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Happiness is impossible to define and illusory. How then are we to lead happier lives?
In A Little Happier Derren Brown condenses the lessons of his international best seller Happy into 17 beautifully wrought, wise and profoundly reassuring mini-chapters, each one challenging us to think differently so as to overcome anxiety in a difficult world.
None of this is real when each of us tells stories about our lives in too tidy narratives that are seldom true and rarely helpful.
We should be wary of goal setting: long-term goals fixate us on a future that may not happen and we may not wish for when we get there.
Our partner isn't right for us because no-one is. None of us is born for someone else. But perhaps those areas of frequent conflict are useful indicators of where we might ourselves be insufferable.
Life is hard, messy and complex; our friends will probably let us down; most of what has got us here is blind luck and a series of false starts. But if we can learn to separate what we can control - our thoughts and actions - from all else beyond our control, we can find a surer footing with which to greet the world.