TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
At first glance, the Fourteen Fundamentals Program may seem too good to be true. Is it possible that happiness can actually be increased? Can it be true that Psychology has actually learned a way to achieve Humankind’s most ancient dream? Has the miracle that countless past generations hoped for finally occured?
Well, we’d like to think the answer is, “Yes!”
But, as incredible as it seems at first glance, there’s really nothing miraculous about it. The Fourteen Fundamentals work simply because research science works. Actually, all we have done is to study happy people and learn what we could from them. From our study, we eventually isolated the characteristics which contributed the most to their happiness, and found, as our research progressed, that almost anyone could develop the same characteristics.
In essence, therefore, all that is happening here is that you are learning the “secrets” of happiness from the happiest people themselves. Indirectly, through the research, they are sharing with you the kinds of things which make them happy. Thus, there’s nothing spactacular or dramatic about it. The Fourteen Fundamentals simply take advantage of what has been learned about the nature of happiness and provide it for anyone who wishes to profit from it.
Perhaps the difficulty some people have is appreciating that happiness can be scientifically studied as rigirously as any natural phenomenon can be. No one can doubt the imense benefits that scientific progress in chemistry, cellular physiology, agriculture, biology, nuclear physics, medicine, ecology, and all other sciences have made in the betterment of the human condition. The advancements of scientific knowledge surround our world and permeate every aspect of our lives. That old adage, “Knowledge is Power,” can hardly be questioned in modern times. These volumes on “Human Happiness” are dedicated to the fact that happiness can be researched just as objectively and fruitfully as any topic in science. Thus, just as we would turn to the science of engineering to build a bridge, or turn to medical science to treat disease, now we can turn to the science of psychology to better understand human happiness.