If asked what we truly want in life, most of us would say we want to be happy. How to achieve that, however, isn’t so clear. The U.S. founding fathers may have identified the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right, but most of our beliefs about how to pursue happiness are wrong, says Alex Lickerman, coauthor of The Ten Worlds: The New Psychology of Happiness.
“There’s been an explosion of ideas of how to pursue happiness since the 1990s with Martin Seligman’s positive psychology movement,” he says. “The research about what makes people happy isn’t wrong, but it works at the edges of what it means to be happy or unhappy. Everybody has some idea about what they need to be happy, yet we have a hard time creating happiness that endures. That’s because most of us are pursuing it in the wrong ways due to our core delusions.”
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