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Wesley Moore


Professor Ditch

English 113A


26 February 2018

Moore 1 A Choice
Moore 1
A Choice
English 113A   26 February 2018 Moore 1 A Choice Happiness is the state of being

Happiness is the state of being happy. While this definition doesn’t seem to adequately

define happiness, this essay will explore the importance of happiness among humans.

People will

go to great lengths in order to achieve their ideal mental and physical state of happiness

. After

reading and studying the following three articles: “The sources of Happiness” by His Holiness

the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, “The Alchemy of Suffering” by Mathieu Ricard, and “From

Nicomachean Ethics” by Aristotle,

there can be conclusions made about happiness. There is a

common theme that can be intertwined with all of these articles.

These readings have very

different stories or facts but when you look closely you can correlate and even relate these ideas

together. These articles all have a similar theme and that is what true happiness is.

is focused on

which is, happiness is a choice.

The topic that

between these three articles is how they correlate and how I can relate it to my life

The authors focus on this idea that happiness is a choice because

everyone struggles or suffers throughout their life however one can always choose to be happy.

The common idea that is demonstrated throughout these articles is happiness is a choice,

this relates to these readings very strongly. The three main sections in this reading that are

explored in “The Sources of Happiness”, are the following: comparing mind, inner worth, and

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happiness versus pleasure. These three ideas all relate to the idea that happiness is a choice.

Comparing mind is a characteristic some people possess. This happens when an individual

continually measures themselves against other people. This is a negative and unhappy

state of
state of
other people. This is a negative and unhappy state of mind that people often resort to

mind that people often resort to in difficult situations. You can’t be in a good state of mind and be

happy if you're always comparing yourself to others and constantly being paranoid about others

opinion of you. When you accomplish your goal it will never be enough because there will

always be someone better then you, and that will wear on your happiness.

Inner worth explains how internal happiness is a long term positive mind set and is the

best kind of happiness. External happiness is short term and


not always a genuine happiness,

this is not a healthy type of happiness. Happiness versus pleasure discusses what true happiness

is. This compares what people assume happiness is but in reality is a fake or short term form of


The Dalai Lama says ,
Dalai Lama says

“ The right choice is often the difficult one-the one that

The Dalai Lama

involves some sacrifice of pleasure,” (31)

is saying that if you want to be good at

something or achieve happiness you have to sacrifice or suffer. All of these ideas relate to how

happiness is a choice. Many people have goals in life, sometimes it’s attaining wealth, a career,

or a specific appearance. No matter what the goal is, most of the time at the end of the journey to

achieving the goal lies happiness.

Many people think without attaining their goals they simply cannot be happy in life. All

of these ideas can relate to “The Alchemy of Suffering” by Matthieu Ricard.

In this article Ricard

says, “Arising from impermanent causes, unhappiness is itself subject to change and can be


transformed. There is neither primordial nor eternal suffering”(38), he is saying that suffering is


never permanent and a person can always find happiness within suffering.

Matthieu Ricard talks

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about the three different types of suffering and essentially is saying everyone struggles at some

point in life so the external happiness will not exist during that period of struggle it’s the internal

true happiness that will last long term. These two authors Dalai Lama and Ricard are talking

about similar topics of




to inform people that at some point you’re going to struggle but

mind set
mind set

to overcome suffering.

you choose to be happy and have a positive

My state of mind is a major part of my life because I'm an athlete, but more specific a

baseball player. If anyone knows about baseball they would say it’s a huge mental game. In

baseball if I compare myself to other players it can lead me to very negative thoughts because I

will not be satisfied that there will always be someone better than me. Baseball is all about your

state of mind which is choosing to be positive and happy.

If I have negative thoughts running

through my head it makes it very hard to succeed but if I have a positive mind it gives me a lot

better of a chance to succeed.

In the article “The Alchemy of Suffering” Matthieu Ricard talks about mental and

physical types of suffering, he says that there are also three types suffering visible, invisible, and


Hidden suffering is when the person is holding back the pain internally from any external


On the outside it could look like a person is happy, they could have whatever they

want in life but internally they could be suffering which is why happiness does not come from

external things it’s an internal

state of mind

that is true happiness. Everybody suffers at some

point in time in life but most people hide it or don't know its even there. People hide the suffering

with external things which they might think it makes them happy but long term it doesn't

might think it makes them happy but long term it doesn't therefore the author is trying

therefore the author is trying to inform us on what internal and external happiness is and how

suffering can be hidden or invisible to the naked eye but someone could be seriously suffering on

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the inside. Ricard says, “ Recognize suffering, eliminate its source, end it by practicing the path,”

(39) Ricard is explaining how to eliminate suffering, first you have to realize that you’re

suffering, then know how to eliminate the suffering and practice overcoming the pain. This

article can compare to another article called “From Nicomachean Ethics” by Aristotle, because

in the “The Achelmy of Suffering” it talks mainly about suffering and From Nicomachean Ethics

it talks about how far a human will go to achieve happiness. A human will suffer to achieve

happiness. I have suffered physically before but if I was ever struggling mentally reading this

article really helped me know how to possibly deal with the problem. I know I wouldn't try to

hide it externally when I know on the inside it hurts. This article taught me a life lesson about

suffering and now I know how to deal with it.

Aristotle’s purpose is to attempt to understand and define human nature and how far

humans will go to achieve happiness. People should always go and try to achieve their goals but

realize that these things are not going to make them happy for a long time, it’s building

relationships, friends, and family that will build a positive

friends, and family that will build a positive state of mind and ultimately make you happy

state of mind and ultimately make you

happy for a long period of time. The author writes to inform people the difference between

pleasure and reaching your goals versus true happiness. This article can be related to both “The

Sources of Happiness," and “The Alchemy if Suffering”.

The Dalai Lama

talks about happiness

versus pleasure, Aristotle talks about the extent in which someone will go to achieve pleasure

and happiness. This article also relates to “The Alchemy of Suffering” because it talks about how

far someone will go to obtain happiness; one of those sacrifices is suffering.

A person such as


myself has gone and will continue to go to far lengths to achieve happiness not only in life but

doing what I love which is baseball.

One of my



quotes is “ you have to fail to succeed,”

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another way I interpret that quote is “ you have to suffer to succeed”. One of my main

happiness’s in my life is baseball. I will go to an unmeasurable extent to make it to the MLB but

its how I perceive what my happiness is when I realize I am truly happy. In reality I just love the

game, the money would be nice and so would the fame but my true happiness is playing


To give you an example how far I have gone for the game of baseball that I love is I left

home at the age of 15 to go to a baseball academy 12 hours away from my house. For my last


two years of high school I completely focused on school and baseball to try and further my


playing career at the next level which is collegiate baseball. I left my family, friends, coaches,


and siblings to go and try to continue my playing career so I can continue to do the thing I love


and that makes me happy. I use baseball as an outlet to the outside world. Anytime I am going


through difficult times I go and practice because it makes me happy and that is a choice I make.


Throughout these three articles the main theme was happiness is a choice. All three

articles related to each other and related back to the main idea and I could

life experiences.


relate it into my

authors all had the same intentions and that was to inform their audience

what true happiness was and how to find it because everyone suffers in their life but if they have

a positive and happy mind set they can overcome the suffering and choose to be happy.

Works Cited

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Lama, Dalai and Cutler, Howard, The Sources of Happiness. 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA:

Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2016. Print.

Ricard, Matthieu. The Alchemy of Suffering. 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA:

Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2016. Print.

Aristotle. From Nicomachean Ethics. 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA:

Bedford/ St. Martin’s. 2016. Print.