Essay: Happiness' as Myth

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[. . .] One moment you are in a good mood and the next in a bad mood. They pass over us; just 'happen'. It is the way that we deal with these thoughts that can best define the outcome of our lives. Aptly, her book was called "Loving what is," and her program became known as "the Work."

Katie Byron should know. She spent years wrestling with depression and, one day, lying on the floor of a neglected motel, awoke to find her depression had disappeared. She returned to her British village a new person. Her family and the villagers noticed her rejuvenated appearance, and v very soon they flocked to her for advice. Byron's ideas differ from the trite prescription of the pop-help industry. They have come from herself. From her suffering. And, as she noted, we pursue one self-help technique after the other in search of that slippery thing called happiness. In the end, happiness is not a bovine concept as commonly thought. Rather it is thoughts, or instance, or circumstances that 'happen. The way we deal with them determines our state of mind. And meaningfulness, rather than happiness, may be a more worthwhile, authentic, and genuine construct to pursue.

Goethe stated it in a different way:

It is not doing the things we like to do,

But liking the things we have to do

That makes life blessed.

'Happiness', a common misnomer, may be just a myth. It is fleeting, bovine, never exists. More authentic and substantial is meaningfulness. That is where our pursuits should lie.


Byron K. Loving what is: four questions that can change your life, New York: Harmony Books, c2002.

Winterson, J. Why be happy when you could be normal? New York:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Happiness' as Myth.  (2012, September 6).  Retrieved November 15, 2019, from

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"Happiness' as Myth."  September 6, 2012.  Accessed November 15, 2019.