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Happiness. What is it?. We all desire happiness. But what does "happiness" mean? Is happiness eating a triple scope ice cream cone or the perfect job or a room full of family and friends?. Aristotle.

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What is it
What is it?

We all desire happiness.

But what does "happiness" mean?

Is happiness eating a triple scope ice cream cone or the perfect job or a room full of family and friends?


“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence”

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle (394-322 B.C.) observed that no person deliberately chooses to be unhappy.

Human beings wish to be happy and the search for happiness leads us to look at what kinds of happiness there might be and whether these types might be logically rank-ordered.

Happiness 1 finding happiness in physical pleasure and possession of material things
Happiness 1Finding happiness in physical pleasure and possession of material things.

  • H1 is about gaining physical gratification through the fulfillment of our five senses.

    • The double tall latte tastes good, and I feel good having it.

  • This level of happiness is good. But, if we only live for instant gratification, we soon become bored.

  • Suffering has no meaning at this level. When we are deprived of pleasures and possessions, we feel pain and experience suffering. We question suffering and fail to see how any good can come from pain.

  • But physical pleasure cannot fulfill us ultimately. Eventually the pleasure seeker is let down with the realization that there must be more to life.

Happiness 2 f inding h appiness in ego g ratification
Happiness 2Finding Happiness in Ego Gratification

H2 is seeking identity through personal achievement and self fulfillment. We get a boost of ego when we succeed.

People on this level are driven to excel at what is important to them—earning high grades, getting elected to a prestigious office, having popular friends or winning trophies and awards

The problem – what happens when you lose?


Happiness 2 continuedFinding Happiness in Ego Gratification

Unless this kind of person learns to grow from defeat, they turn into bitter, personally deficient individuals like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol

You can probably make a long list of musicians and movie stars who achieved fantastic fame and wealth and yet were so empty that they committed suicide or over dosed on drugs.

Some of the world's greatest artists, writers and musicians have made this dark discovery: achievement, success and riches are not reliable sources of happiness

Happiness 3 is doing good for another person
Happiness 3is doing good for another person

The third level of happiness is devoting yourself to the good of others.

Happiness is gained through love relationships, friendships or by contributing to social causes.

When we give our very selves, we find spending time in the presence of someone else can make us happy.

Nonetheless, if we make Happiness Level 3 our "end," we become frustrated because we can never do enough to help others--for there is always more to do! Although we can help someone find happiness, we can't be "ultimate happiness."

Happiness 4 faith and participation in the unconditional never ending love of god
Happiness 4Faith and participation in the unconditional, never-ending love of God.

It is believing that there is such a thing as perfect, ultimate, unconditional, and eternal Truth, Love, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice.

H4 keeps the other three levels in proper perspective.

Our final goal is to find happiness by accepting the perfect, unconditional love of God, and by giving ourselves away in love to others.

Sometimes loving others causes us suffering and sacrifice, but with a H4 outlook, we see that suffering can result in a greater good. Our suffering can actually provide others the opportunity to give of themselves through their love and sacrifice for us.