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  1. #1
    you are right mippus's Avatar
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    Default The How of Happiness

    Has anyone read Sonja Lyubomirsky's "The How of Happiness"? Any thoughts? Have you tried the suggestions?
    Last edited by mippus; 03-31-2008 at 09:29 AM.
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  2. #2
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    Quote Originally Posted by mippus View Post
    Has anyone read Sonja Lyobomirsky's "The How of Happiness"? Any thoughts? Have you tried the suggestions?
    Cliff notes version?

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    you are right mippus's Avatar
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    Well, of course thousands of books have been written on happiness, some fascinating, others fluffy and still others simply pathetic. What makes Lyubomirsky's interesting is that the ideas she presents are not the outcome of some vague inspiration or insight but on empirical research, and quite a lot of it.
    The central these appears to be that the amount of happiness one experiences is determined by 3 factors.
    50% is genetical, as if we are born with a talent for happiness, just like some of us have a talent for sports or art.
    Only 10% can be linked to circumstances/environment such as health and wealth. Winning a lot of money does make us happy, but only for a couple of months, then we fall back to our basic happiness level. Same goes for disaster and illness.
    40%, however, is based on thoughts and behaviour. That means we can influence our happiness level to a large extend.

    This is where I got in the book. The rest provides more background and -especially- techniques to increase happiness.

    It seems to be another self-help book, but I have the impression that it is far more than that, because of the serious research it is based on. And that is why I want know what others think of it, wheter it works for them,...
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    Senior Member JustDave's Avatar
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    I have not read the book but I agree with its contention.

    I now make significantly more money and have far more possession than I did ten years ago. But am I any happier? No.

    That being said I was born fairly happy and will probably die feeling the same way.

    40%, however, is based on thoughts and behaviour. That means we can influence our happiness level to a large extend.

    IMHO, there is a fine line between happiness and delusion.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustDave View Post
    40%, however, is based on thoughts and behaviour. That means we can influence our happiness level to a large extend.

    IMHO, there is a fine line between happiness and delusion.
    Difference being that delusion implies incongruence between perception and circumstance, while happiness might simply be a matter of perception, independent of circumstance. Yes?

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    Senior Member JustDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Difference being that delusion implies incongruence between perception and circumstance, while happiness might simply be a matter of perception, independent of circumstance. Yes?
    I agree. Acceptance v. delusion. If one recognizes that his situation is terrible yet he is still happy then he is probably experiencing "true" happiness.

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    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Well the basic facts are correct... happiness... it's mostly all in your head. Perception affects how you interact with the environment... If you think things are going to work out... you'll act more confident... people see that and chances are it'll help in getting things your way.

    I subscribe to that philosophy. Except I have difficulties keeping the mood swings away.

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    you are right mippus's Avatar
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    hm, what about "perception is reality"?
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    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mippus View Post
    hm, what about "perception is reality"?
    Perception is subjective reality.

    The worrisome overachiever... the happy un-achiever... Each value himself using a different system. The overachiever by his accomplishments, the un-achiever by his happiness. An external focus vs an internal one. If the world comes crashing down... who will be better off? The un-achiever. He doesn't have fame nor fortune... but it doesn't matter. Not to him... for he has his happiness. Who cares what other people perceive? That's their subjective reality... not his.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Well the basic facts are correct... happiness... it's mostly all in your head.
    Okay, so happiness is a function of our perception, but in the next sentence...

    Perception affects how you interact with the environment... If you think things are going to work out... you'll act more confident... people see that and chances are it'll help in getting things your way.
    ...we see that happiness is a function of getting things our way. Seems like 2 competing philosophies.

    I agree with the first quote but disagree with the second. You can be perfectly happy without things going your way if your mind is in the right zone.

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