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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to step off the hedonic treadmill and find real happiness, 11 May 2014
Mark "Trainer, Facilitator and Coach" (Neath, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book is a definitive guide to what science currently knows about the real actions that make us happy, written in an accessible way with practical advice on how to apply the activities in our own lives. Building on the excellent "The How of Happiness" the path to happiness remains as counter intuitive as ever.

The Myths of Happiness addresses that most modern world problem of "when I...". Many people seem to live under the illusion that they will be happy "when I...have the right partner/family/job/home/money/health in my life". Yet as this book so ably demonstrates if we follow this approach to life we will spend out lives seeking the end of the rainbow only to be disappointed. This effect is often known as the hedonic treadmill because no matter how much we have do or achieve happiness remains at least one step or more out of reach. Sonja provides us with with numerous proven ways to step off the treadmill and enjoy what we have now.

This is a book aimed at anyone who wants to be happier in their own life and has an accessible and practical tone rather than a pure emphasis on research - and is all the better for that approach. All the research is listed for those who want to look more deeply at the studies referenced.

A few of the counter intuitive actions that make us happy include:

- maintaining novelty (doing new and exciting things together) can revitalise our current relationships and jobs rather than looking for a fresh start which tends to fade more quickly as we adapt to the new conditions.
- progress toward an important goal is more satisfying than achieving the goal itself.
- money can't make us happy but how we spend money can help, especially is we buy experiences rather than things (also see the excellent Happy Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton for more detail on this).
- Our ultradian rhythm helps explain why our energy and enthusiasm peaks and dips about every 9-120 minutes throughout the day.
- Those who focus on internal desires and motivation are happier than those who use social comparison and external motivators.

Sonja stands out in the field of happiness because she acknowledges and draws on her own childhood experiences that real life can be tough and present seemingly endless challenges. She is clear that no money can be miserable but also that so many of us do not seem to appreciate just how much we do have.

Above all Sonja has a remarkable gift in making proven research accessible and practical for all and the world a happier and more compassionate place as a result.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent practical tips, 13 April 2014
D&D - See all my reviews
Having researched happiness and success for over 3 decades, this author's first book "The How of Happiness" was one of my top practical picks on this subject, the others being "Emotional Toolkit" (for its detailed action steps that work well with Lyubomirsky's book) plus "Happy for No Reason" and the classic "To Love is to be Happy With".

Lyubomirsky is one of the most original and creative scientists within the field of happiness studies. Her first book was a good read but lacked action steps. This one is just as engaging, with many practical suggestions on how to be happier in relationships, parenthood, work and money.

Apart from this book, little that is really new on happiness appears to have been published in the last 5 years but I also rate these books, which elaborate on different aspects already known and reported within the happiness/health field:

- in 2013 "Love 2.0", the second book by the eminent researcher Frederickson, on the myriad benefits of loving kindness - even the book felt much kinder than her first, the 2009 "Positivity", on the tipping point created by having 3 positive thoughts to every negative or neutral thought;

- in 2012 "The Longevity Project" by Friedman and Martin is a groundbreaking 80-year overview on what is really directly linked to happiness and health and "Resilience" by Southwick and Charney, who identify ten key and researched ways to weather, and bounce back from, stress and trauma;

- in 2011 Seligman's "Flourish" with its new emphasis on well-being rather than happiness and McTaggart's "The Bond" on the importance of relationships; and

- in 2010 "Why Kindness is Good For You" by Hamilton which expands on the importance of kindness and helping.

(note: I am also impressed with "The Healing Code" by Loyd & Johnson - an amazing process for emotional clearing. There are hundreds of success stories, including physical healings, on

In the end, however, having worked on myself intensively by using many of the tips, techniques and tools that I learned about over the last 15 years, I have found that HEALTH is the biggest determinant of happiness. To me, happiness is directly linked to well-being - or being well. Yes, there are happy sick people but for most of us it is our underlying constitution that controls our level of happiness. This is not exactly the same as the now-famous "happiness set point" because there are ways to improve basic health whereas it seems the set point is, well, set.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, But Does (Hardcover)
This is a very thought provoking and challenging book. However, it will make you sit up and take notice whilst at the same time turn many of your belief systems upside down. Highly recommended
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book, 7 Sep 2014
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Love this book. Just the right balance making research practically useful to our lives. Having just hit 50 this has been very useful for reflecting on past decisions and looking forward to a happy future by paying more attention to what matters. Will be recommending this book personally and professionally.
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