Why ‘Happiness’ is a useless word – and an alternative

We are often encouraged to believe that the goal of our lives should be happiness. But unfortunately the word happiness is misleading, in that it suggests that it might be possible to have a good life and not go through a lot of pain. We might be better off defining our purpose in terms of another word – this one drawn from Ancient Greek: EUDAIMONIA. For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop: https://goo.gl/GV3NZQ
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“Eudaimonia is an Ancient Greek word, particularly emphasised by the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, that deserves wider currency because it corrects the shortfalls in one of the most central, governing but insufficient terms in our contemporary idiom: happiness.
When we nowadays try to articulate the purpose of our lives, it is to the word happiness we commonly have recourse. We tell ourselves and others that the ultimate rationale for our jobs, our relationships and the conduct of our day to day lives is the pursuit of happiness. It sounds like an innocent enough idea, but excessive reliance on the term means that we are frequently unfairly tempted to exit or at least heavily question a great many testing but worthwhile situations…”

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Eirini Vianelli
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