The Secret to Happiness

Can we control our happiness? Social scientist Arthur Brooks dove into ancient philosophy and the latest research searching for answers. He found them.

Are you happy?

Only about one third of Americans say they are “very happy.”

Are you one of them?

What do happy people have that others lack? Merely good genes and good luck?

Or are there practical strategies that anyone can adopt?

The answer is actually all three. Our genes, our life events, and our own actions all matter. Some aspects of happiness are hard-wired into us, but others are ours for the taking.

In his popular talk “The Secret to Happiness,” American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks weaves together ancient wisdom and recent research to explain how we can make ourselves and our society happier.

Brooks explains that four factors — faith, family, community, and meaningful work — dominate the fraction of our happiness that we can control. For the sake of ourselves and our communities, we need to invest deeply in those four things and forget the rest.

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