Myths about Happiness Everyone Should Stop Believing
郑淑明、周鸿雁 译  

Myths about Happiness Everyone Should Stop Believing


By Megan Bruneau


Happiness is a serious moneymaker. People around the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to avoid the tough stuff and feel good about themselves, whether that’s through prescription[1] pills, going crazy with dieting and fitness, or that time-tested elixir[2] of life: alcohol.


[1] prescription处方药。


[2] elixir长生不老药;灵丹妙药。

As a psychotherapist[3] who helps people bump their overall happiness level up[4] a few notches[5], I’ve heard pretty much[6] all of the myths out there about happiness. The worst part is that these myths actually make you unhappy (messed up, right?) – so ditching them is, paradoxically, part of finding happiness.


[3] psychotherapist心理治疗师。


[4] bump up抬高,增大,提升。


[5] notch等级,水平。


[6] pretty much 〈口〉几乎,差不多。

When you achieve [whatever goal you’re going after], you’ll be happy


Land the promotion, the spouse, the Lambo[7], the goal weight, the condo[8], whatever it is – you’ll finally experience eternal happiness. Hey, it’s not your fault for believing this, since you’ve likely been fed the American dream since the moment you escaped from the womb.


[7] Lamborghini的缩写,跑车品牌兰博基尼。


[8] condo公寓。

But this logic is flawed. Achievements don’t protect you from feeling like crap[9], and they definitely don’t make you superhuman. Multimillionaires still get depressed. People with “perfect” bodies still get dumped. Steady, passive income[10] doesn’t protect you from losing someone to cancer. If you can start appreciating where you are, rather than basing your sense of fulfillment on some future accomplishment, you’ll be much closer to happiness. 


[9] crap废物。


[10] 即不需要花费时间和精力就可以自动获得的收入。


When you find the right person, you’ll be happy


If you think being in a relationship[11] is necessary for happiness, you’re going to feel inadequate[12] and probably anxious when you’re single. There’s no doubt a strong relationship can make your life better in a lot of ways, but it’s certainly not a requirement. In fact, many people feel lonelier and more disconnected in a relationship than outside of one.


[11] in a relationship与某人在一段关系中,即恋爱中。


[12] inadequate不够的;能力不足的。

When you’re unhappy, it’s natural to blame your relationship status, but try not to – instead of waiting for your “soulmate” to bump into you like your life is a John Cusack[13] movie, see if there are other ways to meet your needs. You know, ways that are in your control. 


[13] 约翰·库萨克,美国演员、编剧、制片人。


Being happy means you’ll never feel like crap


It’s no coincidence that a lot of these myths are clichés[16] from fairytales, and nowhere is that more evident than humankind’s steadfast belief in happy endings. No! Not that kind!


[16] cliché陈腔滥调。

The “happily ever after” stuff just isn’t real. To be human is to feel, and it’s a guarantee that you’ll feel disappointment, loss, anger, guilt, sadness, fear, conflict, embarrassment, frustration, and so on and so on. These feelings are universal; happiness is about being able to make space for ALL these shitty emotions, not just the positive ones. They’re not a sign of brokenness or pathology. They mean you’re not a robot or a psychopath[17]. 


[17] psychopath精神病患者,精神变态者。


So, the next time you find yourself seeking happiness, double-check to make sure you’re not looking in all these wrong places.