Proverbial Beauty, a new book on how to achieve happiness and success, offers a practical guide to changing our outlooks and our fortunes. Here’s an excerpt:
In a single, ringing phrase, Thomas Jefferson captured the essence of the American dream when he declared that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And yet, despite Mr. Jefferson’s noble sentiments and laudable achievements, the enduring lyricism of his words spawned an epidemic of confusion and despondency that continues to spread like pestilence through western society.
How precisely does one pursue happiness? We may pursue wealth, pursue fame, pursue gratification of one form or another. But the fiction of pursuing happiness has become a collective obsession that consumes our lives, either by goading us into chasing impossible dreams or by tarnishing the quality of our existence with unwarranted regrets.
Before we set off in pursuit of anything, we ought to know what it is and how to get it. Like many other words and expressions, we toss about the word “happiness” without really knowing what we mean. The definition seems obvious, but the inconvenient truth is that we really have no idea what we’re talking about.
So what is happiness, and how does one get it?
Read the whole excerpt here: