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Publisher's Summary

Happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research-based lessons in how to find opportunity in life’s thorniest moments.

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky isolates the major turning points of adult life, looking to both achievements (marriage, children, professional satisfaction, wealth) and failures (singlehood, divorce, financial ruin, illness) to reveal that our misconceptions about the impact of such events is perhaps the greatest threat to our long-term well-being.

Lyubomirsky argues that we have been given false promises - myths that assure us that lifelong happiness will be attained once we hit the culturally confirmed markers of adult success. This restricted view of happiness works to discourage us from recognizing the upside of any negative life turn and blocks us from recognizing our own growth potential. Our outsized expectations transform natural rites of passage into emotional land mines and steer us to make toxic decisions, as The Myths of Happiness reveals.

Because we expect the best (or the worst) from life's turning points, we shortsightedly place too much weight on our initial emotional responses. The Myths of Happiness empowers listeners to look beyond their first response, sharing scientific evidence that often it is our mindset - not our circumstances - that matters. Central to these findings is the notion of hedonic adaptation, the fact that people are far more adaptable than they think. Even after a major life change - good or bad - we tend to return to our initial happiness level, forgetting what once made us elated or why we felt that life was so unbearable.

The Myths of Happiness offers the perspective we need to make wiser choices, sharing how to slow the effects of this adaptation after a positive turn and find the way forward in a time of darkness.

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky turns an empirical eye to the biggest, messiest moments, providing listeners with the clear-eyed vision they need to build the healthiest, most satisfying life. A corrective course on happiness and a call to regard life's twists and turns with a more open mind, The Myths of Happiness shares practical lessons with life-changing potential.

©2013 Sonja Lyubomirsky (P)2013 Penguin Audio

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A different take on a timeless subject

Definitely worth a listen. As a self-help book junkie, I listen quite frequently to books in this vein. This one manages to break the mold, and provides a lot of straightforward advice that I hadn't encountered in the dozens of other books on the subject. Insightful, no-nonsense, and surprising at times, it's far more useful than the others with the inevitable "start a gratitude journal/do something once a day that scares you" tumblr-meme level advice.

If you're looking for something more analytical regarding how life-contentment works, this is a great one to pick up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Completely Mind Blowing

I love the contents of the book so much I think it should be required for every single person on the planet to read. Please listen to it everybody. You'll be so much happier than you think you could ever be!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't Get into This

Tried reading this with a book club and we all disliked it. It made us feel bad about ourselves and so we stopped reading it. Most of what I found in the first few chapters seemed like common knowledge being treated like new epiphany and that didn't help.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very informative

book is very informative and sheds a lot of light on our conditioning and what we perceive as happiness I love the fact that a lot of the information that is given and a lot of the opinions are given art stated at that moment as it's just an opinion or these are scientific facts and that these are merely suggestions and not a recipe for happiness but a guide

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  • Lisa
  • Wilmington, NC, United States
  • 07-08-13

I like her style

Would you listen to The Myths of Happiness again? Why?

This is a very practical discussion of what gives you the best bang for the buck as far as being happy. I liked the previous book by this author too.I think the things she recommends are true. It's very hard to internalize all her advice, but that's true with any book that tries to get you to see things in a new way. Happiness takes a fair amount of work and requires you to give up some long held beliefs about what makes you happy. I hope she continues to write and hone her advice.

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Loved it!

Would you listen to The Myths of Happiness again? Why?

There is so much to pay attention to in this book. I'm sure each time I'll pick up more insight and more action-oriented tips.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful