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John Ortberg said He recently saw an actual, academic, peer-reviewed journal called Journal of Happiness Studies. "Positive psychology" is the big new trend looking for how people can be happy.


One theme that keeps cropping up is the happiness paradox which says: "the more directly one aims to maximize pleasure and avoid pain, the more likely one is to produce a life lacking depth, meaning, and community." One article listed eleven separate facets of the happiness paradox. Another explained the principle of indirection: happiness, by its nature, cannot be obtained by direct pursuit. You have to sneak up on it. Or rather, you have to let it sneak up on you while you’re pursuing something more important.

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