An example of extrinsic values might be Elvis Presley, a man with a lot of talent, success and fame. He had everything except happiness because he expected to find happiness outside of himself. At the other end of the spectrum are children in many third world nations who would be happy to have dinner tonight and a safe, warm place to sleep. Tragically, they have learned not to hope for this most basic of expectations so they do not have to feel the helplessness of disappointment all over again.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence that we have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of property.” The edit for the version we now use, “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was contributed by John Locke. Many people still believe that the pursuit of wealth and material gain is the primary cause of happiness. Sometimes it can feel like failure to admit to not being happy, but many of us tolerate unhappiness in significant parts of our lives – careers, relationships or simply wondering if there is “something more” to life.