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November 28, 2012 / glennlim thots

LIFE PURPOSE 1 – The 3 Shades of Happiness

Dr Martin Seligman, godfather of Positive Psychology, identified 3 types, or shades of Happiness as follows:

1. LIFE OF PLEASURE

“A Pleasant life consists of having as much pleasure as you can, as many of the positive emotions, and learning some of the dozen or so techniques that actually work for increasing the duration and intensity of your pleasures. There are shortcuts to the pleasures. You can go shopping; you can watch television; you can take drugs. These things are temporary gratifications, and do not lead to true happiness.”

This is what most people pursue all their lives – ‘trying’ to be happy, by looking outwardly for things, people or sources to satisfy them. I don’t think that indulging in some degree of pleasure in life is a bad thing. However, as with everything, the pleasant life should be lived in moderation, making sure they are not substitutes for real joy. It is important to balance a pleasant life with the other shades of happiness. Do not allow physical, sensoral pleasures to dominate your world.

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2. LIFE OF PASSION

“Also called the Engaged Life, it is being ‘One’ with what you’re doing, being totally wrapped up in your being and doing. You give your all towards this kind of life. You live it Passionately! The engaged life can only be had by first knowing what your highest strengths are, and re-crafting your life to use them at work, in love, in leisure, in friendship etc.” 

This type of happiness is when you are completely engaged & ‘lost’ in what’s going on around you. You live in the moment, in the flow, at a peak level, and you feel that you are truly living a full life. Successful people all know how to engage themselves this way – Tiger Woods (golf), Lewis Hamilton (F1),Anthony Robbins (motivational coach) etc. They are highly motivated. They know what they are good at, and how to leverage on their strengths, talents to create a career and life that is lived out passionately.

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3. LIFE OF PURPOSE

“Also called the Meaningful Life, it consists of  knowing what your highest strengths and talents are and using them in the SERVICE of something that you believe is bigger than you are.”

When you are living without purpose, or worse, living for just yourself, it is difficult to know true happiness. You feel lost, without direction and purposeless. It is only when you live for others that you find your place in the grand scheme of life. ‘Giving’ your life to others broadens your vision and purpose of life. Your strengths, talents, gifts and experiences are meant to serve the world, to leave your mark and legacy in it. You live your life with a sense of calling and destiny. Think about how you can use them to make the lives of others better. In the process, you’ll make your life better too!

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Most of us work for happiness from Pleasure upwards (stage 1). When a much better approach would be to start from Meaning first. Today, let’s find meaning and purpose in whatever we do, for there resides the greatest resource for happiness to live out meaningful lives.

Don’t worry, be Happy!….Glenn Lim

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