“Faith” and “self-determined goals” can easily be fundamentalist or self-serving, unless they are situated in a genuine social concern for the whole. In other words, to be religious or not (faith element), or to create your own story of your life or not (self-determined goals element), are not the most central question we can ask if what we want is healthier, happier and more meaningful lives. To give or not to give – that seems to be the question.
Positive psychology often (but not always) focuses on creating positive emotions. Existentialism tends to deal with the things that make us unhappy in life (grief, guilt, tragedy), trying to reconcile these with the feeling that life is still worth living.
Both positions are important in order to examine the spectrum of human emotions and living. Yet, beyond being “happy” or “sad”, it seems, is to give. Only through being generous to one another, it seems, will we achieve our full human potential for individual and collective well-being.