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What Does Your Happiness Look Like?

Today I would like you to reflect on yourself through the Hamburger happiness model, introduced by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar from Harvard University who are known in the field of happiness.

According to Shahar, the way people derive happiness can be comparable to the type of burger they consume, which also reflects their archetype.

1. Rat Race Archetype: Rat racers can be compared to those who consume Vegetarian hamburgers. They tend to sacrifice their current pleasure for future goals.

Cultural background plays a part in shaping rat racer behavior. For example, if they get ‘A’ grades, they will be rewarded by their parents. If they meet the sales target, they will get a bonus at the end of the year.

Rat racers tend to be oriented to the future rather than the present time. They spend time chasing the future that changes all the time. They do not expect to be rewarded during the journey but after the journey. They are often stuck in the ‘Rat Race’ illusion that reaching the target will bring them happiness, which is a false belief.

2. Hedonism Archetype: Hedonists can be compared to those who consume junk food burgers. They focus on the present happiness without thinking of the future. They look for pleasure while avoiding pain and ignoring the negative consequence that might happen in the future. They might commit doing bad things that they can make them instantly happy, e.g. drug consumption. They might avoid works that they find difficult or boring. The hedonist is stuck in the ‘hedonist illusion’ that happiness can be achieved by continuously seeking instant pleasure without thinking of the plan.

3. Nihilism Archetype: Nihilists can be compared to people who eat the worst burger. They are desperate in life. They are not happy in the present life and have no hope for the future. They are hopeless to be happy and succumb to the thought that life is meaningless. They stick to the past failure, and so think that they cannot find happiness in the present or the future.

4. Happiness Archetype: Happy people tend to eat ideal burgers. They feel stable in life. They know that what they do in the present time will also bring happiness in the future. They can pursue a happy life sustainably. They understand that attaining happiness is like climbing toward the mountain peak we deemed valuable and enjoy the journey, not gearing to the highest peak nor wandering endlessly in the mountain.

Let’s Learn and Grow Together.


The Art of Self-Discovery


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