We appear to have more control over our lives than ever before. If we could get things right – the perfect job, relationship, family, body and mind – then we’d be happy. With enough economic growth and technological innovation, we could cure all societal ills.
The Happiness Problem shows that this way of thinking is too simplistic and can even be harmful: no matter how much progress we make, we will still be vulnerable to disappointment, loss and suffering. The things we do to make us happy are merely the tip of the iceberg.
Sam Wren-Lewis offers an alternative process that acknowledges insecurity and embraces uncertainty. Drawing on our psychological capacities for curiosity and compassion, he proposes that we can connect with, and gain a deeper understanding of, the personal and social challenges that define our time
Sam Wren-Lewis is an independent scholar with a PhD from the University of Leeds on the philosophy of happiness, and the author of a number of published papers on the study of happiness and wellbeing. He is also a self-employed wellbeing consultant, and former Head of Research and Development at Happy City, where he carries out collaborative research and policy work with a wide range of wellbeing policy organisations. His website is www.happinessproblem.com
Introduction: The Happiness Problem;
The Illusion of Control;
From Control to Security;
Conclusion: The Happiness Opportunity.