountain, the happy archetype would not just focus on reaching the summit, nor would he fixate on the journey. He would both enjoy the climb AND the achievement.
Think about your own life. Which archetype do you identify with?
You might be all four archetypes at the same time because there are many different facets of your life. At work, perhaps you are a Ratracer. Socially you might be the Happy archetype. When it comes to food, maybe the Hedonist hat fits the best right now. Be honest with yourself. Once you decide where you are in the different parts of your life, you may start to make adjustments to life a happier life.
Next week Happiness 101 we will touch on some VERY important issues regarding Happiness including: potential, success, realism, pleasure and meaning. Join us at 7pm on Monday, November 16th. See upcoming events for details or call 801-262-0317 for recorded info.