Happiness Depends on Us
The author of Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert, attempts to define the word. With several factors being put into play such as the measuring of happiness, different memories and deferent feelings can vary Gilbert’s definition from mine. Writing a book with 263 pages based on the topic of happiness, Gilbert shows us his own definition of the word relatively early, “Happiness, then, Is the you-know- what-I-mean feeling” (35). Do I even have to explain his quote?Because according to Gilbert we already “know what he means”. On the serious note, Gilbert is trying to make a point that it is extremely difficult to describe this word.
He goes on to say that f we were to try and describe this word, we would most likely ditch the idea of using a definition and try and describe it by pointing out examples of what makes us happy. Well then if you go down that route, you are already looking at millions of different possibilities of what makes people happy.You can see why It Is so difficult for Gilbert because everyone In this world Is made completely different from one another. Their own definition of happiness or feeling of happiness can range from person to person. The struggle begins when everyone has their own definition of happiness. The exult of them having their own definition of this word occurs since everyone has their own unique life experiences. There is a reason behind everyone’s definition and the thinking that was put Into It.
The first thing that Is put Into their thinking Is the memories that they have. “… When we want to remember our experience, our brains quickly reweave the tapestry by fabricating-?not by actually retrieving-?the bulk of the information that we experience as a memory…
” (87) Our brains are so intelligent that we remember and associate certain things in either a positive or a negative way. When we recall a memory it affects people in several ways; different memories equal different thinking.In addition to having different memories, people can have different feelings as well. Literally two people can experience the same exact event and can walk away thinking or feeling two;o completely different things. It all depends on how they want to react to something or how they feel about it. Gilbert makes a great point and says, “Well, it depends on what we mean by painful” (224). Someone can be physically or mentally stronger than the person next to them and can experience a aromatic event and may not have the same effect on them as the other.
This all plays a role In how someone will respond to a similar situation or Just affect their When asked what made me happy, I actually had to think hard about what I could say. There are so many things that bring me pleasure and Joy that it is difficult to pinpoint on what makes me happy. It ranges from different people, things, ideas or even life situations. After a while I decided that it wasn’t any of that in which makes me happy. It actually relates back to the official dictionary definition of the word, peppiness, the quality or state of being happy.Being happy makes me happy. Now before you go and say that my statement is invalid and does not make any sense, Just think about it.
My state of mind is happy when I am happy. I like to think I am a generally happy person and when I am happy, I am happy. Now of course there are things that make me happy, but what actually makes me happy is when I know I am happy. Surrounding myself around similarly happy people, doing things I love like sports and hanging out with people I love like friends and family are things that help e get to the “happy’ state.After reading Gilbert’s, Stumbling on Happiness, I am convinced that there is no way to physically define the word happiness with a straight forward definition. The word will be defined in many different ways all depending on who is defining it. With life throwing survivable at us every single day we create different memories from our peers.
With those memories we create different responses that develop into different feelings. We then measure what happiness really is and ultimately in the end, happiness depends on ourselves.