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Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence by Kieran Flanagan, Dan Gregory

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CHAPTER 2 The Happy Delusion

The trouble with giving yourself a pep talk is, that deep down you know it’s all bullshit.

Sophie Kinsella

Despite our survival being inextricably linked to our basest thoughts and desires, we don’t like to think of ourselves as being quite so simple, or indeed base. In fact, complexity is seen as a state so desirable that entire subcultures, such as goths, emos and corporate MBAs, devote themselves to its worship, each choosing to hide behind the passive-aggressive mantra of, ‘You just wouldn’t understand …’

Of course, while some aspects of life, business and personal development do raise complicated questions and conflicts that must be dealt with using the more energy-consuming regions of our brains, the problem is, we come to see this as our default rather than as an anomaly or exception to the rule.

Society too reinforces the belief that life is less simple than we may secretly long for it to be and, oddly enough, we actually find comfort in this complexity. After all, how could we possibly be expected to ‘get it together’ when it’s all so dreadfully difficult? And so we begin to accept this ‘devil we know’ and its accompanying learnt helplessness, choosing instead to blame ourselves and the abilities of those around us rather than the strategies we have enlisted to navigate our lives.

What this is really about is a cover-up of a less than glamorous truth and our indulgence in The Happy Delusion.

What is The Happy Delusion?

The Happy Delusion ...

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