What makes people happy?  Typically, we tend to think  of happiness as an emotion, or a mental state that we are currently experiencing. If someone thought that making a lot of money, or achieving one’s goals made them happy, then we would expect them to be thinking of happiness in terms of how good they’re feeling about themselves.

Happiness, however, had a very different kind of meaning to the ancient Greeks. Directly translated to Greek, happiness is Eudaimonia. It did not represent pleasant feelings of elation or joy, but rather, it was defined as living ‘The Good Life’.

The Good Life entails living virtuously. What that would require, is that we constantly find the perfect balance between two polar extremes. For example, it is bad to have too much courage for that would be considered rash, while it is also bad to have too little courage for that would be considered cowardly.

Ideally, we would live in a mean state. These two definitions of happiness are very different. What does happiness mean to you?  Would you tend to agree more with the Greek definition, or something similar to it in terms of defining happiness by a way of living, or just simply the chemical process that is taking place in your brain?


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