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Happier at Home
This book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.
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What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

Created: 01/06/14

Replies: 11

Posted Jan. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 465

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What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

One of Gretchen's main arguments is that "You're not happy unless you think you're happy," and she spends a lot of time thinking about her happiness. However, many important figures have argued just the opposite; for example, John Stuart Mill wrote, "Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so." What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?


Posted Jan. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 26

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I think you can be happy without "striving for it", but sometimes in your live it is necessary to look at those things and people that affect your "happiness quotient." So my answer is an unqualified...both.


Posted Jan. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathleenr

Join Date: 12/07/12

Posts: 68

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RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

Striving for happiness will increase it. It is possible to maximize the amount each of us experiences. It is not the striving per se that causes the increase. It is the ability to recognize it when it occurs and to know yourself well enough to recognize what will suit you personally. Following some of the suggestions in this book will send people off in the right direction to increase their happiness.


Posted Jan. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I do think it helps to make a conscious decision to be happy. Deciding to look at life as "half full" seems to work wonders. I know a lot of "half empty" people and think I'm a lot more content with my life than they are. I really liked the author's suggestion to turn negative thoughts around. I've tried using it at work: "He ALWAYS does such a poor job!" followed by, "No, he doesn't always do a poor job. Quite often he's done great work..." etc.

In some ways it feels a bit unnatural to STRIVE for happiness; I think we're brought up to believe people are happy or not, depending on circumstance. I do think, though, that making a deliberate attempt to be happy does in fact make one happier.


Posted Jan. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrav

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 10

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

"Striving" for happiness is such an "american" attitude! Like we have to work at everything to make it happen..... When I think about some of the best moments of my life they just happened -- Yes you can think about being happy too much, instead of "thinking" DO things that make you happy.


Posted Jan. 08, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynna

Join Date: 04/24/13

Posts: 14

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I personally think that striving for happiness makes me happier. Certainly there are those wonderful, spontaneous moments of happiness, that occur unbidden and are so precious. But there are many times when I may have negative thoughts or outlooks, and I can remind myself of all the things I have to be grateful for, and my outlook will change for the better. Or following some of Gretchen's hints will put me in a more positive frame of mind, or put me in a place to be more optimistic. I think being optimistic or pessimistic is partly inborn, but also partly habitual and one can develop a habit to be more optimistic.


Posted Jan. 08, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 83

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RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

Striving for happiness makes me happier. When things are going wrong, it think it takes special effort to find a bright spot and turn the bad times to good. If you can find a way in a situation to make yourself happy, it will help you come to a good resolution.


Posted Jan. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lizzy2299

Join Date: 10/04/12

Posts: 5

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

Striving for happiness makes it elusive. Be happy with what you have. If you are living under poor circumstances and be happy you can identify the problem. Find the tools you have within yourself and begin to make a change


Posted Jan. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Erin G

Join Date: 05/24/12

Posts: 41

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I don't think it necessarily helps to strive for happiness, but Rubin is on to something with the idea that understanding yourself and what makes you feel happier can help you set up the right conditions for increased happiness. Be aware of how your attitudes and behaviors affect your emotions and the atmosphere in your home and you really can make a difference.


Posted Jan. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 102

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RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I think we spend a lot of time worrying about being happy. I don't think any of us can be happy all the time but can possibly be content most of the time. I just returned from a month in India. I was very surprised to see that many people with so little seemed to be content with their daily lives. Seems like in this society, we sometimes confuse happiness with material possessions and wealth.


Posted Jan. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 35

RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

Striving for happiness gives you a chance to consider what in your life is positive and what may be toxic. I love when Gretchen gives examples of biting her tongue and in most instances doing so brings healthier reactions. Responding unkindly is not always good, so thinking first is helpful and a good lesson.


Posted Jan. 23, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 60

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RE: What do you think? Does striving for happiness make you happier? Or does it make happiness more elusive?

I think Erin G. hits the nail on the head. Always asking yourself if you are happy is different from setting the conditions in which you are likely to be happy. Condition setting seems to me a productive endeavor. If you are always asking if you are happy it may become too easy to say "no."


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