Epicurus—Guide for Finding Happiness

Alishba Imran
5 min readOct 2, 2019

What makes you happy?

Maybe money, power, friends, music, or eating food? Most people spend more of their life worrying about how to be happy, yet most people aren’t very good at acting on what they know will make them happy right now.

This is one of the oldest problems of humanity and philosophy might have an answer.

Epicurus, who?

Epicurus was a philosopher who focused on some of these important questions like what makes us happy and how we can work to make ourselves happiest.


Epicurus knew that the things that make us happy are generally different from the things we seek on a daily basis. He knew that we all place a high value on friendship but rarely see our friends enough. He knew that we all wanted to enjoy what we have but strive for more constantly.

Factors for Happiness

  1. Tranquility
  2. Freedom from fear
  3. Absence of bodily pain

If you have all three of these then there virtually should be no reason for you to be unhappy. We need to detach ourselves from the things that don’t matter and unlearn what we’ve felt is important in life but isn’t. The bottom line idea is that if we are fearful about anything in our future, this is an obstacle to our experience of pleasure, tranquillity, and happiness.

The Epicurean Lifestyle

To experience tranquillity, Epicurus suggested that we could seek knowledge of how the world works and limit our desires. For him, the pleasure was obtained through things like:

  • Knowledge
  • Friendship
  • Community
  • Living a virtuous life
  • Living a temperate life
  • Moderation in all things

This summarizes it pretty well:

On the types of pleasure

Pleasure is a natural urge, but should we chase after everything that offers to light…

Alishba Imran

Machine learning and hardware developer working on accelerating problems in robotics and renewable energy!