Well Being is the ultimate goal of humans

The ultimate goal of humans is well being, but how successful are they in achieving their goals?   According to Daniel Gilbert’s book “Stumbling on Happiness”, humans are bad at “effective forecasting”, they make poor guesses about what would make them happy; they may find themselves unhappy after winning millions in a lottery, or happy after paralyzed from an accident. Having an open mind, to learn, form and revise beliefs and values in order to come to a logical conclusion is a virtue that Greek philosophers early emphasized.  Plato argues,  “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers”. “Kate Pickett author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better credits, University of Washington,   Dr. Bezruchka, who asks his students to write a speech for the President stating why the United States has the best health in the world requiring to back up their research with statistics. The findings of the students are dramatically shocking, because they show that health in the United States is worse than any other developed country; coming very close to poorer countries, including Cuba.  Jorg Schimel author of Development as Happiness: The Subjective Perception of Happiness,  and UNDP’s  Analysis of Poverty, Wealth and Development  supports similar results, about economic developed countries,  like the United States, that doesn’t guarantee a good state of health.  According to UNDP “The higher the level of education, the more likely people are to have increased aspirations, social comparisons and adaptation which lower the level of happiness (Michael Argyle in Kahnemann et al. 1999, p.355). In contrast happier people have better results in school, a greater mental efficiency, higher autonomy and self-confidence (Veenhoven 1984, p.200). Additionally happy employees they work better, they have higher productivity, and they are more cooperative. Self-confidence, bring people closer to happiness and to their capability to control their personal destiny (Veenhoven 1984, p.354). Furthermore, intrinsic goals have a greater influence that extrinsic. Beauty, fame and wealth are not certainly related to happiness (Ed Diener and Mark Eunkook Suh in Kahneman et al. 1999, p.445). Schimel concludes,  “Poverty is not exclusively a state of deficiency and ill-being, wealth is not necessarily a situation of abundance and well-being, and development is hence not automatically a teleological process providing greater well-being.”

To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that Americans want to “be happy”.  According to Viktor Frankl, happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue and one must have “a reason to be happy”. “Once the reason is found, one becomes happy automatically.”  Human are looking for a reason to become happy. In study he contacted, about “unemployment neurosis” in young people, he found out, that the patients  who volunteered their free time with an unpaid but meaningful activity, their depression disappeared although their economic situation had not changed and their hunger was the same.  He created the Logo Therapy, which comes from the Greek words Logos, and Therapeia , and their meaning is to find one cure through reason.  He concluded that there are three main avenues one can find the meaning in life. Through work, love and by turning a personal tragedy into a triumph.  The big question though is,  why people should reach to that point, to need a psychotherapy, or logo therapy, or chemotherapy? Why humans should pass their lives with no reason and become sick physical, psychological, or mental?  Is this because of a myth, the pursuit of the current “American Dream”?  Plato argues, “There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”

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