Guardian promotes instant happiness

In: Uncategorized

16 Aug 2009

Yesterday’s Guardian weekend magazine was on the theme of “How to be happy right now” The introductory article by Oliver Burkeman tried to distance itself from the more obviously quackish claims of the more extremist exponents of positive psychology. But this did not stop other parts of the magazine offering instant solutions such as its “7 steps to instant happiness”: be positive, be happy, meditate, be kind to yourself, use your pessimism, find a calling and act happy.

In any case the magazine failed to ask bigger questions such as whether achieving happiness should be a goal either of public policy or individuals. Can it be achieved by being a target itself or, as seems more likely, is its realisation more likely to be the side effect or pursuing other goals? And isn’t the dedicated pursuit of individual happiness a form of narcissism?