Description of Happiness


Anyone can be happy. However, there are various description of what happiness, leading to multiple interpretations of the feeling. Regardless of variation, there are descriptions of happiness, as demonstrated by the texts below that prove happiness that would aid the individual in living a fulfilled life. Happiness is caring, self-reliance, and refraining from pursuing pleasures. To be truly happy, a person should look within their heart and brain, which promotes self-reliance.

Happiness is self-reliance. The Dalai Lama in The Invitation to Joy, the author states that joy resides in the human heart and mind (ix). He adds that his life would demonstrate that happiness lies in the mind. Comparatively, the Dalai Lama in Have you Renounced Pleasure Yet claims that deep happiness lies in the mind (53). Forthwith, it is imperative to train the mind to be happy by being generous and loving, which yield a more permanent source of happiness. Instead of depending on external stimuli like music and even food, which offer temporary gratification, an individual should strive to find joy within him/herself. The Dalai Lama’s description of the source of happiness is exact. Looking within oneself for gratification is a permanent solution to being joyous in one’s life. That it comes from the mind and heart states that everyone is capable of being happy because every being has a brain and heart. The Dalai Lama cautions that external stimuli like listening to music is a temporary relief, and should not be relied on. Indeed, after partaking in an activity, which was initially enjoyable, one starts getting tired of and seeks another source of happiness. But depending on oneself is the best choice because one will always be contented regardless of the situation. The Dalai Lama in the text states that true happiness is found within a person, a point that is agreeable.

Happiness entails refraining from pursuing pleasures in life. In Have you Renounced Pleasure Yet there is scientific evidence that seeking pleasures leads people to destruction. The more people pursue hedonistic pleasure, the number they become to it (55). The level of happiness slowly declines and in the end, what made a person happy now turns to pain. To illustrate the futile and harmful effects of hedonism, he uses ice cream consumption. The first bowl is sublime, the second is tasty, but the third one causes indigestion. Equally, Myers in Psychology of Happiness finds that activities that gave people pleasure did not yield the same effects anymore. He notes that people, despite having wealth and enjoying the latest technology were not happy. The more a person had, the more they wanted, which was miserable. Myers noted that people did not find additional pleasure in their wealth after having enough resources to meet their physiological needs. Any extra luxuries pursued vigilantly, did not result in happiness. If anything, people were just as badly off as their ancestors. The two texts highlight the dangers of relying on vanities to become happy. From both texts, pursuing pleasures is exciting because you get something that you did not have. However, once it has been attained, the joy is not there anymore. Correspondingly, a person hopes to increase happiness by pursuing more of what initially caused delight, but the results are not the same. Instead of stopping to reflect on the activity, people believe that having more significant quantities of what initially made them happy would work. In the end, it proves disastrous. The wealth and ice cream demonstrations showcase this futility, which sets people down the path of destruction. The argument by the texts that seeking pleasures to gain happiness is correct, given that it leads to misery.

Happiness is caring for others. The Dalai Lama in Have you Renounced Pleasure Yet argues that people find deep happiness from thinking of other people and developing a genuine sense of love and affection for them (54). That it is gratifying when one thinks of other people even before beginning the day. The Dalai Lama uses scientific findings to prove his point. In San Francisco, his friend showed him neuroimaging results of the brain’s response to generosity (54). Apparently, the brain’s fourth circuit, the ability to be generous, made people feel good when helping others or witnessing the deed. Similarly, in The Invitation to Happiness, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu understand the importance of sharing, which motivates them to write the book, as they want people to celebrate birthdays always (ix). That happiness comes from selflessness is true. Thinking about the wellbeing of other people has emotional and psychological benefits. People feel good when they think positively of others and rejoice in their growth. Helping people also solves personal problems because of the realisation that there are others equally suffering, and in the quest to help them, personal healing comes. Given that the brain is even wired to be receptive towards happiness demonstrates that humans are creatures of generosity and it is good for personal development. Happiness comes from being concerned with other people as it rejuvenates the body, and heals.

Conversely, White in Secrets to Happiness mentions that happiness is being loved and accepted by others. According to White, happiness can be derived by thinking of a person who loves and cares for them but is far away. The thought of being loved by another person is uplifting during a sad moment. Although White makes a valid point that being loved by others makes people happy, she overlooks the importance of self-reliance as a source of happiness. In Have you Renounced Pleasure Yet, the Dalai Lama emphasises the importance of the mind and heart as being the sources of long-term happiness. Waiting to be loved results in vulnerability and dependency on others, which is temporary. While love and acceptance from others are good, it leaves people vulnerable to the emotions of others, which they cannot control.

Have You Renounced Pleasure Yet, The Invitation To Joy, And Psychology of Happiness have views of happiness that differ from the Secrets of Happiness. The Secrets of Happiness describes happiness as being loved and accepted by other people, while the other three state that happiness means being selfless and refraining from pursuing pleasures. The difference in their views suggests that individual and social acceptance is vital in happiness. While a person could be happy with themselves, others also have a stake in individual joy. That thinking of another promotes happiness alludes to the social nature of people, which in itself is essential in survival. The divergent views of happiness demonstrate that people are capable of finding happiness alone, but also require being loved by others.


Happiness is caring, self-reliance, and refraining from pursuing pleasures. To be truly happy, a person should look within their heart and brain, which promotes self-reliance. Similarly, happiness entails caring for people by showing concern for their wellbeing. Abstaining from pursuing pleasures in life will save a person from being caught in the trap of wanting more, which ends badly. From the text, it is evident that happiness is within reach of people, even though they may not know it. As everyone has a mind and heart, it is possible to be happy. The texts also warn against chasing pleasures, which is sound as many people get caught up in the race that they no longer feel satisfied. Instead, being content with what one has and being generous will guarantee contentment. Happiness is attainable to everyone.