The learned Viktor Frankl contends that “chance decides what happens but we decide how to take it” (cited in Southwick, et. al. , 2006, p. 162). For someone who has been through the most tragic circumstances of human existence, Frankl is surely someone who knows pretty well how happiness is to be pursued in one’s life. While it can be argued that happiness is a state of human living which cannot be singularly defined, we – human persons that we are – nevertheless know what brings it about or how it affects our general take of life.
Pursuing Happiness All throughout One’s Life The basic thrust of this paper is to argue that our state of contentment or happiness is something that we human persons can always choose to pursue. By adopting Frankl’s philosophy, we can say that a person can always choose the path towards happiness against the backdrop of different life circumstances and issues that come with one’s lifespan development. First, one can always choose to discover his or her crafts, potentials and talents as a way to appreciate one’s giftedness and uniqueness.
This is a very potent element that contributes well to one’s happiness; and this usually happens during one’s late childhood and adolescent stages. The discovery of our uniqueness gives us a sense of who we are. But even when, for instance, one is not gifted enough, one can still discover certain strains of uniqueness to be appreciated. This is crucial because it can give us an initial taste of our sense of directedness and purpose. Second, a person needs to choose the kind of relationships that work in order to attain a level of happiness as well. This is especially true for those who are at the early adulthood stage.
Growing up, it would be normal to feel that we need someone to complete us; and finding that suitable someone is notably crucial for this stage. Many people end up either unhappy or miserable because they did not either take the courage to pursue a person whom they love or feel powerless to break free from relationships that just do not work. But finding true happiness is about choosing the right relationships that could nurture, and not defeat life. Third, in order to secure happiness, one must always face life-crises with a brimming sense of optimism.
This surely is a case of no little importance, as it is not uncommon to learn that many middle-agers suddenly lose their sense of meaning at a time when life-crises emerging from home and workplace start to take their toll. Crises, it needs to be remembered, cannot be avoided. But they are defining moments that can either make or break us. Increasing one’s state of happiness during these poignant moments therefore necessitates a commitment to hope – i. e. , one faces life problems with a sense of optimism. If one can face problems convinced that he or she can successfully get out of it, then it is like facing a battle half-winning it already.
Fourth, one can look at his or her life under the lenses of accomplishment and gratitude so as to be happy. This especially applies to those who are in the twilight of their lives. When one becomes bitter every time he or she looks back at the past, it effectively robs a person with a sense of contentment and happiness. Instead, looking back at life with eyes fixed on the accomplishments and blessings that one has done or received in his or her life surely elicits an incomparable sense of contentment, happiness and pride. Conclusion
This paper therefore concludes that a person is always empowered to make a choice in order to increase his or her level of contentment or happiness. In any lifespan development or stages, the choice to uphold sense of happiness is always a concrete possibility; i. e. , we can always choose to discover one’s giftedness, choose the relationships that could make us happy, choose to face life-crises with hopefulness and choose to be thankful in our lives. In the final analysis, it must be ultimately argued that we are the ones responsible for our own happiness.