Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness - 1 James Corcoran Paul Blomeyer WRIT...

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James Corcoran Paul Blomeyer WRIT 140; Section 64320 9/16/10 Essay #1 The Pursuit of Happiness The Good Life is merely an idea that changes with the individual . Much of today’s youth believes that the Good Life is achieved through economic stability and by appearing successful toward others . Although on some level these aspects of life are important, they are not essential to the Good Life of my generation . People believe that they are essential simply because society instills these ideas as “utmost priorities” in life . Contrary to the opinion of many in today’s generation, success and wealth are connected with neither freedom nor happiness, and the Good Life can found rather in experiences one truly enjoys . A problem in society is the assumption that money and happiness are strongly correlated . From the start, society teaches us the best option in life is to find the highest paying job possible; however, in many cases, studies have shown that money does not directly produce happiness . For example, in 2006, a Princeton study measured actual life experiences against satisfaction with one's life as a whole . The study showed that wealthier individuals displayed almost the same amount of happiness during certain life experiences as the poorer ones [source: Discovery Health] . Many wealthy people simply follow the social norm and do not know why they desire to make money . Poor people find pleasure unrelated to material goods, such as unsuccessful artists, poets, musicians . 1
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Though many might think a major life change would affect a person’s overall happiness, an article shows that “amputees and lottery winners have about the same level of happiness, having returned to their natural state of happiness after their respective gains or losses” (Clark 1) . Although there may be lapses in our state of being, after even huge events in life, people will return to their natural level of contentedness . Therefore, changes in one’s state of being do not change the inner core of that person . In this case, the two extremes are either free or limited by these changes, and are therefore forced to consider their true values . Once
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course CSCI 180 taught by Professor Stjohncolon during the Fall '10 term at USC.

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Pursuit of Happiness - 1 James Corcoran Paul Blomeyer WRIT...

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