Some ancient philosophers argued that “Happiness” was the pursuit of sensual pleasure while others argued that it was the final destination, the ultimate goal of life.
Aristotle, however, had a third option. The idea that Happiness is not simply a feeling, but a practice. Ultimately tying in Happiness with ‘living our purpose’.
This ARTICLE makes a case that research into the Human Genome may prove Aristotle was right.
These studies do more than merely tie Happiness with what I call our Noble Purpose, they also hint at the opposite, that not moving our lives towards this state of Happiness and in doing so ensuring that we live our purpose, can have a direct impact on our health and disease.
One of the interesting findings in this research was in subjects who were in stressful states such as feeling socially isolated. They found that in these subjects, their brains actually equated loneliness to danger and thus switched their bodies into a defensive state.
What makes this so interesting is that it wasn’t the opposite that changes the genome. In other words, it wasn’t just being “Happy” because in fact, the idea of “just how happy are you” didn’t seem to have any effect at all. But when Happiness is connected with ‘fulfilling your purpose’ the research shows that the genome transforms into better health, less disease; in short, A Better Life.
Tied to this is the notion that a connection must exist between you and your Noble Purpose, meaning that if you can connect with it, knowing that you can actually effect whatever “it” is, you will have even more positive results. We know this is true in the workplace as more and more research shows us that while everyone wants more money and having a good boss is important, perhaps the most important thing of all is a connection to the work we do. A sense of something larger than ourselves that we believe we can effect.
Ultimately, all of this leads us to what I believe is the purpose of life, and that is to be Happy, but not simply happiness for happiness’ sake. Happiness in a way that fulfills our passion, that connects us to something greater, that serves others through our Noble Purpose.
Tied together these pursuits can truly help us all live A Better Life.
Take a look at the article, it’s an interesting look behind the scenes of scientific research backing what social and cultural shifts are beginning to show us.
Finally, spend a little time contemplating this question. What is YOUR Noble Purpose?