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In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Essay

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Intentional Living

The idea of happiness is constantly changing in today’s age. While a lot of people think money and fame are the keys to happiness, others believe a simple walk through nature could be just as fulfilling. There is no one answer to this often-asked question. As a society, everyone wants something different out of this life. Happiness derives from within, it is a mindset. The state of being intentional in everything you do and in the relationships you have.

People who do not have a reason to get up in the morning will start to lose purpose and little by little their happiness will decrease. Some people find joy in simply waking up and having something to accomplish. An individual has worked for a company for over ten years and has had enough, so they quit. The first few weeks aren’t too bad, pretty nice actually. Eventually, though this person gets to a point of being too comfortable. In a Crash Course video, Hill gives us a statistic, “By some estimates, unemployed people have five to fifteen percent lower life satisfaction scores than people with jobs” (Hill, 00:03:48-00:03:56). The data from the video leads us to believe that people are generally less happy when they have nothing to attend to. More than that, if one does not have a job, it is a lot harder for one to express thoughts and accomplish dreams. Therefore, without a job, goals would not be met. Life would seem almost pointless and lack motivation.

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Happiness comes from the simplest of moments. Being intentional is something humans often lack, taking time out of the day to simply look up at the sky and take in a deep breath is not something people do well. People also have a bad habit of excusing important time with family and friends, these little things in life are some of the most beautiful moments we can have. In Pursuit of Unhappiness, McMahon wrote, “So in these last days of 2005 I say to you, “Don’t have a happy new year!” Have dinner with your family or walk in the park with friends. . . With luck, you’ll find happiness by the by. If not, your time won’t be wasted” (McMahon). The motive behind this quote is to live where you are and be in the moment. Take time to appreciate the moments, big and small.

Happiness is knowing every high will end and every low will get better. There is a certain beauty in the lows of life, they make you appreciate the highs. If everyone woke up every day with a steady income, a fast car, and a great family, dissatisfaction would still find a way to creep in. Reality is, as a society we are constantly craving more. We always want the next best thing. When a person accepts where they're at in life, that will be what makes them the happiest, even if that means their life is a wreck. In Zadie Smith’s Joy, she writes, “The thing no one ever tells you about joy is that it has very little real pleasure in it. And yet if it hadn't happened at all, at least once, how would we live?” (Smith). This quote supports the idea that happiness is fleeting. Though the joyous moments go fast if humans were to never experience happiness what is there to look forward to? Even amid the chaos, finding a way to be grateful for where you're at is happiness in itself.

Cherish each moment and relationship more than ever. Having a purpose will give you the motivation to achieve your dreams. Joy is something we must acknowledge while we have it so we can look forward to the next joy-filled moment. Try and be grateful when waking up in the morning. Happiness is truly what you make it.

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In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from:
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