We were told from a very young age, whether explicitly or implicitly, that happiness stems from success. It’s all about the attainment of the next goal, of the next milestone. And yet, more often than not, achieving these goals does not bring us to a happier place, certainly not in the long-term.
One of the issues that people have with the pursuit of happiness is that it’s a selfish endeavor. But is it? When we pursue happiness, oftentimes, we are in a much better place to also help others. The problem though, doesn’t lie in the pursuit of happiness but rather in our concepts.
So is the pursuit of happiness selfish or selfless? According to Harvard professor Tan Ben Shahar, it’s neither and both. It’s self-ful. Selfulness synthesizes the best of both worlds of selfishness and selflessness. The two work together reinforcing one another in an upward spiral of generosity and benevolence.