Lyubomirsky's Book 'How Happy Are You & Why?'

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After reading a chapter from Lyubomirsky’s book “How Happy Are You & Why?”, I’ve learned that everything I thought I knew about happiness was wrong. I’ve always thought that circumstances are what make you happy, for example, getting married, winning the lottery, etc. I thought all those things could easily make a person ten times happier than they were before, so I was surprised to learn that even if they were happier, it was only temporary. It was interesting to learn about the study done on the Illinois State Lottery that showed within less than a year of winning, the lottery winner was no happier than those with an average income. I think this surprised me because although I know money can’t buy happiness, I’ve always felt that sometimes…show more content…
Instead it’s the decisions you make or the way you choose to see things that can really make you happy. For instance, at the beginning of the reading there was an example of two different people who both just had a baby and are facing long nights, but one has a better outlook than the other: “She sees challenge where you see only threat. She takes an uplifting, optimistic perspective when you feel distrustful and beaten down.” (28) This shows that in a rough situation, the only thing standing between you and happiness is yourself, you can choose to look on the brighter side and be happy, or you can choose to look at all the negatives and be unhappy or possibly even depressed. That being said, I want to be the person who focuses on the positives and is able to remain happy even through tough times. It just goes to show that those who are in the best living situations aren’t necessarily the happiest, in fact sometimes the one with less money or material items can be happier than the one with all the riches. A great example of this would be comparing Angela, who grew up with an abusive mother and Shannon, who had an ideal upbringing. At first glance you would assume that Shannon is happier than Angela, but in reality, Angela is much happier. I think this is mainly due to their different attitudes. Angela chose to focus on her daughter and the friends she’s made and as a result she considers herself a happy person. On the other hand, Shannon takes everything and turns it into a crisis, therefore, she is not a particularly happy

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