Happiness or Purpose?  Purpose May Be Better.

Happiness or Purpose? Purpose May Be Better.

The Japanese word "ikigai" can be translated into English as “that which makes life worth living."  Put another way, purposeful living or "having a cause" or "why" for your life.  Much has been written about whether happiness or purpose is better.  I believe having a strong "why" allows you to overcome many obstacles on the way to the good life.  It also allows you to ignore the setbacks along the way that our outside your control.  

Iza Kavedžija in her post The Japanese concept of ikigai: why purpose might be a better goal than happiness makes a strong argument that purpose is the key to happiness in the end:

Focusing on one’s own happiness can prove self-defeating. The active pursuit of happiness and a determination to be or feel happy can quickly lead to a sense of inadequacy and disappointment. In this sense, happiness as a goal might be forever out of reach, little more than a fleeting and elusive ideal.

Read more about the Japanese concept of ikigai.  

By focusing on our life long pursuit (our cause or purpose) instead of momentary happiness, can we lead happier lives in the end?  

Further Reading:

You may also be interested on our post Is Happiness a Duty?  as well as Lesson #9 in 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Practicing Law post.


In addition to the Friday Happiness Post and  Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas.  He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time.  Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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