Tal Ben-Shahar begins by asking himself not whether he was happy but how can I become happier. Shahar reason for this is because happiness is not binary but instead it exists all around us. Shahar states that when he was sixteen he, spent all his time training to win the Israel national squash championship. He “believed that winning the title would make me happy, would alleviate the emptiness I felt so much of the time.” After, winning the championship Shahar thought his life was complete because he filled the “emptiness.
” The next morning he realized the happiness he had the night before was gone he, couldn’t understand why? This is when “I realized that I needed to think about happiness in different ways, to depend or change my understanding of the nature of happiness.” When Shahar found research done by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough stating that they kept daily gratitude journals to improve their overall happiness he, began writing his own believing that this acts of kindness will help him achieve happiness. From that moment on Shahar began writing down his achievement through the day, which will lead him to come happier. Shahar then introduces his four archetypes in the world, which are a representation of ways people, live their lives. The four archetypes are hedonism people who live now and don’t think about the future. Rat race people you think about the future but don’t think about now.
Nihilism is a group of people who don’t think about now or the future. Happiness people who live now and enjoy secure themselves for the future. Shahar point’s outs we as a society have been made to believe that setting a goal and achieving it will make us happier. In society, people value a good job, wealth, and fame as the con. . misconception instead you should see goals as guidelines and getting pass one will help you achieve overall happiness.
In a study done psychologist Phillip Brickman he demonstrated that the levels of happiness for person winning the lottery would be high but within a month their level of happiness would revert back to the same level. At the beginning the lottery winner believed that by buying all he/she wanted it would bring them happiness but in reality it brought them back to the same mental place they were because those items had not real meaning thus, not bringing them happiness. The same could be said for people who were in accidents they are depressed for about of months time but within the month there would return to the same level of happiness. This can be explained by their mental state, which brought them back to the time before they were in an accident.