"Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are undoubtedly some of the most powerful words ever documented. These words have been an instrument in the social landscape of the United States since they were penned in the Declaration of Independence. As a matter of fact, America is the only place where the "pursuit of happiness" is actually guaranteed in writing. But then again, they are just words. What exactly is this "pursuit" that society has regarded to be so sacred? As defined by most Americans, including writers Jeffrey Kluger and Mike Martin, it is the manner of chasing your dreams and developing a lifestyle filled with both achievement and reward. Others, including foreigners and author Eric Weiner, view the pursuit of happiness as an escape from inclement or adverse social and political lifestyles, often beyond their own control. Regardless of your background, the pursuit of happiness is often regarded by most of us as our ultimate goal – the hallmark of life. Yet, how can something so elusive of definition play such an influential role in the modern world?.
As humans, we are constantly seeking to achieve & advance. We set goals for ourselves, and once they are met, we yearn to take them one step further; to advance on what we have already accomplished. And while this concept is often applied to material wealth & status, it shares a vital component regardless of your place on the societal totem pole, and that is that a part of our happiness is derived from our achievements; from our advancements. If we do something or create something in an effort to either achieve or advance, it will bring happiness. As humans, we have developed civilizations and have made ungodly technological advancements. We have erected skyscrapers, built dams, bridges, and even put a man (and a car) on the moon, all not because we needed to, but rather just because we could (Kluger).