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  Marin 1 Manuel Marin III Professor Ditch English 115 25 September 2018 Defining Happiness through the Concepts of what Happiness is and where it comes from. The space talked about in our author’s essays are asking about the internal state of happiness or the external state of it which the arguments in the essays are based upon. Cutler and the Dalai Lama in the essay, “The Sources of Happiness”, argues that happiness is not what you want or have but is a state of mind more than anything else and how the space can be transformed. Sonja Lyubomirsky in the essay “How Happy Are You and Why?”, argues that happiness is found with how you think, how you behave and the goals you set. David Brooks in the essay, “What Suffering Does”, argues that suffering is what makes a person who they are by overcoming and changing as a person because of those outcomes. Graham Hill in the essay, “Living with Less. A lot Less.”, argues that experiences and relationships are far more valuable than materialistic things because of the longevity of pleasure they give over materials. Happiness is an internal space not an external space is what The Dalai Lama and Cutler argue in their article. Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by events. For Example, “Some researchers have recently argued that an individual’s characteristic level of happiness or well-being is genetically determined, at least to some degree.” (Cutler 22) Arguing that some if not most is determined genetically. In the text, the author says “Researchers have conducted a number of experiments demonstrating that one’s level of life satisfaction can be enhanced simply by shifting one’s perspective and contemplating how things could be worse.” (Cutler 23) If someone goes through something but instead looks at it as how it could have been  Marin 2 worse rather than how it could be better. Which is a more positive outlook on it which would be transforming the space internally. Another thing the author says is “if you are mentally unhappy or frustrated, then physical comfort is not of much help.” (Cutler 25) If a person is not internally  prepared for a challenge than being externally does not matter and the same would be implied for happiness in its connection to internal and external spaces since, it is a mental state. The author talks about an experience with her friend who made enough money to retire at age 32 “its great  being able to travel and do the things that I’ve always wanted to do. But, - it’s strange; after I got over all the excitement of making all that money, things kinda returned to normal. - overall I don’t think I’m much happier than I was before.” (Cutler 21) Being able to retire at that age is a goal many people could not achieve and definitely would make a person curious about her information and opinions. “Our feeling of life satisfaction often depends on who we compare ourselves to. - Constant comparison with those who are smarter, more beautiful, or more successful than ourselves also tends to breed envy, frustration, and unhappiness.” (Cutler 23) If we use others and what they have and how they think to look down on ourselves then we are obviously not going to be happier. Using this method is exactly what the author is saying people do but shouldn’t do for the exact reason that it will not bring happiness. Also, Cutler says, “But we can use this same principle in a positive way; we can increase our feeling of life satisfaction  by comparing ourselves who are less fortunate than us by reflecting on all the things we have.” (Cutler 23) Applying the opposite of wanting to be or having what others don’t, so you can be grateful for what you have that others don’t which is a better perspective in life to be happy as a  person. Lyubomirsky claims that people usually choose whether they are happy or not based on their outlook on life. The author uses research of actual different types of people outlooks on life  Marin 3 and their situations to solidify his claims. An example she uses is “In my interviews and experiments with very happy people, I’ve even found a few who remain happy or are able to recover their happiness fairly quickly after tragedies or major setbacks.” (Lyubomirsky 180) Showing that even overly happy people sometimes don’t recover as fast as some would think they do even if it may look like it from an outsider’s perspective, he brings in data about the  perspective of people who are consistently happy instead to back this claim. In the text it speaks about a woman named Angela who has been abused emotionally and physically by her mother and is a single mother as well but was still a happy person overall. Another example she uses is, “Still, with all that has happened and all the challenges that have come to pass, Angela considers herself a very happy person.” (Lyubomirsky 180) Showing that obstacles overcome can still  bring a person to their space of happiness. Brooks says that suffering is what leads to change which is a way to make someone’s happiness much simpler than it used to be rather than it being more difficult to find internally. The author uses a very emotional day in history which was full of happiness because soldiers went home from world war II, which was a great day undeniably for the American people. Brooks says is, “When people remember the past, they don’t only talk about happiness. It is often the ordeals that seem most significant. People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering”. (Brooks 284) When people have gone through something the values that they have will change even if it is not major. Another thing he says is, “Even people double down on vulnerability. They hurl themselves deeper and gratefully into their art, loved ones and commitments.” (Lyubomirsky 287) People become more grateful with what they have and who they have around them after suffering. Suffering transforms the space around them and making it easier to find that happiness that they strive for.  Marin 4 Hill argues that happiness comes from experiences and not materials. He also claims that relationships are more valuable then materials as well. The author uses examples from his own experiences and research to argue his claim. He says, “I’m not the only one whose life is cluttered with excess belongings.” (Hill 309) While talking about all the purchases and items he makes he is describing it as vague clutter to make his point understandable to a person who knows that items are just objects and makes it all very clear on what he thinks of it all as a whole. Also, he leaves the idea open that others have the same problems in their lives and should expand their view on it. Another example he gives is “It didn’t take long before I started to wonder why my theoretically upgraded life didn’t feel any better and why I felt more anxious than before. My life was unnecessarily complicated.” (Hill 309) Hill did not like the short and simple satisfaction he was getting from the items he purchased and in fact made him even more on edge than he was  before. Looking into his claim I see that he is simplifying the fact that what he was getting out of items was not real satisfaction. He would then go on to talk about the things he did and the good that came from them and how all the accomplishments would make him happy making his happiness much clearer to him. He also says that as “A compulsive entrepreneur, I worked all the time – My life was full of love and adventure and work I cared about.” (Hill 311) Hill shows through himself that the changes he made in his values and ideas paid off and made his life a lot more interesting then the outside objects did. His space was transformed from external objects to internal moments and memories around him. In the articles they all refer to happiness and what it is represented by as well as how someone may use the information and use of the space around them to make themselves happier. Overall the Dalai Lama and Cutler have a good argument around the points that happiness is decided by the state you are in internally. Using credible sources as well as trying to make
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