Getting What You Want
A successful person is always a happy person. “The happy life for a man is a life of the conscious following of a rule”. Happiness depends on the actualization of one’s rationality. A discussion of virtue follows the consideration of the conditions requisite to the achievement of happiness. According to Aristotle, a virtuous person lives according to reason, thus realizing his/her distinctive potentiality1. In addition, virtue is also the mean between extremes. Again, reason is used to determine this mean or midpoint. For example, cowardice is a deficiency of courage. Excess of courage may be called foolhardiness. This is the result of not thinking twice before a person leaps. Therefore, courage, the virtue, is being neither a coward nor a fool. The problem that virtue, as being relative, can be solved by realizing to which extreme one is closer, and then aiming for the opposite extreme. Most likely the person will be closer to the mean.2
Aristotle proposed two virtues that a person must possess to be able to follow this rule. 1)Good judgment to know what the right rule is, and 2)Resolve to follow and obey the rule even if he/she does not understand it. The philosopher with encyclopedic knowledge also said that the morally weak knows the right rule but do not have the fortitude to follow it. On the contrary, evil people deliberately choose the wrong rule.3
Stories portraying people going from rags to riches are heart-warming tales which revolve around a single concept: the pursuit of happiness. There’s never any doubt where these stories or films are going. The person is definitely going to succeed, and the only question is how. In the 2006 movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, Will Smith, as Chris Gardner, is a down on his luck salesman and father who makes the risky decision of staking his and his son’s future on the slim chance of being hired full-time after the internship ends. How did he succeed? Was it through...