Some people believe you’ll find more happiness when you stop looking for it!

Some people believe you’ll find more happiness when you stop looking for it!

via Fulfillment Daily by Carolyn Gregoire

The Challenge: Sometimes we are so focused on the pursuit of happiness that obtaining happiness still seems as elusive as ever.

The Science: Getting off the hedonistic treadmill requires unbiased acceptance of both the good and the bad–and mindfulness can help.

The Solution: Instead of searching for happiness, search for “wholeness” by embracing life as it comes.

Rain was pouring down in New York City as Gretchen Rubin hopped on a city bus and settled in for a long ride, taking the opportunity to enjoy a moment of reflection. Rubin pondered, “What do I want from life, anyway?” Of course, she decided, she wanted to be happy.

But like many of us, Rubin had little idea of what would actually make her happy — or what happiness meant in the first place. Rubin decided to answer these questions for herself, creating her personal “happiness project” — an exploration of ancient and modern wisdom about what it means to lead a good life. What started as a personal passion project turned into the 2011 bestselling book and cultural phenomenon, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And Generally Have More Fun.

With her simple questions — Can we make ourselves happier, and what would that require? — Rubin joined a conversation that has long dominated the booming self-help industry and the expanding field of positive psychology. Today, happiness is ever-present in our cultural conversation and often at the forefront of our minds. Advice on how to be happy is everywhere: A Google search for “happiness” yields 75 million results, and nearly 40,000 books on or related to the topic are available for purchase on

While the depth and zeal of our current obsession with being happy may be unprecedented, happiness is an ancient, time-honored pursuit. Aristotle — one of Rubin’s Happiness Project inspirations — may have been the original (if accidental) self-help guru, interrogating the causes and definitions of happiness at length in his Nicomachean Ethics.

Excerpts of that text have been co-opted by thousands of present-day self-help books, lectures, seminars, blog posts and articles touting the secrets and steps to unlimited happiness. And yet the American happiness industry has come to sell a much different vision of the good life than what Aristotle had in mind…

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