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You cannot be fully happy unless you make the choice to strive for happiness on a regular basis

Updated on October 22, 2015

Please discuss whether you agree with the following statement: You cannot be fully happy unless you make the choice to strive for happiness on a regular basis. Be sure to support your posts with research findings.

Psychologist, Sonja Lyubomirsky, (2007) defined happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile” in her book The How of Happiness. When using Sonja Lyubomirsky’s definition of happiness I agree with the statement: you cannot be fully happy unless you make the choice to strive for happiness on a regular basis. A person would find it difficult to experience positive well-being consistently while having a worthwhile life without striving for that style of life. Happiness researchers have come to the conclusion that happiness is in fact a learned behavior (Hales, 2013, p. 31).

In order to be happy a person must strive for happiness on a regular basis because happiness is not an instinctual behavior, but instead a learned behavior. Happiness is less dependent on external factors and more dependent on internal factors. For instance, one study had more than 150 college students rate the level of happiness they got from either purchasing an item or from a life experience; the students who engaged in the pleasant experience rated a higher level of happiness than those who bought an item (Hales, 2013, p. 32). Sonja Lyubomirsky found that positive activities tend to boost a person’s level of happiness; one of the most effective happiness boosters is the act of performing small acts of kindness (Hales, 2013, p. 32). Sonja Lyubomirsky also recommends that people vary their small acts of kindness to avoid losing the happiness boost to simple repetition (Hales, 2013, p. 32). An individual can strive for happiness on a regular basis by committing to create a learned behavior of happiness in themselves through one to three small acts of kindness per week.

The compensatory model provides the most effective method of committing to striving for happiness because it places the responsibility for the change on the individual without assigning any blame (Hales, 2013, p.17). Following the compensatory model an induvial could learn to be fully happy with themselves and their lives through consistent striving for happiness.


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