Rainn Wilson on Happiness

Rainn Wilson // Relevant

“I don’t like the word ‘happiness.’ I think we have it in the United States – ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ What is the pursuit of happiness? Happiness, to me, is like my son when you take him to Santa Monica pier and he goes on a roller coaster and eats cotton candy. He’s happy. And then eight minutes later, he’s not happy. He wants to do it again to get happy again… Happiness is this thing that you’re chasing.

“I think the better word is ‘contentment.’ Contentment lies in living fully in your life’s purpose. Living in God’s purpose for you breeds a contentment that’s not contingent on achieving certain things or doing certain things … The ancient Greeks believed in a concept called eudaimonia, which translates as ‘human flourishing.’ That was the highest ideal in the Greek world.

“Can you imagine if our natural motto was, ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of human flourishing? It’s not happiness; it’s human flourishing – deep, soul-enriching stuff. It’s connection. It’s service. It’s work. It’s creativity. It’s beauty.

“I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of human flourishing.”

– an excerpt from an interview in Relevant Magazine

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