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What is the good life? This ambiguous idea differs for everyone. Americans may believe that to live the good life is to live the American Dream and achieve freedom, equality, and prosperity. Others may believe that the good life involves being very wealthy or famous. Over all, the definition of the good life varies for everyone. There isn’t one specific way that a person should live in order for it to be “good”.
However, although the definition of the good life is very diverse and open to multiple interpretations, in order to live the best life possible, one should concentrate on doing whatever makes him or her happy, listening to his or her conscience and doing what it right, and establishing good relationships with family and peers. The most key piece to living the good life is doing whatever makes one happy. For most adults, this could mean having a job in their dream career field, and actually wanting to get out of bed to go to work in the mornings. Or, it could mean not having a job at all.
Nonetheless, most adults would be happy by achieving success in their chosen careers, and having stable and loving families. However, a small number of adults actually achieve this ideal happiness. Regardless, the good life is still attainable. In order to live the good life, one has to strive to find happiness in whatever he or she does. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay “The Over-Soul”, one can achieve happiness through God and religion. He states that God is accessible to everyone, religious or not, and that religion is essentially the key to all happiness.
For Christians, Emerson’s point of view may be correct. Many Christians believe that God can bring happiness to anyone who believes in Him. For non-Christians on the other hand, Emerson’s idea is irrelevant. Still, religious or not, people should strive to find happiness in whatever they do, and they should learn to accept their lives as they are. Even though no one lives a perfect life, people should aim to make the most out of their lives, and learn to find happiness in even the smallest situations. Doing so would allow one to become closer to attaining the good life.
Another important part to living the best life possible is listening to one’s conscience and doing the right thing, and actually feeling good about the decisions that are made. If one’s life consists of doing bad things, he or she will ultimately feel bad about them, and many regrets will be left behind. However, if one does a lot of good deeds throughout his or her life, there will be minimal regrets and he or she will be able to work towards living the best life possible. Listening to one’s conscience is also an effective way of avoiding regrets.
Many times, when one doesn’t listen to his or her conscience, regrets occur, because one looks back on the decisions made and realizes that they should have done something differently or listened to their conscience. Even though listening to one’s conscience might not always be the right thing to do or yield the best results, it will allow for one to live with few regrets. And, by living with few regrets, doing what is right, and listening to the conscience, one will become closer to achieving their good life, in whatever way it is defined.
The last way to live the best life possible is through establishing good and meaningful with one’s family and peers. A lack of friendships and substantial relationships will most likely leave one feeling very lonely and outcast. However, if one can form positive relationships, they will be more social, happy, and closer to achieving the good life. In Gary Eberle’s text, The Geography of Nowhere, Eberle states that electronics and the media are preventing many people from establishing good, intimate relationships with others.
Electronics are causing us to be very disconnected from each other: “The people spend so much of their lives connected electronically to someplace else that most of the time they hardly seem to be there, or anywhere at all, for that matter” (Eberle 2). Here, Eberle is showing how electronics and the media have caused society to be very disjoint, and they have hindered meaningful relationships from forming. So, in order to live the best life possible, we should strive to overcome the power of electronics and try to continue to make successful relationships with others, as healthy friendships are one of the most important pieces to
living a good life. Still, working past the power of electronics is not the only way to secure good relationships. In addition, one ought to be a trustworthy person. Trust is essential to all relationships, and if one is trustworthy, he or she will have more satisfying relationships with others. Along with trust, in order to form good relationships, one could be understanding, generous, comforting, and more. Doing so will allow one to develop healthy relationships with their friends and family, and the good life will then be more reachable.
Over all, the good life remains a very unclear idea, and there is no concrete definition on what the good life is, nor is there a definite way on how one is supposed to live it. Still, one can work towards living the best life possible by striving to find happiness in his or her life, as well as listening to his or her conscience, doing what is right, and establishing valuable relationships with peers. If one can do all of these things, they will be closer to achieving their definition of a good life.