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Lessons In Happiness From Hollywood

I have often thought that if Hollywood stars have a role to play, it is to teach us that happiness has nothing to do with fun.  These rich, beautiful individuals have constant access to glamorous parties, fancy cars, expensive homes, everything that spells “happiness.”  But in memoir after memoir, celebrities reveal the unhappiness hidden beneath all their fun: depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, broken marriages, troubled children, profound loneliness.

Yet people continue to believe that the next, more glamorous party, more expensive car, more luxurious vacation, fancier home will do what all the other parties, cars, vacations, homes have not been able to do.  The way people cling to the belief that a fun-filled, pain-free life equals happiness, actually diminishes their chances of ever attaining real happiness.  If fun and pleasure are equated with happiness, then pain must be equated with unhappiness.  But, in fact, the opposite is true: More times than not, things that lead to happiness involve some pain.

As a result, many people avoid the very endeavors that are the source of true happiness.  They fear the pain inevitably brought by such things as marriage, raising children, professional achievement, religious commitment, civic or charitable work, self-improvement.

- D. Prager, radio commentator and author

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Comments icon June 27, 2010


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