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The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Wantby Sonja Lyubomirsky
Synopses & Reviews
The solution isnt to do away with dreaming and positive thinking. Rather, its making the most of our fantasies by brushing them up against the very thing most of us are taught to ignore or diminish: the obstacles that stand in our way.”
So often in our day-to-day lives were inundated with advice to think positively.” From pop music to political speeches to commercials, the general message is the same: look on the bright side, be optimistic in the face of adversity, and focus on your dreams. And whether were trying to motivate ourselves to lose weight, snag a promotion at work, or run a marathon, were told time and time again that focusing on fulfilling our wishes will make them come true.
Gabriele Oettingen draws on more than twenty years of research in the science of human motivation to reveal why the conventional wisdom falls short. The obstacles that we think prevent us from realizing our deepest wishes can actually lead to their fulfillment. Starry-eyed dreaming isnt all its cracked up to be, and as it turns out, dreamers are not often doers.
While optimism can help us alleviate immediate suffering and persevere in challenging times, merely dreaming about the future actually makes people more frustrated and unhappy over the long term and less likely to achieve their goals. In fact, the pleasure we gain from positive fantasies allows us to fulfill our wishes virtually, sapping our energy to perform the hard work of meeting challenges and achieving goals in real life.
Based on her groundbreaking research and large-scale scientific studies, Oettingen introduces a new way to visualize the future, calledmental contrasting. It combines focusing on our dreams with visualizing the obstacles that stand in our way. By experiencing our dreams in our minds and facing reality we can address our fears, make concrete plans, and gain energy to take action.
In Rethinking Positive Thinking, Oettingen applies mental contrasting to three key areas of personal change— becoming healthier, nurturing personal and professional relationships, and performing better at work. She introduces readers to the key phases of mental contrasting using a proven four-step process called WOOP—Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan—and offers advice and exercises on how to best apply this method to daily life. Through mental contrasting, people in Oettingens studies have become significantly more motivated to quit smoking, lose weight, get better grades, sustain fulfilling relationships, and negotiate more effectively in business situations.
Whether you are unhappy and struggling with serious problems or you just want to improve, discover, and explore new opportunities, this book will deepen your ideas about human motivation and help you boldly chart a new path ahead.
Always emphasizing how much an individual's happiness is within his or her control, Lyubomirsky addresses the scientific how of her happiness research, and provides a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology.
This is not just another happiness book. In Happiness by Design, happiness and behavior expert Paul Dolan combines the latest insights from economics and psychology to illustrate that in order to be happy we must behave happy Our happiness is experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Using what Dolan calls deciding, designing, and doing, we can overcome the biases that make us miserable and redesign our environments to make it easier to experience happiness, fulfilment, and even health. With uncanny wit and keen perception, Dolan reveals what we can do to find our unique optimal balance of pleasure and purpose, offering practical advice on how to organize our lives in happiness-promoting ways and fresh insights into how we feel, including why:
Having kids reduces pleasure but gives us a massive dose of purpose
Gaining weight wont necessarily make us unhappier, but being too ambitious might
A quiet neighborhood is more important than a big house
Vividly rendering intriguing research and lively anecdotal evidence, Happiness by Design offers an absorbing, thought-provoking, new paradigm for readers of Stumbling on Happiness and The How of Happiness.
Learn how to achieve the happiness you deserve
andquot;A guide to sustaining your newfound contentment.andquot;and#160;--Psychology Today
You see here a different kind of happiness book. The How of Happiness is a comprehensive guide to understanding the elemetns of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It is also a practical, empowering, and easy-to-follow workbook, incorporating happiness strategies, excercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for understanding our individuality, all in an effort to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives. Drawing upon years of pioneering research with thousands of men and women, The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands.
About the Author
Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and an award-winning researcher.
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