To be happy, do we need to have . . ?

. . . wholesome values? Do we need to be good people?
No, any thug can be happy if they take full responsibility for how their life unfolds.

What about willpower? Do we need that?
No.

Positive thinking?
No.  (See The Positive Thinking Myth‘ for more details.)

Affirmations?
No. I have met one person who claimed affirmations benefited her considerably, so they might work. But I suspect that for most of us, affirmations don’t work, either because we aren’t diligent in our practise of them, or for other reasons.

‘. . . we have this strong drive to preserve our sense of who we are, so we respond negatively to being told we’ re loveable if we actually think we’re awful – even if it’s ourselves who are doing the telling! So with affirmations we start arguing back.’
Oliver Burkeman, in his book,  ‘Help! How to become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done’.

Goal setting?
No. Setting goals might help you get things done, but it won’t make you happier.

Do the keys focus on increasing our spirituality?
No.

Are you going to ask us to write anything?
I have tried to not set written work. However, for our brain to grasp an idea it needs to apply it, so I have set a few exercises here and there. But there are no essays to write, no diaries to keep.

That said, I did meet a woman who claimed she had written an essay challenging  the validity of her negative thoughts, and as a consequence those negative thoughts had evaporated.  She also told me that affirmations (repeated positive self talk) had also helped her. I have no reason to disbelieve her, but I suspect for most people they are ineffective. But hey, if it works for you . . .

So, what do we need?
We need to satisfy long-term innate needs.

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