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Elizabeth Garcia

Professor Beadle

Writing 115

21 February 2019

Taking Initiative

The driving force of one's potential success and fulfillment is achieved through

happiness. This so-called happiness occurs when one becomes satisfied with all the needs that

have been desired and accomplished. At what point does one finalize the search for happiness?

Author Graham Hill a Journalist, Entrepreneur, and founder has remarkable diversified success.

David Brooks is a Journalist at the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal who has also

written five books, taking on controversial topics. Sonja Lyubomirsky a professor in Psychology

of U.C.R., author of articles, book chapter, and research on individual happiness. Hill is

contemplating an excessive need for materialism, that builds barriers when dealing with the

internal and external environment. Being able to build relationships, Brooks, on the other hand,

internalizes the advantage of suffering as a way to reflect. Finally, Lyubomirsky hits on a couple

of major points, dealing with the environment, studies in a way to present one's internal thoughts.

All three authors suggest areas of growth in order to reach happiness and also hints to better

relationships to be formulated as a result.

Hill begins by giving an anecdote of his life which is made up of a variety of objects that

have “ended up running [his] life, or a lot of it, the things I consumed ended up consuming
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me”(Hill 308). His life has been controlled by these things that take up time and effort. In doing

so he has become detached with his sense of self since he has fed into consumerism, being

consumed with the ideal, that he must have these “extractions of resources that manufacture the

waste disposal-plays a big part in pushing our planet to the brick”(Hill 310). At this point, the

planet has become ingested with the mess Americans have created. He hints to global warming

and serious environmental consequences. Not only has there been excessive mass production but

it seems to have conceptualized the reality of these temporary things that seem to govern

everyday lives in an obsessive manner. Subsequently, where Americans have disconnected with

the “relationships, experiences and meaningful works of life”(Hill 311). In a way people have

unintentionally created invisible walls, as a result, it has completely detached themselves to

connect with others. Being able to have human relationships with one another seems to keep a

person moving forward internally or externally. Thus, these relationships become dependent

because it ultimately becomes the one thing that keeps people connected, and grounded to

themselves and others.

Brooks lays out the foundation for happiness by demonstrating the aspect of suffering as

it “drags you deeper into yourself”(Brooks 284). See one must be in their most vulnerable state

in order to accept this change that is about to occur. Since one is more welcoming to change at

this point the opportunity for “the healing process feels as though its part of some natural divine

process beyond control”(Brooks 266). The healing is inevitable and becomes applied. In all, a

person can let this absorb so that they are able to self-reflection and transcendence their

self-worth. Then as fuel to an engine, this is what can bring a person back to a point of

redemption. Holiness is put into play, and one can internally live a more forthcoming
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knowledgeable lifestyle due to the effect that suffering had. Once a person is able to do this,

accepting negative and positive experiences altogether has embarked an array of both spectrums

that creates an understanding of what they, themselves require to maintain their own happiness.

Lyubomirsky has presented the case of three people. Two of Angela and Randy have

accentuated a true definition of being defined as happy, they each share a post-traumatic event

which has shaped the way they chose to live their lives (Lyubomirsky 180). As a result, they

have seemed to find comfort in another human being. Whether it be with friends, love, or

acquaintance interaction, these relationships seem to make a difference in one's life. Going back

to Brooks point about, suffering being able to create happiness, these two cases have been

subjected to traumatic relationship events that have enacted this enthusiasm for happiness.

Shannon the final case has experienced a lack of tragedy or trauma in her life, [she] seems to turn

everything into a crisis”(Lyubomirsky 182). At comparison to Angela and Randy, Shannon

hasn’t had the need to create this alternative happiness because she was never exposed to the

second possibility of mishap, isolation, and suffrage. In all, there can be no telling how she may

react to any future traumatic event when the time may come. The differentiation between these

three cases has demonstrated an unfortunate spectrum of chance and choice. Another case which

looks at a pair of fraternal twins case shows the effect of the difference in the physical

environment. These two sets of twins are observed, on the way they are treated, specifically to

how they are treated depending on whether they are raised together or separately. The first set of

twins are raised together, therefore as the study shows they have developed completely different

characteristics. The second set of twins are raised in different households and formulate similar,

almost identical likes( Lyubomirsky 188). The environment in which the two sets of twins are
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exposed to has become important because being raised together has forced them to act of total

opposite to each other. Though if they are raised separately there isn't any pressure to have to act

differently. Basically, these twins are genetically similar, looking closer to their feelings, even

though their treatment and environment are different, the levels of happiness aren't

different(where one is happier than the other). This now becomes an assertion of genes that

became inherit from both parents at the time the embryo is being created. 50% of their DNA is

from both parents, but there was still the other 50% that relied on action and circumstance.

Additionally, the people in the studies have demonstrated whether they choose to live happy by

their own means or by the influences others have them. As for the fraternal twins their

environments have the ability to alter the way they are brought about.

To put in perspective there are many tendencies in which one becomes consumed by a

controlling society that has laid out the fundamental foundation for happiness. Each author picks

on imperfections and suggests different approaches in order to truly achieve happiness. It may

come about as a way to become detached to societal expectations, to become attached to

themselves in order to maintain that motive of self-fulfillment. Once this has been successfully

acted upon, it will make room for relationships to emerge in a healthier and more successful

manner. As I've mentioned before these relationships have been able to retrieve people from their

suffering, being able to maintain that bond stimulates happiness. Being able to feel happy is

important because it suggests someone to look beyond what is easier to do and look for things

that don't make someone happy.


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Works Cited

Brooks, David. “What Suffering Does.” Pursuing Happiness, Edited by Matthew Parfitt and

Dawn Skorczewski, Bedford St. Martins, 2016, pp.284-287

Hill, Graham. “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” Pursuing Happiness, Edited by Matthew Parfitt

and Dawn Skorczewski, Bedford St. Martins,2016, pp.308-313

Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “How Happy are You and Why?” Pursuing Happiness, Edited by Matthew

Parfitt and Dawn Skorczewski, Bedford St. Martins, 2016 pp.179-197