Summary - Happier Part 1

Summary - Happier Part 1 - Happier Part I Chapter 1- The...

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Happier Part I Chapter 1- The Question of Happiness Ben-Shahar starts by talking about emptiness that he felt when he was younger. He thought that this emptiness would go away when he achieved his long time goal of winning the Israeli National squash championship. When this finally did come true, however, he was very happy for that whole day as he celebrated with his family and friends but once he was getting ready to go to sleep, he realized that he still felt that emptiness. This made him feel hopeless because he thought that if he couldn’t feel happy at this moment, then he would never attain happiness. At that moment, he realized that he must think of happiness in a different way. This is where his quest to learn as much about happiness began. He talks about his study of several major philosopher and even psychologist. He also talks about his realization that most people were trying to be happy by attaining goals that they set for themselves, but that this was not working for them either. The chapter concludes with his realization that the right question to ask is not “Am I happy?” because this suggest that happiness is an end point but rather, “How can I become happier?” because this acknowledges that happiness is a process and a pursuit. Chapter 2- Reconciling Present and Future Ben-Shahar discusses his Hamburger Model. In the model, he says that there are four types of hamburgers that translate to four archetypes: rat race-vegetarian burger, hedonism-junk food burger, nihilism- worst burger, and happiness- ideal burger. Rat racers chase after goals continuously, thinking that happiness will come after the attainment of each goal. Ben-Shahar says that this is the state of being tied to the future. He further asserts that the happiness that one experiences after the attainment of each goal is not real happiness, but rather the temporary relief from the pressure that comes with trying to accomplish the goal. Ben-Shahar says that rat racers suffer from the “arrival fallacy”- the false belief that reaching a valued destination can sustain happiness. Hedonist looks to avoid pain and experience please in the present without regard to the future consequences of their actions. Ben-Shahar says that this is the state of being tied to the present. He further quotes Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to say that humans are at their happiest when they are working voluntarily for something: “the best moments usually occur when a person’s
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Summary - Happier Part 1 - Happier Part I Chapter 1- The...

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