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Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan Book suggestion

LSE economist , happiness and behaviour expert ,Professor Paul Dolan, uses the latest cutting-edge research from economics and psychology to reveal how well-being isn't about how we think - it's about what we do and suggests ways as to how can we make it easier to be happier


Our happiness is linked to experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Attention ‘acts as a production process that converts stimuli into happiness’. It is a scarce resource and when we give our attention to one thing, by definition we can't be giving it to something else.


When we make deliberate choices that bring us both pleasure and meaning as opposed to pain and meaninglessness, it is possible to redesign our lives for maximum happiness - without thinking too hard about it.


Using the triple D system (deciding, designing, and doing) we can find our unique optimal balance of pleasure and purpose, overcome the biases that make us miserable and redesign our environments to make it easier to experience happiness, fulfilment, and even health.


"Listen more to your real feelings of happiness than to your reflections on how happy you think you are or ought to be," Paul Dolan


Paul Dolan also reminds us not to pay attention to what we think ought to make us happy - our subjective judgments about a ‘meaningful life’ but instead to use the moment-to-moment feedback we experience about which activities actually bring us feelings of pleasure or purpose.


This book is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in overthinking things, but to focus instead on maximising what actually delivers joy.



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