The End of Happiness
The title of The End of Happiness is a metaphor for the end of all good things in life. When we enjoy something delicious, our bodies feel good, and we crave it. However, this pleasure is temporary. The next time we crave the same thing, we’ll be hungry again. Similarly, when we get bored, we’ll want it again. Happiness is a state of mind that relates to our yearnings. But it ends when it doesn’t last.
Traditionally, we have considered happiness as a desirable outcome. However, in recent years, psychologists have been asking what exactly happiness is and what role it plays in our lives. In 1998, American psychologist Barbara Fredrickson proposed a theory that posited that positive emotions like happiness make us more creative and open to new experiences. Thus, people who are happy are more likely to try new things and develop new interests, social relationships, and physical abilities.
Since then, however, happiness has become an obsession, with TED talks and happy balls being the latest examples. In addition to tracking the level of happiness at work, there have been numerous campaigns and a manifesto. And there are now Chief Happiness Officers and consultants. However, the popularity of the concept of happiness can be exploited. As a result, it’s worth considering the consequences of the phenomenon. If happiness becomes a fetish, it may be time to reconsider the idea.