Life Advice



Barton Goldsmith: Seven myths about happiness

Barton Goldsmith, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Many of us hold false beliefs about happiness. Those beliefs can actually prevent us from feeling good about ourselves and enjoying life.

Here are some of the things we believe and say to ourselves about happiness that can keep us from it.

1. “There’s something wrong with me if I’m not happy all the time.”

No, there is nothing wrong with you if you aren’t happy all the time. No one can be happy all the time. In fact, a temporary feeling of giddiness or being high on life is often mistaken for happiness. True happiness is more of an inner peace thing.

2. “If I have lots of money, I will be happy.”

Money can buy a lot of things. But after your basic needs are taken care of, the upgrades that come with an increase in income really don’t make that much of a difference. A famous Princeton study in 2010 found that emotional well-being did not increase for people making over $75K. Earlier this year a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that this number had ticked upward to $85K.


But the point is the same: Earning anything over that amount apparently has very little effect on your happiness quotient.

3. “I have to be better than just OK to be happy.”

When you start making demands and deals with yourself to allow happiness into your life, you are signing your life away. These are when-contracts: "When I get what I want, then I can be happy.” The problem is that the finish line is a moving target, as life is ever-changing and so are your desires.

4. “When I find true love, then I will be happy.”


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