"The only power that really matters is the power to live a life that corresponds to who we really are."
The illusions of Happiness
Beauty, money, power, fame and sex.
It’s worth asking where these aspirations are leading us as a society—and whether, once they’re achieved, they’re any sort of guarantee of happiness.
For these reasons, I decided to take a closer look into whether or not these five ingredients – beauty, wealth, power, fame and sex – are the fast track to a happy life. I wanted to make the distinction between reality and myth, to find out if other people’s “perfect lives” are really what we believe them to be, and also to understand how to enjoy life’s pleasures without letting them get the better of us in the end. I wanted to bring the true sources of happiness back into the spotlight.
In our current political and social climate, it seems not only important but urgent to pursue this exploration. Isn’t the 45th President of the United States the incarnation of wealth, power, and fame blown out of proportion by the media and social networks? Nowadays, more than 50% of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 want more than anything to be famous, with no specific motive besides fame itself. 61% of French people say they “don’t have enough money to be completely happy,” and 94% of Americans agree that money can buy happiness after all. The thirst for power pushes people to constantly seek “success” without even knowing what that means, and at the cost of their mental and physical health. It’s even worse when it comes to beauty and sex. Only 2% of women think they are beautiful, and every year plastic surgeons “retouch” tens of millions of people. And while sex is often cited as one of the main sources of “happiness,” more than 60% of young people nowadays get their sex education from pornography sites, where sexuality is completely separated from emotions.
In this new fascinating book, the author, expert in happiness, explores the latest studies and international academic references but she also brings in her personal observations for more than 20 years of studying the subject of happiness . The book is essentially a refelxion on how to live your life in all its beauty and complexity, without getting bogged down by the illusions of happiness.
The illusion of Happiness was published on September 20th by Flammarion.