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Searching for happiness? You’re looking in the wrong place! 

By  Lysette Offley

little girl

There’s a story I remember from my childhood that’s part of my family culture. I don’t know where it came from originally, but I think it probably originated as one of my Dad’s bad jokes!

Sorry, Dad!  🙂

OK, here we go…

A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park! The policeman asks why then he’s searching here, and the drunk replies,

“This is where the light is!”

Searching for happinessActually, It’s entirely possible that you will recognise this story and maybe you can tell me where you heard it first. Could be a Morecambe and Wise joke or something similar.

Answers on a postcard!

Anyway, it’s known as both the Streetlight Effect and the Drunkard’s Search Principle, and it refers to observational bias – when people only search for something where it’s easiest to look.

Eric Barker, of Barking Up the Wrong Tree has written a great article about happiness and where you will find it. