According to Aristotle, everything we do is somewhere related to being happy. Happiness is the only thing we want to be happy. But happiness has four levels to it.
1. Happiness from material things
The first level of happiness is the one that comes from owning material things. This kind of happiness is short-lived as we humans always strive for more. If you only focus on level 1 happiness you will lead a meaningless life. A car, vacation can’t give you happiness for a life time. The happiness we achieve from them is shallow. But as long as you also take other levels into consideration. It’s ok to take pleasure from the material things.
2. Happiness from comparison, ego satisfaction
The second level of happiness comes when we compare ourselves with others and find yourself better. It’s the happiness we get when people praise us and admire us. It is risky as no one is perfect in all aspects and if you face failure the comparison can make you feel worthless and frustrated.
3. Happiness from helping others
The happiness you get from being good to others, showing compassion, kindness etc. The happiness you get from connections with other humans. In this level, we focus on making people around us happy because our happiness comes from them being happy. This happiness is more lasting and meaningful. But along with the happiness comes jealousy and hurt from being too much connected to someone.
4. Perfect happiness, ultimate happiness
The 4th level of happiness can’t really be described in words. It is a feeling of ultimate satisfaction and happiness that lasts forever. There is no definitive answer for the ultimate happiness, it can be different for different people, some find it through spiritual methods, some through art and some through other methods best known to them. It is said this happiness can be obtained by maintaining the perfect balance between the other three levels.