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CHAPTER 2

The Happiness Traps

Myths That Hold Us Back

I’ve always wondered why we don’t fight back—why we settle for so little happiness at work. I’ve done this myself a couple of times during my career. It was painful. I even got sick. I’ve heard bright, self-aware people tell the same story, over and over again. Why do so many of us accept less-than-optimal work experiences?

I’ve searched organizations all over the world for the answer. I’ve plumbed my personal work experience in multiple careers and I’ve asked executives in confidential coaching sessions. I’ve looked at scholarly studies and my own research at dozens of companies.1 I’ve come ...

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