And if you asked, “In two words or less, what is a philosophy of enjoyment?”
Answer: ‘Live well,’ ‘enjoy life,’ or simply, ‘enjoy.’
- “If you enjoy something, you find pleasure and satisfaction in doing it or experiencing it (see also: And the Waiter said, “Enjoy”).
- If you enjoy yourself, you do something that you like doing or you take pleasure in the situation that you are in.
- If you enjoy something such as a right, benefit, or privilege, you have it.”
This might sound simplistic and possibly dangerous, so you ask,
“If I or anyone else named I adopted this “Enjoy life” philosophy, wouldn’t that mean living in the “pursuit of happiness” like it says in the United States Declaration of Independence?
The answer is, ‘Yes, but it doesn’t take much to enjoy life’ (see also: happy animals running, jumping and playing).
To which you say,
“In the phrase “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” doesn’t “pursuit” mean “chasing” happiness and isn’t that just hedonism? (as in, a bad thing).”
1844 as “self-indulgence,” from Greek hēdone “pleasure” (see hedonist) + -ism.
“… that the pleasure of the moment is the only possible end, that one kind of pleasure is not to be preferred to another, and that a man should in the interest of pleasure govern his pleasures and not be governed by them; hence, that ethical doctrine which regards pleasure or happiness as the highest good. … Egoistic hedonism considers only the pleasure of the individual; altruistic hedonism takes into account that of others. [Century Dictionary]
Hedonism says that pleasure is what motivates us. Only pleasure, our own or another’s, has worth and only displeasure has the opposite of worth (source).
Pursuing happiness might be encouraged, but to most people, the pleasures pursued by hedonists are indecent, indulgent and possibly sinful (at least, to the religious).
The common myth is that happiness is about having more good times than bad. The more good times, the more happy overall, but it isn’t about the quantity of ups over downs, but how smoothly we ride them.
Everything is changing all the time. From one moment to the next, good things and bad things happen to everyone. Those who are the happiest don’t have more good times than bad, they just don’t cling to the “good” or run from the “bad” like most people.
They appreciate every minute for what it is knowing it’s not going to last forever (see also: “This Too Shall Pass“).
Surveys show happiness is the number one thing people say they want (money is number two) but the biggest challenge is: “Not knowing what I want to do” (source).
People don’t realize they don’t have to do anything to enjoy living. Try holding your breath and see what happens.
Time slows right down!
After a minute or two, you’ll enjoy life by simply breathing!
(It’s the little things.)