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The Myths of Happiness:

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

What should make you Happy, but doesn't, What shouldn't make you Happy, but does.

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Podcast Unconventional Book Club

#happinessmyths #happiness #positivepsychology #canmoneybuyhappiness #happywhen


The authors of The How of Happiness and The Happiness Myth, Sonja Lyubomirsky offers a corrective course on Happiness and surprising truth about lasting well-being.

We typically buy into the myths of happiness. One myth is the notion that..."I'll be happy when_____ (fill in the blank)." or "I can't be happy when____ (fill in the blank)."

She addresses crisis points in our lives as opportunities for renewal, growth, or meaningful change. However, how we greet them really matters. She show us that science supports the prepared mind and offers a broader perspective.

PART 1: Connections

I'll be happy when... I'm married to the right person or I can't be Happy when... My relationship has fallen apart: You found the "one" you married you were happy but with time qualms, discontents, dullness, and yearning for more kicks in. First thoughts: Is there something wrong? Did you or you partner fail? The pain of having or not having intimate relationships can be agonizing a crisis point in our lives. Some examples include the stress of divorce or deciding should I stay or leave. Answers are complicated. But before we react we need to examine your culturally prescribed expectations and assumptions. Investigate how we take our lives for granted and how we should slow down habituation when we find ourselves bored, for example in our marriage. Single, married or parenting, be open to new trajectories available to you.

CONNECTION TIPS: Consider: 1. Happiness myth that is likely driving your first instinct. "I'll be happy when..." 2. The Hedonic Adaptation and how humans have a remarkable ability to grow habituated to life changes. 3. Thrill and victory as well as agony of defeat dwindle over time. 3. Why we adapt to good stuff and importance of appreciating. 4. Extract the maximum possible satisfaction. 5. Adding variety and effortful engagement to remain fresh and meaningful. 6. The importance of surprise to add novelty we stand to attention. 7. Make the most of good news and share positive experiences with one another. 8. The power of touch is essential for human thriving. 9. Balancing positive emotions to negative emotions 3:1 ratio. 10. Fly on the wall technique or self-distanced perspective. 11. Becoming your best possible single self, if single.

PART 2: Work & Money

It's not surprising, That myths about what brings us happiness (finding the ideal job, being a success and Rich) and the greatest unhappiness (making too little money) creates a crisis point.

Getting used to your job and Hedonic Adaptation. The more we attain, the more we want. Question often is, Can money buy happiness? Studies show that income and happiness ARE indeed correlated, although the relationship isn't super strong. The higher we are on ecumenic ladder, the happier we report ourselves to be. Money makes us happier if it keeps us from being poor. Money makes poorer people happier but has a weaker effect on richer people's happiness. Wealthier nations tend to be happier. Humans instinctively seek variety and novelty.

MONEY & WORK TIPS: Consider: 1. How easy you adapt to good things. 2. Remind yourself on a regular basis what former life was like. 3. Be genuinely grateful. 4. Notice your reference point reality (fantasy job). 5. Last month of work exercise. 5. Heighten your appreciation for your current job and income. 6. Avoiding comparisons with others, consider what "made it" means to you and who's standard set or norm are you comparing to? 7. Making a career or undertaking of it's own sake, you will experience more engagement, concentration, and persistence. 8. Be Happy with less and exercise thrift, thrive. Spend less and enjoy more. 9. Spending money on experiences rather than possessions and things makes us happier. 10 Spending money on many small pleasures rather than a few big ones. 11. Recycling happiness from what you already have with appreciation, and rent rather than buy. 12. Living with less and shift priorities it has clear benefits. How money Can make you happy: Spend money on: need satisfying activities, (not keep up with neighbours), things that raise competence, others not yourself, to give you time, spend money now but wait to enjoy it for anticipation,

PART 3: Looking Back

Respond to life's passage and revelations in a healthy way. You see what you agree to see. Even in bad situations (diagnosis) happen to us, it turns out we have control over our realities. Our life experience in this moment is simply what we choose to focus on. Build a legacy, purpose and meaning. We have the power over what we see, focus on or overlook. View life positively by choosing what to focus on. Let go of lost possible selves. Avoid rumination of self excavating deepest regrets and disappointments. Create a life narrative that is accepting. Prevent regret over inactions should be our critical goal.

LIFE TIPS: Choose your focus and attention, Spend more time in Nature's Peace, try mediation peace, connect to the power of your attention, choose what you focus on, what you pay attention to and select the world critically. Focus on big and small moments, indulgences, fulfilment and gratification that add sunshine to your life. Cope well with bad news by taking time, watchful waiting, active change and acceptance. Connect with people, Add meaning and purpose to your life. Connect with what you value in life. Take one risk per month to ward off regret. Keep a diary, don't compare lives, replay happy moments and analyze unhappy ones.


Although crisis points may initially feel disappointing or confusing, Sonja Lyubomirsky, demonstrates that they are opportunities to change our lives or help us achieve clearer vision.

With this new understanding, we can ultimately identify the steps to take to forge our way to a fulfilling life and help ourselves reach our full happiness potential. In her book she cannot stress enough how believing in happiness myths create consequences. We must stop waiting for happiness, and must not be terrified of the potential unhappiness. Happiness can be found and where is can't, it can act as a crisis point and chance for growth promotion.

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