The 2 Types of Happiness

The 2 Types of Happiness

“The (exclusive) pursuit of pleasure is the ambition of a pig.” – Einstein.

In late 2015, during my sabbatical, I attended a Mindfulness conference near Amsterdam and was introduced to the concept of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness.

I still remember the exact moment and the scene. During the morning tea break, Martin Strom and Maria Strom were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine with a few other colleagues and I joined the conversation. They had recently completed a workshop on compassion training and were sharing their reflections-insights. When Martin explained the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness I had this light bulb moment. I recall exactly how I mentally said to myself – “Wow! There is actually a name for that which I always knew in my heart!”. I was so glad to know there was actually a term as such and that idea I had in mind for so long was an actual THING!

Those terms were coined originally by Aristoteles, the Greek philosopher. A simple translation would be:

  • Hedonic Happiness: Achieved by the pursuit of sensual pleasures – think 5 senses.
  • Eudaimonic Happiness: Achieved when one is living according to their virtues, striving to meet their potential and be their best selves, which leads to a greater purpose, meaning, and self-actualisation.

During the Mind and its Potential Conference, the Buddhist scholar Allan Wallace explored the concept of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness with Tenzin Palmo.

To learn more about this topic:

  1. Watch the fascinating (and hilarious!) discussion between Allan Wallace and Tenzin Palmo in this 30 minutes video:
  2. Check this article –,well%2Dbeing%20in%20different%20ways.

#Purpose #Happiness #Meaning #MeaningfulConversations #MeanignfulLife #Mindfulness


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