4 mistakes happy people just DON’T make

4 mistakes happy people just DON’T make

by Claire Dorotik-Nana from PsychCentral

There are a lot of things we are told about happiness. Maybe it’s because happiness something we all want — but like an elusive prize — it seems to evade us all. Or maybe we believe a lot of things about happiness that are just not true. And who would know? Well happy people would. And here are four myths about happiness that they just don’t buy:

You Can’t Be Who You Are. In her powerful Ted Talk, Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Ourselves, points out that what inventions like Facebook offer is a way to connect without really connecting. Instead, we present the image that we want everyone else to see because we are afraid to present what’s really there. So we manufacture ourselves, careful to post only the flattering images, edit posts until they sound just right, and as Turkle states, have “just enough connection,” all the while thinking we are connected. But what we really are is disconnected — and not just from everyone else, but mostly from ourselves. And what happy people know is that the idea that you have to be something other than what you are — say only the right things, attempt to measure up to everyone else, seek accolades and praise — is a myth. And it’s a myth that keeps you unhappy. Because instead of getting to know yourself — figuring out who you really are — you are busy learning to pretend. Those who are truly happy have long since let go of the need to praised, liked, admired — whatever the case may be — and instead know that real happiness lies in letting go of the need to be something you are not.

Externals Matter. Money, acclaim, prestige, fame, and even location, are all paradoxes. As the promise goes, the more you have, the better you will feel. So the data should show that wealthier people are proportionately happier than those who are not — maybe we could even construct a relationship such as xx increase in wealth leads to xx increase in happiness. But it just doesn’t work out that way. Wealth — beyond the amount needed to survive at a very basic level — is not correlated with happiness. This is the reason that Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling On Happiness tells us that three months after winning the lottery and three months after losing use of their limbs, paraplegics and lottery winners are equally happy. Because externals — the things outside of us — have nothing to do with happiness. What does matter, as happy people know, are the internals — your sense of personal strength, the sense of appreciation and gratitude you have for life, the relationships you develop, and the skills you build. For happy people, it’s not about amassing anything. Instead they focus on doing the things they love — spending time with loved ones, being in the moment (maybe even in flow), and yes, getting better…

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