Challenging the Myths about Authentic Happiness

Authentic happiness needs to be separated from the happiness myths, since nearly everyone devotes their lives to the pursuit of a happiness that is fleeting and unfulfilling. As counter-intuitive as it seems to talk about what doesn't work in the context of happiness, it's only by revealing the misconceptions that we can gain a clear understanding of what authentic happiness really is and how we might make it an actuality in our lives.

authentic happiness

Since everyone is seeking authentic happiness in one way or another, it becomes a simple matter to appeal to the natural human tendency to seek simple answers and quick fixes, and so we find ourselves open to the possibility of finding the mysterious 'secret' or the correct '10 steps', and it's very easy to sell, especially when almost anything we do works a little bit for a little while. The reason it does is explained in detail in the section called 'Inner Peace'.

Something that we should be clear about from the start; a clear understanding of authentic happiness is not automatically granted along with a PHD in psychology or philosophy, nor can it can be empirically scientifically tested due to the highly subjective and transient nature of happiness. Science doesn't have the answer to authentic happiness any more than it knows the nature of consciousness, what makes gravity work, or why a blade of grass grows. If it did, there would be a science of happiness and seven billion humans would be following it's protocols.

Another difficulty is in the relative nature of happiness. What seems to work for the one with a history of abuse may not work at all for someone else, and overcoming a very difficult part of our lives may indeed result in a genuinely happy state that can last for years, but only because of the contrast experienced between those two life conditions. Their experience of what 'works' is necessarilly subjective and relative only to their own past.

What we can be certain of is that the world is full of distractions that pander to our desires, and every desire can be reduced to the desire to be happy. Perhaps it's a wonder we haven't become more cynical than we are. To be fair, there are many for whom the continual movement toward authentic happiness is quite satisfying in spite of it's temporary nature, and for those who fit in that rather large category, it may not be useful to explore the boundaries of the plethora of happiness producing methods available since many of them will in fact be enjoyable to explore. unicorn However, for those who have sensed the futility of these ideas, these articles debunking happiness producing methods as myths will likely bring the clarity you need to abandon them and turn your attention toward authentic happiness.

In these articles, we'll take a somewhat blunt and irreverent look at the most popular happiness myths, programs and ideas, and try to separate fact from fiction.

Phil Beaumont

To Happiness Home

More 'Happiness Myths' articles:

Authentic Happiness: Steps to happiness?
Positive Psychology (Part 1)
Positive Psychology (Part 2)
The Happiness Project Myth 2
The Myth of Positive Thinking

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