One of the fundamental principles of thriving lies in finding and embracing our purpose. In my recent posts, I’ve delved into this topic in more detail, covering why purpose is important (especially in our work), as well as the strategies to uncover our individual purpose and striking the right balance of passion.

Yet, there’s another concept closely intertwined with purpose that also deserves some attention, eudaimonia.

Stemming from the Greek word ‘daimon,’ eudaimonia means true nature, and refers to living life in a deeply satisfying and meaningful way. According to Aristotle, eudaimonic happiness involves the actualisation of human potential, whether through personal growth, challenging oneself, or contributing to something bigger than you are. And the pursuit of eudaimonia is believed to lead to enduring happiness over the long term.

This differs from hedonism, which refers to the chase for in-the-moment pleasure. Hedonism aims for a presence of positive emotions and a higher sense of life satisfaction. It refers to doing things that bring us instant gratification such as having fun with friends, eating food, buying something new etc. All of the actions we pursue even though they only provide enjoyment for a short period of time. And not long after, what tends to happen after a peak period of happiness is that we return to our baseline. The ‘shiny and new’ feelings dissipate and we’re left looking for something else to make us feel happy again. Needless to say, this type of happiness won’t achieve the longer lasting type often sought. So hedonic happiness shouldn’t be the focus of our purpose. Yet we need both hedonia and eudaimonia to achieve a greater level of thriving overall.

Purpose and eudaimonia share a common focus on living a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life – what many consider to be the ‘good life.’ By cultivating a sense of purpose and aligning our actions with our values and  aspirations, we pave the way for meaning, fulfillment, and eudaimonia to be present in our lives.

So as you continue your journey of exploring your own purpose, perhaps it’s worth considering what your life would look like if well lived?