TED Conversations

Lauren Prince

NBC News


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What is happiness?

What is happiness? We all feel it, but what IS it? Is it an experience? A manifestation of hard work? OR is it a state of being?


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    Aug 12 2012: Happiness is something that I have been trying to interpret for awhile. My Vietnamese name means happy so it holds some significance to my egotistic pride. I believe true happiness is not the outcome. I believe its self individualistic mastery to endure all the conflicts and conditions in your journey/process which leads to your outcome. Since we are all humans, I'm sure we have all felt - a situation where we had high perceived expectations over a long time period. The outcome can be good or bad, but during this lapse of time - you spend most of your energy wondering/fantasizing/hallucinating the outcome. This instance can arise many different emotions ranging from stress, depression, fear, and hatred to joy, peace, courage, and motivation. Every-time an expected outcome is scheduled into your plans, your thought process exercises the same mental sequences mimicked from previous similar cases; except emotions that arise depend on your current perception. A good example that I can relate this too is working out. When lifting weights one maintains their routine (sequence) but uses different weights (variety of emotions), when they are in particular mood (perception). In other words, I believe staying in one emotion is habitual exercise. My question for this philosophy - can we consistently exercise compassion, happiness, courage, and peace no matter what outcome? Only the endurance of self mastery can tell you.

    I am gonna finish my curry before it gets cold.

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