What Are the 4 Levels of Happiness?

What Are the 4 Levels of Happiness? A Clear and Knowledgeable Explanation

Are you looking to understand the different levels of happiness? Happiness is a complex emotion that can be influenced by various factors. According to the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and others, there are four levels of happiness that a person can experience. Each level of happiness grows in pervasiveness, endurance, and depth. Understanding these levels can help you identify where you stand and what you need to do to move up the ladder.

The first level of happiness is the most basic and represents your fundamental drivers in life, such as physical pleasure, immediate gratification, and excitement. This level of happiness is typically short-lived, shallow, and impacts no one else but you. The second level of happiness comes from comparison and achievement. This level of happiness is achieved by comparing yourself to others and feeling a sense of accomplishment when you achieve something. However, this level of happiness is also fleeting and can lead to envy and jealousy.

Four Happiness Levels in Life by Spitzer Center

According to Fr. Robert Spitzer, there are four levels of happiness that we experience in life. These levels are based on the source of our happiness and the depth of fulfillment they provide. Understanding these levels can help you identify where you are in your own happiness journey and what steps you can take to move towards greater fulfillment.

  • Level 1: Immediate Gratification

The first level of happiness is the most basic and immediate. It is the happiness we experience from the fulfillment of our external and material desires. This can include things like food, sex, money, and possessions. While this level of happiness can be intense, it is also short-lived and often leads to a sense of emptiness or dissatisfaction.

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  • Level 2: Comparative Advantage

The second level of happiness is based on comparative advantage. It is the happiness we feel when we achieve success or recognition in comparison to others. This level of happiness is often tied to our ego and can lead to a constant need for validation and competition. While this level of happiness can provide a sense of accomplishment, it is also fragile and dependent on external factors.

  • Level 3: Meaning and Purpose

The third level of happiness is based on meaning and purpose. It is the happiness we feel when we contribute to something beyond ourselves and find fulfillment in serving others. This level of happiness is often associated with empathy, compassion, and altruism. It provides a deeper sense of satisfaction and lasting fulfillment than the previous levels.

  • Level 4: Transcendent

The fourth and highest level of happiness is transcendent. It is the happiness we experience when we connect with something greater than ourselves, such as love, truth, beauty, goodness, and being. This is the level of ultimate and lasting happiness.  This transcendent level is the most pervasive, enduring, and deep. It provides a sense of wholeness and completeness that is not dependent on external circumstances.

Understanding the four levels of happiness can help you identify where you are in your own happiness journey and what steps you can take to move towards greater fulfillment. While the first two levels of happiness are important, it is the third and fourth levels that provide the most lasting and meaningful happiness. By focusing on meaning, purpose, and transcendence, you can cultivate a deeper sense of fulfillment and joy in your life.

Level 1: Pleasure – Immediate Gratification

The first level of happiness is all about pleasure and immediate gratification. This level represents your fundamental drivers in life, such as physical pleasure, excitement, and desire. It is the most basic level of happiness, and it is usually associated with external stimuli that bring you pleasure.

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Some examples of Level 1 happiness include enjoying a delicious meal, buying new clothes, or driving a fancy car. These things may bring you pleasure and satisfaction in the moment, but the happiness they provide is typically short-lived and shallow. It is a fleeting feeling that does not last long and does not have any significant impact on your life.

At this level, your happiness is mostly dependent on external factors like wealth and possessions. You may feel happy when you acquire new things, but that happiness fades quickly. You may also feel happy when you indulge in physical pleasures like eating your favorite food or listening to your favorite music. However, these pleasures are temporary and do not provide long-lasting happiness.

In conclusion, Level 1 happiness is all about pleasure and immediate gratification. It represents your most basic desires and drivers in life, but it does not provide long-lasting happiness. While it is important to enjoy life’s pleasures, it is equally important to recognize that they are temporary and do not provide sustained happiness.

Level 2: Achievement – Short Term

Level 2 of happiness is all about achieving personal goals and satisfying your ego. You believe that the universe exists to serve you, and you need to constantly achieve and win in your life. You want to be recognized at work, get that next promotion, or make sure your project has top priority. In order for you to win, though, others must lose. This is a comparative game, and you need to be better than others to feel good about yourself.

Winning is everything for you, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. You are in control and seek comparative advantage over others. You want to be famous, have power, and get promotions. You want to be the winner, and you are willing to compete with others to be the best.

However, Level 2 happiness is short-term, and it offers only temporary satisfaction. It seems that life gets stuck in level 2.  You are always looking for the next goal to achieve, and you are never satisfied with what you have accomplished. You are always comparing yourself to others and feeling jealous when someone else achieves more than you. This comparison game can make you self-centered and lead to problems in your personal and professional relationships.  Life gets stuck in level 2

To achieve Level 2 happiness, you need to focus on your personal achievements and ego gratification. You need to set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them. You need to be in control of your life and seek comparative advantage over others. However, you also need to be aware of the short-term nature of Level 2 happiness and not let the comparative game consume you.

