Achieving happiness is not that hard. Really!

Here a professor of psychology at U of VA Jonathan Haidt gives 5 steps. (But these are in my book as well!)

5 steps to happiness

The path to happiness actually might be a superhighway. Everybody wants to get there, and if you watch the road signs, it could be an easier route than you think.

Take a good look at yourself.

What you can do: Go to and register at the site, so that you can take personality and other tests. If you suspect you are below average in the happiness quotient, also take the CES-D (depression) Questionnaire.

Improve your attitude.

What you can do: Learn to do cognitive therapy on yourself. It’s easy, and it works. Start by reading a book such as Learned Optimism, by Martin Seligman. Try meditating for 15 minutes a day, every day, for a month.

Reach out to others.

What you can do: On your deathbed, will you wish you had spent more time at the office or with your friends and family? Consider making trade-offs now – taking longer vacations, working shorter hours or giving up solitary activities to spend more time with loved ones. Work on your marriage. Try to create a group of friends who do things together. There’s a reason dogs are humanity’s best friend. If you don’t have a dog, and you are not getting a daily dose of relatedness, get one.

Find a job you love.

What you can do: Figure out if work for you is a job, a career or a calling. If your work is not a calling, that’s OK as long as you have some noble purpose that you pursue elsewhere. No matter what your work is, write out the ways in which your work helps people, contributes to the common good or does something that people find pleasurable.

Do something for someone else.

What you can do: Join an organization that has a noble purpose. Volunteer work can take you out of yourself. Join a church.

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