Chapter 6Reconsider

Understanding the Myth of Happiness Is the Key to Happiness

“Most folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Tell me, who do you know who is actually willing to die for you? Chances are, when it comes down to it, most of us can only identify our parents and perhaps our siblings and/or spouse as really being prepared to die for us. So, why is it then, that we let so many people dictate the terms of our lives? Why do we allow the nebulous entity we call society define what will, or should, make us happy?

Why do we allow the nebulous entity we call society define what will, or should, make us happy?

Happiness has been defined in many ways, but a widely accepted understanding is that it involves1 frequently feeling positive emotions such as joy, interest, pride, love, and achievement and infrequently experiencing negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, stress, and anger.2 That definition doesn't distinguish, though, between Happiness and happiness.

Many of us mistake happiness, the pursuit of pleasure, for Happiness, the practice of pursuing a life rich in purpose.

Many of us mistake happiness, the pursuit of pleasure, for Happiness, the practice of pursuing a life rich in purpose.

After all, ours is a pleasure-seeking society; it teaches us to think that bursts of sensations are meaningful. Perhaps, you just enjoyed a wonderful meal, a recent vacation to your dream destination, a delicious bottle of wine, ...

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