In the new bestseller book “Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment,” Author and Harvard Professor Tal Ben-Shahar refers to 4 styles for how we tend to lead our lives:
1) Hedonist: Present benefit that causes future detriment.
A hedonist focuses on enjoying the present while ignoring potential negative consequences of his/her actions.
2) Rat Racer: Present sacrifice for future benefit.
Rat racers enslave themselves to the present in pursuit of a better future. They are masters of delaying gratification.
3) Nihilist: Present sacrifice that causes future detriment.
Nihilists have lost their love for life. A Nihilist, according to Tal Ben-Shahar, neither enjoys the moment nor has a sense of future purpose.
4) Happier: Present benefit that causes future benefit.
Happy people live according to the knowledge that activities can bring enjoyment in the present and lead to a fulfilling future.
The 4 styles can be summarized simply:
Happiness Now, Suffering Later
Suffering Now, Happiness Later
Suffering Now, Suffering Later
Happiness Now, Happiness Later