Summary of The Myths of Happiness

What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t
What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does

Penguin Press, more...

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The Myths of Happiness book summary
To achieve happiness, use rational thinking and positive action.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Many people operate under false assumptions and expectations about becoming happy and avoiding unhappiness. They believe that difficult circumstances condemn them to lives of sadness. Award-winning psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky disagrees. She examines common notions and myths about happiness, clarifies why and how they are flawed, and offers insightful suggestions on how to be happy even during the toughest of times. Lyubomirsky explains how to make better decisions and achieve positive attitudes that can boost your quest for contentment. getAbstract recommends her expert advice to those seeking more joy and to those who want to understand the psychological factors that often misdirect how people perceive their lives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How common myths about happiness mislead people,
  • How these myths promote unclear thinking and
  • How to take steps toward achieving happiness.


“May Be”
An old farmer had a valuable workhorse. One day, the horse ran off. The farmer’s neighbors expressed their sympathies. “Such bad luck,” they all said. “May be,” the old farmer said. The next day the horse returned with six wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors said. “May...
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About the Author

Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She also is the author of The How of Happiness, which has been translated into 19 languages.

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