According to Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work (one of the books I read while doing research for Breaking the Spell), we have spent our entire lives learning how to be unhappy.
He suggests that happiness is hard-wired into our brains, but because we have subscribed to a faulty mental model—that we have to GET something so we can DO something so we can BE something, in order to be happy—we spend our lives chasing happiness.
Instead of understanding that this “If then…” model is flawed we spend our lives changing the “If” part of the equation. If the “If” we believe will make us happy doesn’t once we achieve it, we chase another “If,” and so on and so on.
In this instructive TED Talks video, Rao shares his simple suggestion for changing this faulty model so we can rediscover the innate happiness so many of us seem to have lost.