Three Types of Happiness Essay

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” — Denis WaitleyMany people believe that happiness is simply a state of well being; to me, happiness is much more complex. Absolute happiness is anything that brings feelings of pure bliss to an individual’s life. One can gain happiness from simple pleasures of life, such as receiving a kiss from a three-year old, to advanced pleasures, such as a happy marriage or a successful career. Dr. Seligman, a well known psychologist and proponent of positive psychology, identified three types of happiness: pleasant life, engaged life, and meaningful life. Although Dr. Seligman states that the ultimate forms of happiness are “meaningful life” and “engaged life”, I believe that “pleasant life” happiness is just as important.

One type of happiness is known as “engaged life”. “Engaged life” happiness involves exploring and harnessing one’s strengths and talents to the benefit of himself and society. I experience “engaged life” happiness when I play my piano. As soon as touch the smooth, ivory keys, I feel an intense surge of joy, and all my surroundings seem to be just a blur; the music soon takes over me, and I am lost in a world of Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. When I am at my piano, all my cares and doubts seem to disappear, and my life seems, at that solitary moment in time, to make perfect sense. Music is my life and my soul.

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Another type of happiness is “meaningful life”. “Meaningful life” happiness, according to Seligman, is the most genuine form of happiness. It is the epitome of life; the point where one feels completely and utterly satisfied…

…” and “meaningful life” happiness are truer forms of happiness as compared to “pleasant life” happiness, I stand firm in my belief that the simplistic pleasures one obtains from “pleasant life” happiness are just as powerful as the joys one obtains from “engaged life” and “meaningful life” happiness. My blackberry picking outing enabled me to not only obtain bucketfuls of delectable blackberries but also to spend precious moments of the day with my family, and that, in itself, makes me truly happy.

Works Cited

Stockley, Derek. “Positive Psychology and the Three Types of Happiness.” High Performance Newsletter. 3 November 2006. Web. 29 June 2010.Denis Waitley Quote. Wisdom Quotes. “Happiness Quotes.” Wisdom Quotes. 29 June 2010.


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