Do you, like many people, have a mental list of things you think you need in order to be truly happy? There are many externals our society teaches us to chase: success, wealth, fame, power, good looks, romantic love. But are they really the keys to happiness? The research says no, at least when it comes to long-term happiness. Human beings are quick to adapt to new circumstances—a quality that has helped us survive and thrive. But it also means that the positive things that initially make us happier soon become our new normal and we return to our old happiness baseline. What it takes is an inner change of perspective and attitude. In order to be happy, you do need enough of it to cover your basic needs: things like food, shelter, and clothing. For example, studies of lottery winners show that after a relatively short period of time, they are no happier than they were before their win.
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