Saturday, March 10, 2012

The 3 things you need to be happy

Today I want to tell you about a guy named Epicurus. He was a Greek philospher who walked on the planet a couple thousand years ago. Epicurus was a very smart guy who also had a great fondness for food and wine (my kind of guy). His name lives on today in the word 'epicure', meaning someone who loves fine dining.

Epicurus greatest gift to us was his discovery of what it takes to make us happy. He determined that we need only 3 things and they are;

1. friends

By friends Epicurus was referring to; family (include spouse), friends and our community

2. freedom

Freedom refers to our leasure time or free time to do as we please.

3. an analyzed life

An analyzed life means taking the time to understand what makes us happy. And more especially what makes us happy in enduring ways.

"If work is so terrific why do they have to pay us to do it"

Epicurus reasoned that some things that bring us the thrill of happiness last a short time but cost us large amounts of pain and effort. He considered these a poor investment. Today we might interpret this to include material possessions and ego satisfactions. These ego satisfactions include; seeking wealth, power and social status.

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles" Doug Larson

A better investment in happiness are those things that bring us enduring happiness. These long lasting pleasures could be best described as heart pleasures. Heart pleasures are things like; love, friendship and service to others or a cause.

"They say money doesn't bring happiness...I'm not denying that. I just want the opportunity to find out for myself" unknown

A couple of thousand years later and I'm thinking Epicurus had this happiness thing nailed pretty good. Learning to savor the heart pleasures and don't be fooled by the quick thrill of ego satisfaction. Smart guy!

And there is one more thing!

Epicurus believed that while we should savour our pleasures, we should do it in moderation. Pigging out on food or drinking to excess will only lead to detrimental after affects (I'm thinking obesity and a hangover) just were not worth the investment.

I'm thinking Epicurs would be one guy to invite to my party!
Smile, the purpose of life is to do some good, have fun and learn something.

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