Ben-Shahar argues in “Happier” that there are four basic archetypes of happiness decision making:

1. Hedonism
When people believe that they can sustain happiness by going from pleasurable activity to pleasurable activity with complete disregard for any future meaning or purpose.

2. Rat Race
When people are on the opposite side of the spectrum: they postpone present happiness in order to be happy in the future. They believe that reaching a certain destination will lead to sustained happiness.

3. Nihilism
When people believe that no matter what they do they will not be able to attain happiness. Basically, these are the ones that have lost all hope of being happy.

4. Happiness
Happiness requires that we live for both today and tomorrow. Happiness is built when people engage in activities which they find meaningful and pleasurable today, which at the same time “feed” into a future that is also meaningful and pleasurable.

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