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Word Count: 736
In human psychology no emotion is more highly sought after but less understood than happiness Throughout history countless philosophers artists and scientists have attempted to capture and define the joys amusements and pleasures that drive all human life Everyone wants happiness yet few if any of us can describe its exact nature Some define happiness as anything that feels pleasurable yet this view is too simplistic Happiness is not an endless series of pleasure it is a composite of past satisfaction present pleasantness and the anticipation of future joyHappiness is the guiding principal of human life As Aristotle wrote Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life the whole aim and end of human existence Everything we do from eating a candy bar to falling in love to going to college to staying in bed all day could be described as actions in pursuit of happiness Throughout our life our level of happiness acts as a gauge to our success or failure We all want to surround ourselves with people possessions and experiences that bring us pleasure and distance ourselves from choices that will make us sad Freud calls this The pleasure principalHowever pleasure is often confused with happiness Dependent upon external stimuli pleasure is highly vulnerable and fleeting in nature Pleasure burns itself like a candle illustrates biologist turned monk Mathieu Ricard For example you feel pleasure when you eat your favorite candy bar However when you eat a dozen candy bars you feel nauseous The pleasure you felt eating the first candy bar was dependent upon several external factors including possession of your favorite candy bar hunger your sense of taste etc However the pleasure derived from consumption of that first candy bar proved exceptionally vulnerable once you ate a dozen of them Never-ending unrestrained desire for pleasure damages long lasting happinessUnlike pleasure happiness is independent of desire
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