Practical happiness – getting your life to work better

This is the start of a series of investigative articles about getting your life to work better in a wide-ranging and holistic way.

“If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting” – traditional folk saying, aka \’cause and effect’

Every day, we are assailed by images of shiny, happy people with better bodies, cars, lifestyles and sex. They seem to be very lucky, and we want to be like them.

But let’s be clear about this: happiness is no accident. Happiness isn’t something that happens to some people by chance, and not to others. Happiness is something you can create by going about it in the right way. How to be happy can be studied, practiced and learnt.

If you subject two randomly selected people to the same set of joys, challenges and disasters – one will be relatively better than the other at coping, and will thus be a bit – or perhaps a lot – happier. Some families seem to be happier than others; indeed it seems that some nations are happier than some others. This book is about finding out why this should be, and about maximising all the factors that lead to that positive difference in some people’s response to what life throws at us.

Cheerful, optimistic people live 8 to 10 years longer than miserable people. Of course, that shorter life span might be a consolation to the pessimists; but wouldn’t you rather have a longer and ahappier life?

This is the start of a guide to the possibilities for achieving happiness in all departments of life, getting your life to work better and dealing with the causes of unhappiness in your particular situation.

There is always something that can be done about being unhappy, no matter how impossible this may seem at first. A time of recession, cutbacks and austerity is the perfect time to reassess your life and move forward on a different footing. Entertaining that possibility could be your first step forward.