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Chapter 1: Happiness Revisited

Since the time of Aristotle, the world has changed significantly. We have electricity, a good healthcare system, TV, and many luxuries that have improved the quality of life. Yet people often feel that their life is wasted. Instead of feeling happiness, their life is filled with anxiety and boredom.

Science has discovered that our happiness is not influenced very much by the level of luxury in our lives. When scientists analyzed the happiness level of many people such as artists and athletes, they discovered that people feel most happy while they are having an optimal experience. Optimal experience is what the sailor feels as the wind whips through her hair, and the boat lunges through the waves like a colt.

Moments like this are the best moments in our lives. They are not relaxing, passive times. Instead, they occur when we stretch our body or mind to the limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

The state of flow is when you are so involved in an activity that nothing else matters. The experience is so great that people will do it, even at great cost, just for the sake of doing it.

Actions to take