Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eudaemonia

My husband gave me an article from Reader's Digest the other day. A friend from church had shared it with him. It was about gratitude, about how they've done studies that show people who practice being grateful are happier, healthier, and get along better with others. (The article was actually an excerpt from Deborah Norville's book Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You.)

I found the excerpt very interesting. But one thing in it really hit me. She used a word I hadn't seen before. Eudaemonia. She defined it as happiness or fulfillment that comes from the action itself, not the result of it. Of course, I immediately thought of writing. (Or you might think of any other creative act.) I don't love writing merely for the finished product. I love the process of planning, of writing, of trying to make it shine. It's the same when I go to the local ceramics shop to make something. It's not the final product that counts (which is often not so pretty to look at!), but it's the fun of the painting and glazing.

What in your life do you do just for the happiness or fulfillment that comes from the action itself?

Let's be grateful today!
Missy

4 comments:

  1. Does eating count?

    I love visiting with friends.

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  2. Ooo, Eating's a good one, Lindi!

    I hope this doesn't sound shallow of me, but Missy, I've had to think about this post all day to give a true answer.

    * Writing: even though it takes a lot out of me at times and can be so discouraging.

    * Church, when I can take the drama out of it - drama from others, I mean, and drama that goes on behind the scenes at church - hearing the message and singing, and worship is truly fullfilling.

    * Driving to the mountains to visit my parents. I love the scenery and I always return inspired.

    * Taking pictures, then editing out the excess to make something pop.

    Those are just very personal things. There are so many more that involve my family, but I guess I'll stop there.

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  3. Singing, photography of Montana or something I think is cool, reading, writing, baking, petting my animals, talking to family and friends, and I love Lindi's comment on eating:-) Add travel too, public speaking, and worship. Okay, okay, I love life.
    Angie

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  4. I just now saw you comments, ladies--a week later. Thanks for sharing what makes you happy!

    Missy

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