The Role Of Happiness In Henry David Thoreau's Model Of Success

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The individual has always pursued achievement; albeit, others do not define it for him or her. One, alone, decides the content and value of his or her goals; achievement of these ultimately leads to happiness. Happiness is relative to the individual; one finds it in their own success, which the individual creates and defines; however, external factors can affect happiness, but the individual can alter his or her goals to conquer these hindrances and find happiness within himself or herself.
One should put his or her needs above those of the group; one achieves success in nonconformity and individualization. Conformity with society’s model of success limits the individual’s ability to be happy; furthermore, granting others their needs before
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Thoreau said “Men frequently say to me, ‘I think you would feel lonesome down there, and want to be nearer to folks, rainy and snowy days and nights especially.’ I am tempted to reply to such…” (Thoreau). He did not define his life the same as others; nevertheless, others assume that every person can find happiness the same as they do; these men defined the paragon for a happy life to be with others, but Thoreau defined his own as solitary, as different. Some believe luxuries to an impediment to one’s happiness, while others believe them to push success and happiness. Thoreau argues for simplicity; any luxury will coax the individual to delve into obsession, greed, and ultimately unhappiness; however, Voltaire argues that one can use envy for these possessions, what one may define as their goal, to better oneself and achieve happiness. “Envy is as natural to man as hunger and thirst…” (Voltaire). He believes envy, a fundamental trait that urges one to success, allows one to achieve success in their own terms, hence happiness. In each case, it is the individual’s own view that supports his happiness; Voltaire and Thoreau’s idealistic life contradict each other; still, they find that happiness ultimately comes from the success of one’s