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The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does Paperback – January 28, 2014
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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"Informative and engaging….The author examines how the 'shoulds' of happiness not only undermine well-being, but also make it hard for individuals to cope with the sometimes difficult realities of adulthood."
"No matter what your personal world is like, The Myths of Happiness will change the way you approach your daily life. Lyubomirsky's thorough research and practical solutions will not only add joy and contentment to your life, but will also allow you to take on issues that you may have been sweeping under the rug for too long."
"In her new book, The Myths of Happiness, Dr. Lyubomirsky describes a slew of research-tested actions and words that can do wonders to keep love alive."
—Jane Brody, New York Times
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 014312451X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143124511
- Product Dimensions : 5.44 x 0.66 x 8.34 inches
- Publisher : Penguin Books (January 28, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #135,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
The Myths of Happiness addresses that most modern world problem of "when I...". Many people seem to live under the illusion that they will be happy "when I...have the right partner/family/job/home/money/health in my life". Yet as this book so ably demonstrates if we follow this approach to life we will spend out lives seeking the end of the rainbow only to be disappointed. This effect is often known as the hedonic treadmill because no matter how much we have do or achieve happiness remains at least one step or more out of reach. Sonja provides us with with numerous proven ways to step off the treadmill and enjoy what we have now.
This is a book aimed at anyone who wants to be happier in their own life and has an accessible and practical tone rather than a pure emphasis on research - and is all the better for that approach. All the research is listed for those who want to look more deeply at the studies referenced.
A few of the counter intuitive actions that make us happy include:
- maintaining novelty (doing new and exciting things together) can revitalise our current relationships and jobs rather than looking for a fresh start which tends to fade more quickly as we adapt to the new conditions.
- progress toward an important goal is more satisfying than achieving the goal itself.
- money can't make us happy but how we spend money can help, especially is we buy experiences rather than things (also see the excellent Happy Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton for more detail on this).
- Our ultradian rhythm helps explain why our energy and enthusiasm peaks and dips about every 9-120 minutes throughout the day.
- Those who focus on internal desires and motivation are happier than those who use social comparison and external motivators.
Sonja stands out in the field of happiness because she acknowledges and draws on her own childhood experiences that real life can be tough and present seemingly endless challenges. She is clear that no money can be miserable but also that so many of us do not seem to appreciate just how much we do have.
Above all Sonja has a remarkable gift in making proven research accessible and practical for all and the world a happier and more compassionate place as a result.
I am no expert and neither do I claim to be one, but I can say with certainty that this book helped me making sense of my own expectations about certain things in life. I now try and take a step back before judging a decision that would have affected my mood a lot more negatively otherwise.
Some of the advice did come in handy in my marriage and other passages make for great donner conversations with friends and family.
Overall, I think this is an excellent read and I gladly recommend it to not only the experts, but also the casual reader.