If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy? Book Summary - If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy? Book explained in key points
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If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy? summary

Raj Raghunathan

How to Turn Career Success into Life Success

4.5 (85 ratings)
17 mins

What is If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy? about?

If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy (2016) offers wisdom to help you put an end to the bad habits that are keeping you from being happy. We often think that happiness is an elusive emotion, but that’s just because we often get in our own way. Believe it or not, there are simple steps you can take starting today to become a happier and healthier person.

Table of Contents

    If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy?
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Don’t devalue happiness; instead, focus on it by identifying where it comes from.

    You’re a smart person, right? So why do you always end up falling into the same depressing ruts?

    It might have something to do with the seven deadly sins. Now, we’re not talking about biblical sins, but rather the bad habits that get in the way of happiness.

    The first sin is the human habit of devaluing happiness.

    Despite our desire to be happy, we tend to ignore happiness as a goal and not give it the priority it deserves.

    The author, along with fellow professors Sunaina Chugani from City University of New York and Ashesh Mukherjee from McGill University, conducted a study to determine what things people associate with happiness.

    Participants were asked to make three wishes for things that they believed would lead to happiness. The researchers found that generally, people wish for things like money, fame and success because they know what they’re getting. Meanwhile, they tended to ignore happiness itself because it seems too abstract a concept to wish for.

    But if you think about it, shouldn’t happiness be everyone’s top priority?

    Of course different things make different people happy – so before you can prioritize happiness, you need to define it.

    Ask yourself what emotion you associate with happiness. This way you can learn to better understand where it comes from. Perhaps you associate happiness with love; if this is the case, your relationship with your partner is probably central to your well-being.

    With this in mind, try creating a journal to record all the different things that bring happiness into your daily life. Recall all the memorable moments of happiness and write down what you were doing, who you were with and what led to those positive feelings.

    Maybe you were traveling with someone you love, and seeing the world, or maybe you were spending time with your family during the holidays.

    Once you have these events written down, you’ll have a clear picture of the kind of things you should be focusing on and making time for in your life, thereby letting in more happiness.

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    Best quote from If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy?

    The things that lead to happiness and fulfillment are the things that make us better – more kind and compassionate.

    —Raj Raghunathan
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    About the Author

    Raj Raghunathan is a professor of marketing at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also an associate editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

    Who should read If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy??

    • Young people who are going through a breakup
    • Professionals who value success over making the world a better place
    • Anyone trying to find a path to happiness

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