Happiness and joy can take more than one form. Pleasure, commitment and meaning. Pleasure, the path to happiness most often encountered in the media, is no longer the main focus of our attention. Today we also try to be productive and contribute to the achievement of a greater goal than we ourselves. These three paths reflect three ways to relate to the world, discover, act and be. They are a fundamental part of how we process information and develop sequentially over time.
Exploration brings to light the pleasures and sensations that flow from the stimulation of our senses. You often see this in children. Think about a two-year-old man with food. It is easy to observe a child’s pleasure with food when playing with it, squeezing it with fingers, smudging it on the face and enjoying its taste. You can also see exploration, at any age, in new situations. For example, when you go to a new store,
you may want to discover it to find out what is where it is. As we get to know the situation, our attention to the important stimuli makes us accustomed to what is important to us. Exploitation is decreasing and is being replaced by more goal- and task-oriented behaviour. For example, after examining what is available in a new store, we decide what we want to buy and where to get it.
The activity reflects the joy of being committed to achieving goals, fulfilling tasks and facing the challenges of life. It is most common in adult life. Indeed, when you talk to an adult, it only takes a minute or two before one of them asks, “What are you doing? Adults live in a world of schedules, payments, commitments and the work that needs to be done. For example, at mealtime, an adult may be most interested in getting food on the table, completing the meal in a reasonable time, and making sure that the cleaning operations are done. Exploring a young child is likely to be disciplined and seen as a mess. We like our work when we take advantage of our strengths. Yet, in everything we do, we can ignore the question of what is really worthwhile.
We are “being” when we accept and appreciate who we are. When we are in contact with our deeper character, it helps us to better appreciate the contribution of our presence. When our actions come out of this presentation, they are more likely to serve us. At the social level, being connected to the community, our deeper values and the quality of our inner experience. Being develops more fully halfway through life. In our example of eating a meal, this kind of happiness can be seen in a wise adult who enjoys spending time with his or her child and redirects the child’s attention through his or her presence rather than through discipline.
Each of these ways of referring to the world has its own function. They develop sequentially. During exploration, attention becomes accustomed to how we develop a scheme that underpins the more goal-oriented and task-oriented actions that follow. Over time, involvement in tasks finally becomes accustomed to the characteristics of connection and being. All three are needed. Appreciation of the qualities and contributions of each of them can help us create a more rewarding life.
When it comes to discovering the American continent, it seems more exciting and different. North America consists of Canada and the United States. On the other hand, South America is known for times that go back to Latin American heritage. Heading towards Brazil, you can discover the Amazon region, which is one of the most impeccable places on the planet Earth.
Do you want to go to the icy surface of the planet with sincere creatures? Antarctica is the continent you should be heading for. There are plenty of frosty places on this continent that attract the attention of several visitors every year. In Antarctica, you can see piles of ice with penguins and seals. Most biologists and geologists often hurry to this continent to discover the extreme wilderness of the planet.