We all want to get the most we can out of life. Whether we want to find a loving partner, work at a meaningful career, gather an abundance of financial resources, or have enough leisure time to pursue favored interests, the usual bottom line is that we want to be happy. Throughout thousands of years of history, the great philosophers have pointed to happiness as the worthwhile goal of all human activities. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.) suggested that eudaimonia – happiness – is our best good.
Most of us would agree that the life we want to live involves achieving the greatest degree of happiness. Even if we haven’t spent much time studying the works of Aristotle, we intuitively seek our greatest happiness. But such joy often escapes us, even at times when we think to ourselves that we ought to be happy. Various obstacles stand in our way, not the least of which is physical pain.