What Happiness Really Means, Research Paper Example

Happiness is an element that makes life even more valuable. Most often than not, it is happiness that somehow brings meaning to life itself. Nevertheless, no matter how seemingly hard it is to find happiness, individuals have realized that its worth has a specific impact on their being. This is the reason why people intend to find the most probable procedures that could actually give them happiness. In relation to this matter, Daniel Gilbert and Robert Thurman mention their personal understanding of what happiness is and what specific conditions could actually bring in a realization that happiness is actually a reachable goal.

In relation to Gilbert’s writing, he mentions how the human brain learns to look forward all the time. This particular capability of the mind allows humans to adjust in the situations that they get involved with. Relatively, it could be recognized that such capacity allows humans to go through the most excruciating experiences and still survive another day with a clear hope of having a better day ahead. Most likely, being stuck in time is what makes it hard for individuals to move on. There are instances when some individuals are indeed stuck in time. Hoping to remain in the condition that they want to be in or the comfort zone that they have created for themselves, some individuals remain in the situation that is actually putting them down; they all desire to specifically handle the situation on their own way believing that they could still fix matters back to being okay again. Nevertheless, this desire is what makes it harder for human individuals to realize what real happiness is about.

Moving on is what constitutes the brain’s capacity to repair not only the thoughts of a person but also that of the impact such memory’s have into the being of the individual. Notably, it could be understood that the willingness of a person to accept matters as they happen is a condition that must be accepted freely by a person. Without such acceptance, a person would not be able to move on. Question is, how does one actually acquire such acceptance?

According to Robert Thurman’s writing on Wisdom, it is the capacity of a person to understand life and the different matters that make it up that allows him the chance to be happy with life experiences he meets with and specifically be able to learn more from such twists and turns of living. Realization is a matter that cannot be immediately acquired. One has to know what is happening, understand its value and be able to get the best out of it, even when the experience is not so pleasant at all. Wisdom is further described by Thurman as somewhat an element that is gained from a long time of accepting situations fully. Bad experiences happen; accepting this fact requires maturity, which also includes personal wisdom of the realities of life. When one sees bad experiences as a form of threat or hindrance, then that individual becomes highly engorged in the idea that they are never going to get anything good from such experiences.

However, a person who has enough wisdom to handle the situation has an easier manner to understand the meaning of each turn of time which could actually provide them valuable lessons they could use in the future. Most often than not, such point of realization comes into the realization of a person especially when he has experienced several situations in life several times. Understandably, it is the vision of an opportunity that makes it easier for people to accept what happens to them every now and again. Gaining a positive outlook in life is a matter that could only be imposed because of wisdom. Wisdom entails ‘knowing’ especially when it comes to understand more deeply. This especially involves the idea that when understanding comes into realization, a person gains the capacity to see through the bad times. The capacity of the brain to interpret a situation based on how a person wants it to be gives a conditional indication on how a human being is specifically able to turn matters around amidst the negative impacts that the experiences may have on their personality.

In relation to the ideals and principles of Buddhism, a person is able to find happiness once he is able to patiently handle the twists and turns of life and actually be in peace with such changes and adjustments that life actually presents him with. In this case, Thurman imposes that‘curtain thinking’ gives one the capacity to understand the situations that happen around them. Believing that something happens for the sake of good results specifically allows a person to see beyond what happened and seek for the better meaning of each experience. In the aspect of the Buddhist belief, a person is supposed to find himself first before he is actually be able to find a way to be contended and happy with all the other elements existing around him.

Knowing one’s self actually imposes that a person should be able to control himself including the different emotions that govern his being. One is that of the need of a person to control his fears. Relatively, fear is an element that cannot be avoided, yet it can be managed. Like that of Gilbert’s writing, it could be realized that somehow, it is the management of one’s own mind set that allows a person to become more capable of handling fear in a more positive approach. The brain is the main source of management process that the whole body uses to function. Overall, the way a person perceives a certain matter would actually be used to manifest the value of such matter into the being of the said individual.

For instance, when one is simple, and his brain or his mindset is dedicated to accepting matters in full simplicity, then he becomes contented in gaining only the matters he needs even when he does not get what he specifically wants. This way, one becomes even happier even when he does not get the demands that he specifically desires to have. Settling for what is needed even when what is demanded for is not possessed by the individual becomes a basis of happiness for people who have managed to have their mindset focused on what is realistic. Most likely, for one to establish such mindset, one must be able to create a specific management on how one’s thinking could actually manage how one perceives the experiences that they deal with everyday. Gaining lessons from these specific experiences is what makes it easier for a person to become more effective in managing how they consider the past as a source of lessons for the future than to treat them as a mark that insists on how bad the past has been for an individual.

Overall, the writing of Thurman and Gilbert define happiness to be something that does not need to be searched for desperately. It could be understood that through their writing, happiness only becomes evident when one is able to establish a mindset that would allow him to see through things in a more positive manner. The principles of Buddhism specifically point out that when a person is able to establish a thought in relation to being simple and accepting matters as they come, an individual becomes contended and likely happy to be able to just live life as it is amidst all the negativity that it has on it. Experiences are supposed to be stepping-stones towards one’s development in the future. It does not matter if the experiences in the past are good or not, what matters is that the individual is able to see through the situations in a positive manner hence gaining the lessons accordingly to make a better life for themselves in the coming years. Learning from the past is what constitutes a good sense of a person’s capacity to manage himself and the way he thinks thus allowing his experiences to produce a better being out of himself and practically indicate a sense of proper source of happiness. One need not be stressed when searching for happiness, he just needs to have a proper mindset for the said idea.



Gilbert, D. Stumbing on Happiness.  http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/guide1.html. (Retrieved on April 22, 2013).

Thurman , R. Wisdom. http://aaronbruce-english.blogspot.com/2009/03/robert-thurman-wisdom.html. (Retrieved on April 22, 2013).

McMahon, Darrin M., The History of Happiness: 400 B.C. – A.D. 1780, Daedalus journal, Spring 2004.

Stefan Klein, The Science of Happiness, Marlowe, 2006.