Level 3: Contribution – Long-Term

Level 3 of happiness is the level of contribution. This level is all about finding joy in giving back to others, making a positive difference in the world, and leaving a lasting impact. It is about finding a sense of purpose and meaning in your life by contributing to something that is bigger than yourself.

Contributing to others can take many forms, such as volunteering your time, donating to a charity, or simply being kind and compassionate towards others. It is about finding ways to help and support others in a way that aligns with your values and passions.

When you contribute to others, you develop deeper relationships and a stronger sense of community. You become more engaged with the world around you and find a greater sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. You also develop a greater sense of compassion and kindness towards others, which can have a positive impact on your own well-being.

However, it is important to find balance in your contributions. It is easy to become overwhelmed or burnt out when you are constantly giving to others. It is important to take care of yourself and ensure that you are not neglecting your own needs and well-being.

In conclusion, Level 3 of happiness is all about finding joy in contributing to others and making a positive impact in the world. By finding ways to give back that align with your values and passions, you can develop deeper relationships, a stronger sense of purpose, and a greater sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Just remember to find balance and take care of yourself along the way.

At the highest level of happiness, you experience Ultimate Good. This level of happiness is achieved by receiving and participating in ultimate Truth, Love, Justice, Beauty, and Unity. It is about making the world a better place… leaving your personal footprint.

 It is a state of being that is perfect, absolute, infinite, unconditional, and eternal. Ultimate Good can only be achieved by believing that ultimate Truth, Love, Justice, Beauty, and Unity exists as a reality (God).

At this level, you have a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life. You feel a sense of contentment and fulfillment that transcends any earthly experience. You are grateful for everything in your life and appreciate the beauty and depth of every experience. You have a strong sense of identity and know who you are at your core.

You are optimistic about the future and see change as an opportunity for growth and development. You appreciate the small things in life and find joy in the simplest of pleasures. You have a deep sense of gratitude for everything in your life and see everything as a gift.

At this level, you experience a sense of transcendence that goes beyond the physical world. You feel a deep connection to something greater than yourself and have a sense of purpose that goes beyond your own life. You have a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the world around you and see everything as interconnected.

In summary, Ultimate Good is the highest level of happiness that can be achieved. It is a state of being that is perfect, absolute, infinite, unconditional, and eternal. It is achieved by receiving and participating in ultimate Truth, Love, Justice, Beauty, and Unity. At this level, you have a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life, feel contentment and fulfillment, and have a strong sense of identity. You appreciate the beauty and depth of every experience, are optimistic about the future, and have a deep sense of gratitude for everything in your life.

Different Types of Happiness & How to Cultivate

To cultivate happiness, you need to focus on the things that truly matter to you. This means identifying your passions, values, and goals in life. Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, you can start taking steps to make it happen.

One of the keys to cultivating happiness is to focus on your accomplishments. When you achieve something that is important to you, it can give you a sense of pride and satisfaction. This can help to boost your self-esteem and make you feel more confident in your abilities.

Another important aspect of cultivating happiness is to show respect and love towards other human beings. When you treat others with kindness and compassion, it can help to strengthen your relationships and deepen your connections with those around you.

Having a clear mission and vision can also be helpful in cultivating happiness. When you have a clear sense of purpose, it can help to give your life meaning and direction. This can help you to stay focused on your goals and make progress towards achieving them.

Finally, it is important to have strong leaders in your life who can guide and support you. Whether it is a mentor, coach, or friend, having someone who believes in you and encourages you can help to boost your confidence and keep you motivated.

By focusing on these key areas and taking steps to cultivate happiness in your life, you can experience greater levels of joy, contentment, and fulfillment.

10 Top Quotes About Ultimate Happiness

Take a look at these cherry-picked 10 top quotes about ultimate happiness.  Hopefully, these cheerful quotes about life and love resonate and brighten up your day.

  1. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
  2. “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” – Unknown
  3. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama
  4. “Happiness consists in achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods — health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc. — that lead to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life. “- Aristotle
  5. “Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz
  6. “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn
  7. “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  8. “The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.” – William Saroyan
  9. “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck
  10. “Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.” – Unknown

In Conclusion…

In conclusion, understanding the four levels of happiness can be a powerful tool in your pursuit of happiness. Each level builds upon the previous one, with felix being the most basic level of happiness and perfection being the ultimate goal.

It’s important to note that each level of happiness is not mutually exclusive. You can experience happiness at multiple levels simultaneously. However, it’s important to recognize when you are relying too heavily on one level of happiness and neglecting the others.

Beauty and prayer are two important aspects of achieving higher levels of happiness. Beauty can be found in the world around us, and taking the time to appreciate it can help elevate your happiness to the next level. Prayer can also be a powerful tool in achieving higher levels of happiness, as it allows you to connect with something greater than yourself.

Ultimately, the pursuit of happiness is a personal journey that requires self-reflection and a willingness to grow. By understanding the four levels of happiness and incorporating these principles into your life, you can achieve greater levels of happiness and fulfillment.

What Are the 4 Levels of Happiness?

About the author

beth elkassih

“Hi! Welcome to the launching and introduction to ‘Made You Smile Back’! I’m so pleased you’re here. Let me share with you a little bit about myself and why I created this platform.”

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