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on 11 May 2014
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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on 12 February 2017
I bought this book due to a recommendation so it has a lot to live up to! I have barely started this book, but I what I have read so far it seems very promising and thought provoking.
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on 30 September 2017
I much preferred her other book "The How of Happiness" because this book focuses on particular types of people rather than the generality of Happiness. The first part of the book mostly looks at failing spousal relationships which isn't of interest to me. The second part of the book focuses on work and money, advising to buy experiences, be happy in your job and spend wisely, which is OK. The third and final part of the book looks at coping with illness, deluded ambitions and getting old, so doesn't apply once again. In short only 2 of the 10 chapters related to me. The other major problem with this book is that Lyubomirsky is an advocate of Positive Psychology yet all of the chapter headings are negative! For example "I can't be happy because I'm broke" and "I'll be happy when I'm married".
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on 7 September 2014
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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on 28 September 2016
Bought as a gift
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on 24 January 2016
Easy to read, enlightening and a useful resource.
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on 31 May 2013
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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