Lessons learned from the interviews
I was glad to interview my grandparents, my father, and two of my close friends about the meaning of a good life. Some of the major topics of the interview focused on the meaning of the best life according to them, whether they believe they are living the best life, and advice they can offer to someone to help them live a better life. From the interviews, I learned so many things about living a good life. When it comes to the question of living a good, I realized from the interviews that the meaning of a good life differs from one person to another. It means different thing to the various people I interviewed. I learned that in its fundamental form, living a good life entails exploring that which offers you satisfaction and joy. It is all about getting meaning and purpose in life and drawing happiness for that which you undertake.
Everyone dreams of living a good life, but the issue is that everyone defines a good life differently. Some people look to live a life full of honesty, happiness, joy, and integrity. Some other people tend to seek for fame, social status, and fame, hoping that these aspects will enable them to live a good life. I realized that most people associate good life with material belongings and money. From the interview, I came to learn that in the process of trying to achieve a good life, some people step on others and even disregard their needs. But other people consider helping other people as a way of living a good life. It was also open to me that not all the people that live ‘the dream’ or ‘good life’ are living that good life (Chalofsky & Cavallaro, 2014). Some people, for instance, may have considered being wealthy is the perfect means of living a good life. But there are others who cannot draw satisfaction and happiness from their wealth.
As I had earlier mentioned, when it comes to a good life, some people understand it as the continuous fulfillment of personal desires through everyday activities. Some, however, see it as they strive for personal excellence and the desire to contribute something meaningful in one’s life. From the people I interviewed, I learned that many people consider a high standard of living as part of living a good life. However, the good life does not only comprise of abundance and wealth; otherwise, it would be entirely out of balance and limited (Veenhoven, 2014).
Interviews significantly impacted my views on the good life and how I should start living the good life. I enjoyed the interview process because it added me more knowledge on the aspect of the good life from different people and also gave me a new perception regarding the definition of a good life. In most cases, I have to live a life that sets me free and at ease. This is how my grandfather defined the good life, from his perspective. Due to their age and experience in this world, they gave me a proper view of the meaning of a good life and gave me a feeling that I need to focus on living the good life that I ever want. The interview made me feel that the good life is a life that fulfills and satisfies me, adding joy, contentment and a sense of purpose in my life. The good life is, therefore, going to be a life that is not fundamentally wasted by everyday activities. Instead, it is going to be a life that adds value and contributes to making the world a better place. The interview has given me the courage to go out and try to achieve the definition of the good life I ever want. From my childhood, I have been living my life out of the goodwill and kind heart of other people. I lost my parents at a young age and life became so hard to bear. However, a Good Samaritan opted to raise, pay my school fee and cater to my wellbeing. Today, I can decide to live the life I ever wanted. This is because I was given an opportunity. There are some children out there who may be going through the hardship that I had earlier experienced. They do not have someone to guide, hold their hands, and support them. This has been my dream all along. I will live a good life when I can put a smile on the faces of those children, to give them an opportunity to rise and take care of themselves in the future. Attaining a high standard of living is not something that fully satisfies me and may not even set me free. Therefore, to achieve the good life, I will combine aspects of exploration, civic responsibility, and self-mastery with the desire to spend my time in a satisfying and fulfilling manner with the less privileged or needy children. From the interview, I also came to learn that it is through pursuing what fills your heart with joy and happiness that defines living the good life (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 2016). My grandfather, from the interview, said that in the quest for the good life, many people often shift their attention from the present to a desirable state in the future and think that good life can only be achieved through wealth acquisition, social status, and various other material things. He said that joy and happiness could be drawn from life’s simple pleasures. The interview served as a turning point in my life. I am going to take my chance and live a good life I have always desired to have.
Chalofsky, N., & Cavallaro, L. (2014). A good living versus a good life: Meaning, purpose, and HRD. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 15(4), 331-340.
Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (Eds.). (2016). A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology. Oxford University Press.
Veenhoven, R. (2014). Arts-of-living. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4(4), 373-384.