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People Are Fully Responsible for Their Happiness And They Can Be Happy If They Want - IELTS Band 9 Essay


Some believe that people are fully responsible for their happiness and they can be happy if they want. Others, however, feel that happiness depends on other factors in their life than just their wishes -IELTS Band 9 Essay

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Model Essay 1

Happiness, often perceived as a personal choice, is also argued to be significantly influenced by external circumstances. This essay will explore the belief that individuals can cultivate their own happiness through mindset and choice, contrasted with the view that external factors like socio-economic conditions play a pivotal role. Ultimately, I will argue that happiness is not solely self-generated but deeply intertwined with the broader societal context.


Proponents of the view that happiness is self-determined often cite the role of mindset and personal choice. They argue that individuals can cultivate happiness by focusing on positive aspects of life, engaging in fulfilling activities, and maintaining good relationships. This perspective is supported by psychological research suggesting that practices like gratitude and mindfulness can significantly enhance one’s subjective well-being. For instance, studies show that people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time each day to reflect on things they are thankful for tend to experience a higher baseline of happiness. Additionally, engaging in activities that foster a sense of accomplishment and belonging, such as volunteering or creative hobbies, further amplifies this effect, offering a robust defense against life's inevitable stresses.


However, critics of this view argue that such an approach overlooks the significant impact of external factors. They contend that conditions such as poverty, social inequality, and health issues can severely limit an individual’s capacity to achieve happiness. For example, a person living in adverse conditions, with limited access to basic needs and opportunities for advancement, may find it considerably challenging to maintain a positive outlook. This perspective is bolstered by sociological research indicating a strong correlation between socioeconomic status and overall life satisfaction, highlighting how external circumstances can constrain personal choices. Moreover, critics emphasize that systemic issues like discrimination and limited access to healthcare profoundly impact mental health, suggesting that personal effort alone is insufficient to overcome these barriers.


In conclusion, while personal attitudes and choices play a crucial role in shaping happiness, it is essential to acknowledge the significant influence of external factors. Happiness, therefore, appears not solely as a matter of personal resolve but as a complex interplay between individual efforts and societal context.


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Model Essay 2

The debate on whether happiness is a product of individual will or shaped by external forces encompasses diverse opinions. In this essay, I will discuss the viewpoints that posit happiness as a result of deliberate personal choices and those that consider it contingent upon external variables. I will argue that while personal efforts are crucial, they are often complemented or hindered by the circumstances one faces.


Supporters of the internal control theory assert that happiness is within one's own reach through deliberate actions and mental resilience. They believe that adopting a proactive attitude towards life's challenges and focusing on personal growth and self-care are key to fostering a sense of well-being. This approach is exemplified by the practice of cognitive-behavioral techniques, which encourage individuals to alter negative patterns of thinking, thus improving their emotional state. For example, adopting a growth mindset enables individuals to view challenges as opportunities, thereby enhancing their capacity for happiness regardless of external conditions. This proactive engagement not only boosts mental resilience but also empowers individuals to take control of their emotional responses to the external world, creating a buffer against potential stressors.


On the other hand, the externalist perspective highlights the significant role that environmental factors play in an individual’s happiness. Advocates of this viewpoint argue that variables such as economic stability, community support, and cultural norms are critical determinants of well-being that cannot be ignored. They point to evidence from happiness studies across different societies that indicate higher levels of contentment in places with supportive social systems, economic prosperity, and effective governance. Such findings suggest that personal efforts to achieve happiness might be futile without favorable external conditions, as seen in the stark contrasts in happiness indices between countries with high and low human development scores.


In conclusion, while personal initiatives and mental frameworks significantly contribute to happiness, the influence of external conditions is equally pivotal. Recognizing the interplay between personal agency and environmental context can lead to more comprehensive strategies for enhancing life satisfaction across diverse populations.


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