How to Be Happy 3 - How Happiness Doesn't Work Part 1

How Happiness Doesn’t Work


People try a lot of things in attempt to become happy. Most of them don’t work, so people just try them again, harder! 

Here are a few:

Getting more money or possessions

Getting more power or status

Pursuing indulgent pleasures

Focusing on their weaknesses and trying to improve them (instead of playing to their
strengths)

Striving to be perfect (and accepting nothing less)

Trying to force happiness, using false affirmations or other tricks

We’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness, but most people don’t really believe
it.

More money won’t make me happy—are you nuts? Come on, if I hit the lotto, I could pay off
all of my debt, quit my crappy job, do what I’ve always wanted to do, and still have plenty to give to my family and charities. 

You’re telling me that wouldn’t make me happier?

Yes. It’s surprising but true. Lots of studies have been done on this. A year after winning,
lottery jackpot winners are no happier than they were before they won. Amazingly, the
same is true for people who are in terrible accidents and suddenly paralyzed: a year later,
they’re no less happy than before.

Circumstances are not what makes us happy or unhappy. Think about it: if money was
enough to make us happy, there should be a lot of people walking around saying, “Wow,
thank God I got that last raise! Now I have enough money, and I am happy!” Yet I’ve
never heard anyone say that. Most rich people seem to be quite unhappy, in fact. If fortune or fame worked, you would never see movie stars and rock musicians with drug problems—they’d be too happy to be interested in drugs.

Similarly, possessions do not cause happiness. If they did, wouldn’t we be happy by now? I,
for one, have bought a lot of awesome things, but the only ones that have made a long-term
difference are the ones that are involved in doing something: my spinning wheel, my
kayak, my convertible. The things themselves don’t matter much, but doing fun things with
them adds joy to my life.

Another thing that won’t make you happy is whitewashing over reality and feeding yourself a lot of bogus affirmations that you know aren’t true. Any philosophy that requires you
to deny reality is a false path. In fact, studies have shown that insincerity is every bit as bad
for your heart as anger.

Your body feels the tension between the truth and the way you’re acting, and finds it very destructive. It’s important to look for the good in a situation, but it’s even more important to be real.

More thought provoking concepts. 

The continuation of How Happiness Doesn't work will be uploaded tomorrow, share your thoughts.

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