Why Pursuit of Superiority Lowers Happiness (and Success)

Most of us use the pursuit of superiority--the desire to be "better than others"--to motivate ourselves. Most of us also believe that the desire for superiority is a good thing, since it increases our chances of success and, therefore, our happiness levels. This article busts these myths.

Smart, Successful, and Yet Not Happy?

Why aren't the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could--or should--be? In this article, I attempt to provide a broad answer to this question.

A Crash Course on Happiness

Are you a "seeker"—someone who's always been interested in happiness? Have you wondered about what it would take to sustain happiness? Are you curious about the true and the fake determinants of happiness? If so, you may be in luck!

Investors Beware: Good News May Not Breed Good Decisions

Easy access to online information and the growth of online brokers presents great opportunities for investors, but it also presents some threats. The article explores the danger posed by the tendency to selectively seek and weight confirmatory information, and presents some tips to avoid the "allure of homophily."

The Nurturer's Curse

Even at a time when weight-gain and obesity are becoming increasingly prevalent, numerous kids are subject to the nasty habit of being force-fed by their parents. In this article, I examine some of the negative side effects of being force-fed and how parents can get rid of this nasty habit.

Is Happiness = Reality/Expectations a Good Formula?

Most people believe that managing expectations is a good way of maintaining high levels of happiness. However, the strategy is not without its pitfalls. In this article, I offer another — more effective — strategy for enhancing happiness.

The Need to Love

All of us recognize that, to feel happy, it is important to feel loved and nurtured. But few of us realize that we have just as deep a desire to love and take care of others. In this article, I explore some reasons why the need to love is such a powerful determinant of happiness and offer some tips on pursuing this noble need.

How Negative is Your "Mental Chatter"?

The thoughts of which most of us are aware tend to be positive. For example, we believe that we are more talented than our peers, that we have a rosy future, and that we are in control of our life. However, my colleagues and I are finding that our sub-conscious thoughts--which could be referred to as our "mental chatter"--tends to be negative. What underlies this discrepan

The Coffee or the Cup: Which is More Important?

Research on happiness reveals that many of us are not as happy as we could be because we chase the superficial things in life—prestigious brands, wealth, beauty, etc.—more than we should. In this article, I discuss some subtleties involved in overcoming the lure of the superficial things in life.

Slow the Seed to Happiness and Success

Most of us lead such hectic and busy lives that we constantly feel rushed and out of time. Yet, to be happy—and successful—we need to perceive that we have time on our hands to do the things we need and want to do. This article explores the connection between time and happiness, and suggests some ways of slowing down your perception of time.

The Top 10 Happiness Quick-Fixes

All of us can use a mood booster (or two) when we are feeling blue. Here are the Top Ten Happiness Quick Fixes that can reliably get you out of your funk.

Dealing with Negative People

The single biggest determinant of how we feel is how others around us--especially those to whom we feel close--treat us. And when these close-others are negative--pessmistic, anxious or distrustful--it can hurt. The article suggests ways to deal with negative people.

The Myopia of Farsightedness

Parental and societal influenes emphasize the value of far-sightedness, but too often, far-sightedness can erode into both our present and our future happiness.

Pick One: Real Misery or Fake Happiness?

Would you be willing to trade your current life for one in which you were deluded into believing that you were happy all the time? Many people say "No," and this response has been inferred as proof that people don't merely want to be happy--they want to be happy for the right reasons. However, for reasons I explain in this article, I disagree with this conclusion.

The Difficulty of Doing Good

In goading us to achieve riches, power, and fame—the conventional yardsticks of success— while simultaneously admonishing us to behave ethically, society wants to have it both ways. If we are to change society for good, we need to understand how the pressure to succeed results in unethical behavior.

The Perils of Drawing Inspiration from Medalists

We often feel inspired by success stories, and most of us view the feeling of inspiration as a good, even noble, feeling. But underlying the feeling of inspiration may be a subversive desire of self-aggrandizement—a desire that is more likely to lead to misery than to happiness.

The Art of Complimenting and Criticizing

Mastering the art of complimenting—and critiquing—goes a long way towards developing and maintaining great relationships.

Free Will Is an Illusion, so What?

Findings from psychology and neurosciences provide convincing evidence that free will is an illusion. A question that naturally follows is: If free will is an illusion, what are the implications? How should we think or act differently? This article explores this question.

Happiness Now, Or Happiness Later?

To focus on enhancing present happiness at the cost of future happiness or vice versa? That's the fundamental human dilemma. Conventional solutions to the dilemma involve identifying and then investing in activities that have best potential for enhancing both present and future happiness. However, there's another—less obvious, but more potent—solution to the dilemma.

Figuring Out the Answer to Who Am I?

Can the mind and the intellect be used to figure out the answer to one of life's biggest questions: Who am I? I am pessimistic, for reasons I discuss in this article.

Familiarity Breeds Enjoyment

Although the saying, "familiarity breeds contempt," suggests that we learn to dislike familiar stimuli, scientific results suggest the opposite: we develop greater liking toward familiar stimuli. A simple and effective means of deriving greater enjoyment from life, then, is to familiarize ourselves with various stimuli--from foods and music to activities and viewpoints.

Take Personal Responsibility, Don't Blame Others

In response to my earlier post, Gautam provides two dangers associated with taking personal responsibility for your happiness. I discuss reasons why Gautam's counter-arguments are not valid.

Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Happiness

Taking personal responsbility is a crucial milestone in the quest for happiness. However, willingness to take personal responsibility is alone not sufficient for enhancing happiness--it needs to be combined with mental control, and the ability to surrender.

Wanted: Happy People!

One reason why many of us aren't as happy as we could be is because we feel we don't deserve to be happy. But findings show that we are more selfless and less selfish when we are happy than when are unhappy. So, at least for everyone else's sake, don't stop yourself from being as happy as you can be!

Overcoming Jealousy

Most people won't admit to feeling jealous when a close friend does well, even though research shows that they do. However, admitting to feeling jealous is an important step in overcoming it.

Counterproductive Productivity

We all implicitly assume that efficiency and productivity–and therefore hardwork that leads to them–are good things. But what if the feverish pursuit of productivity comes at a cost to our own well-being and causes harm to others?

The Will that Powers Success

When we think of will power, we typically think of the kind that requires expending effort to overcome physical or mental strain. But the kind of will power that is a more critical determinant of success is the more subtle type, one that involves the ability to control one's mind.

Grow to Be a Child

Children can be impulsive, irritable and immature, but they can also be spontaneous, unselfconscious and joyful. What would it take to be a mature adult who is also spontaneous and joyful? What would it take, in other words, to become a childlike adult?

The Allure of Anger and the Entitlement-Mindset Trap

It is easier to be blame others and be angry than it is to take personal responsibility and feel sad, guilty or anxious. However, when blaming others becomes a habit, it leads to the "entitlement mindset," which is one of the most powerful happiness-killers.

Energy Cycles, Flow, and Emotional Positivity

One of the most significant determinants of your emotional state is how you manage your energy levels. Contrary to what many people believe, we are not programmed to "seek the path of least resistance": in fact, we derive enjoyment from expending energy too. Learn more about the linkages between energy cycles and happiness by reading this post.