How To Obtain Happiness

August 10, 2020 by Essay Writer

One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves on a daily, is who am I? Who is the I trying to create a life full of genuinity and fulfillment? According to famous philosopher Plato, fulfillment and happiness is only achieved through a matter of priorities. He stresses that it is important to prioritize things that have longer meaning versus things that do not. Meanwhile, David Foster Wallace argues in his commencement that the idea that not worshipping anything in life will lead to being, ultimately in the end, happier. While reviewing both opinions, I was able to come to my own personal conclusion that finding fulfillment in life and happiness can be determined by looking past one’s ego and a little deeper into the soul. By prioritizing the wants and desires of the soul, rather than the ego, one can definitely find peace and value in the smaller things of life. To further the topic of one’s ego side, it can be easily described as the side that obtains all of the desires in life. While one’s soul can also obtain desire, the differences between them are extremely notable. The egotistical part of our human beings, relies heavily on what others, also known as society, think and comment about us. To desire something simply because others said it was what they thought we needed, is cannot be fulfilling. It is not rewarding to ourselves, nor is it easy and natural, to accept what others have opinionated and go along with. Strictly speaking, the ego’s ideals of desires, fulfillment, and happiness are unachievable since it depends on what an often changing society asks for, causing a situation that cannot be controlled. If one is to ask themselves who they are, responses such as being a friend, sister/brother, mom/dad, artist, athlete, and many more would be given which I like to label the ego side. Yet, if they had to go further than the surface of what they are labeled as, answers such as kind, loving, joyful, and other deeper adjectives would begin to be described. To realize that we are more than what the surface describes, and to reach that deeper realm of the soul, one has to look past the ego cover. We are more than our labels, accomplishments, fails, and any titles. The egotistical side of us, essentially, has been trained to believe that it is the most important and relevant. It is so difficult to look past the ego since it is going against what feels like everybody (society), but pushing past that and finding inner happiness that does not depend on an outer source is incredibly rewarding. To look beyond images, to recognize failures and accept them, to find self love and confidence are all traits of the soul and clear paths to finding happiness. As previously mentioned, Plato spoke on behalf of happiness as prioritizing things that possess longer meaning than those that do not. In other words, Plato values the fundamentals of man rather than the physical aspects of any single thing. The idea of ego versus soul plays a part here, as I would assume Plato would agree that the soul is everlasting. The key components that the soul values, such as finding self love and discovering feelings that come from a place within that already feels good about itself, is what I would classify as a priority that Plato explains is needed for happiness. Furthermore, I believe Plato’s ideals of happiness and my ideals of the soul are so similar because of the relationship Plato had with Socrates. Plato seeing his friend and mentor in life, Socrates, die to prove his honesty and continuously speaks on behalf of his ideals to others seconds before his death, played a role in how Plato views priorities in life. While Socrates could have blamed the Gods for making him intake Hemlock poisoning and sacrifice his life, he instead takes it as a chance to testify his truths and ideals, inspiring the thoughts and beliefs in Plato that happiness lies within everlasting fundamentals of humans and the soul rather than things that are artificial. Moving forward, is evident that when Wallace speaks on behalf of constructing meaning” from experience, he wants the reader to use his example of someone who is tired from working all day and having to do groceries to look deeper than the surface and our own self wants and needs. He begins telling the point of view of this character expressing how everyone seems to be getting in his/her way. He also uses the anger of sitting in hour long traffic, and how it can have a negative effect on a mood. In a situation like this, he explains, one should practice changing their thoughts from being so “normally” negative, to (forcefully) something more positive just from a simple experience like this alone. Keeping Wallace’s ideals in mind, the role of “worship” can be shown by keeping “truth upfront. In other words, facing the truths of reality will ultimately be more rewarding to a person’s soul, their outlook on life, and certain experiences instead of dwelling on the negatives that are so easy to fall into. In relation to my ideals of ego versus soul, I was able to obtain the idea that Wallace wants his audience to fight against that egotistical side and find deeper meanings of situations to help (fundamentally) fulfil the soul’s desires and wants. With two very similar ideals of how one can obtain happiness, Plato and David Foster Wallace were both able to give me an ideal of my own. Due to the honest death of his mentor, Socrates, Plato begins to believe that happiness is only achieved by grasping onto things that have everlasting meanings. The artificial things in life, he admits, should never be a priority as it will not satisfy the fulfillments and desires underneath the surface of a human. Wallace, similarly, argues that worshipping anything that is tangible and not meaningful, will not be able to quench the thirst of finding happiness. These two ideals were able to get me believing that by prioritizing the wants and desires of the soul versus the ego, even though it will be extremely difficult, one will obtain the happiness that is so desperately craved.

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