I learned a new term this week: “eudaimonic well being.” Eudaimonia is a Greek word associated with Aristotle that is often mistranslated as happiness, says the Shirley Wang in the March 15th Wall St. Journal. Some experts say Aristotle actually meant well-being when he wrote that humans can obtain eudaimonia by fulfilling their potential.

Even as happiness research is exploding, some of the newest evidence suggests that people who focus on a sense of purpose as they age are better off than those who focus on achieving feelings of happiness. They have better cognitive skills, better mental health, and even live longer.

Bingo.

I had just written my last blog on being happy by “enjoying the path.” Too much focus on feeling happy can actually lead to feeling less happy! Analysis by researchers at San Diego State University again confirms that people who pursue extrinsic rewards, such as money or status, often aren’t as happy as those who don’t.

So don’t sit around worrying. Focus on your goals.  Pursue your passion. And suddenly, you’ll realize that you are indeed experiencing happiness, of the “eudaimonic kind.”

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