There is a passage in Benjamin Hoff's 1982 classic, "The Tao of Pooh" where he perfectly outlines the major source of unhappiness in the western world, the search for the ever-elusive "Great Reward."
"Religions, sciences, and business ethics have tried their hardest to convince us that there is a Great Reward waiting for us somewhere and that what we have to do is spend our lives working like lunatics to catch up with it," he writes.
"A way of life that keeps saying, 'Around the next corner, above the next step,' works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy," Hoff continues.
It's true, most of us are conditioned to believe that a state of eternal bliss is waiting for us once we get the right job, the right spouse, the right house, reach our ideal weight or finally get around to painting a masterpiece.
Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos says that true happiness comes from an entirely different place.
"Our minds lie to us all the time. We miswant things. We think we need to change our life circumstances to become happier," Dr. Santos said according to CNN.
Dr. Santos' research reveals is that happiness comes from "simple practices, simple acts like making a social connection, or taking time for gratitude, or taking time to be in the present moment," she told CNN.
Dr. Santos teaches the most popular course in Yale's 300-year history, The Science of Well Being, which teaches students how to be happy.Now the course is yours, free of charge, via Coursera. The course begins today so clink the link and get yourself out of the dumps.