What I’m reading: Jan. 2

I’ve been doing a TON of reading on happiness lately. I consider myself a pretty happy person, which might be weird since most people also consider me an incredibly sarcastic person. But sarcastic people can be happy!

I’m working on a series of posts about how we define happiness, what are the barriers and how we can be happier. I’ve read two books so far, with a few others on my list. (After a few bad books, I’m too scared to buy any, so I signed up for library card Thanksgiving weekend and have been trying to take full advantage of it.) If happiness is something you’re working on or interested in, here are a few recommendations:

Books

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor

The first 60 to 75 percent of this book was great. I found the studies and research shared to be really interesting, and definitely things that made me think about my life. However, since I think I’m a relatively happy and optimistic person, I read this feeling affirmed in my life’s outlook. I’m not sure what a pessimistic person would think. If you’re pessimistic and somewhat happy, please read it and tell me what you think 🙂 I want to know if it shifts anyone’s mindset. The gist of the book is that if you approach life with a mostly optimistic outlook, you’ll be more successful (positive psychology).

The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does – Sonja Lyubomirsky

The first section of this book focuses on a general overview of what is happiness and why we grow bored and discontent with things that once made us really happy (hedonic adaptation). The book then breaks into chapters that focus on areas of dissatisfaction for people (relationships, lack of relationships, career, money, etc.). The author explains why we’re feeling the dissatisfaction and steps we can take to turn things around (if possible). I haven’t finished the book yet, but I found the first part of the book really interesting. I’m skimming the remaining sections – skipping what I don’t need help with and reading more closely what I want to learn more about.

Articles

The 3 biggest mistakes people make in their 30s – Inc.. A revealing thread on Quora uncovers the most common ways people mess up their lives in their 30s — and how you can avoid their mistakes.

The success theater: Don’t confuse enviability for happiness – Life Hacker. Social media has changed the way we behave. Making us more connected has also made it much easier to compare ourselves to each other. That’s why it’s ever more important to differentiate between being enviable and being happy.

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