For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. Self-help books don’t seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth – even if you can get it – doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life and work often seem to bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what ‘happiness’ means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it in exactly the wrong way? What if it’s our constant efforts to feel happy that are making us miserable?
Oliver Burkeman | Journalist and Author | Books