In this book, Myers explains to us that we need to slow down and actually see what life is all about. For instance, when we are doing any given activity, we’ll say driving our car. We need not think of the task itself. But rather that we have the ability to do so. This idea goes into many different aspects of life. There are qualities that do enable happiness. A few of these are what will be discussed in this paper. For example, self esteem, a healthy marriage and love.
This book can be related in some way’s to that of Mihyl Csikezentmihalyi entitled “Flow” because there are similarities between the two. Myers book goes on to say that there are key things that do enable happiness. Such as fit and healthy bodies, realistic goals etc. , these two out of the many he states directly reflect the Flow concept. To summarize the Flow concept, it’s about achieving the greatest pleasure in an activity that you partake in. To say this, we can say that life is a big activity with many different aspects of challenges.
Those challenges, being needed to achieve happiness or success through Flow. Love, marriage, and work are a few of the challenges that come along with the activity of life. We all set to achieve something out of all of these. But in Myers book chapter entitled “Self Control” he states that psychologists have two different ideas about what happens in these activities. People generally have two thoughts about life. One being that a person doesn’t have enough control over what’s going in their life, and the idea that the bad things that happen in their life are directly because of them.
But Myers idea is that the things that happen in life are circumstantial. Meaning that things happen because they happen. But why let them bring us down? To have happiness we must garner the “what is” right now. Being able to understand that we ultimately control our own happiness is what must be understood to be happy. Myers says in his book we need not focus on what we have, but rather the importance is in the attitude towards things that we do have. We can find ourselves happy for the time being with money. However what we really need to be happy is satisfaction.
Money cannot and will not satisfy a person. Going off of this, we know that money can bring temporary pleasure. But realistically what it brings is a downward spiral of unannounced emotions. Emotions that we would not expect to have because we now have money. Eventually we will settle back into our feelings before the money surge. But stating this is considering that the person came from extreme poverty. If we could only have natural self-esteem on the levels that we think money would bring, we would in theory be happier people.
Myers book gives plentiful examples on how to be happy. One could write a ten-page paper if they chose too listing and elaborating on the topics he discussed. But, the main point of his book is basically that no matter how bad life is, we must look at the good things we have in life. It’s not what we don’t have. But what we do. We can get happiness out of those. If we don’t expect the world out of a jar of grape jelly, but more expect a great tasting spread, we’ll be happier.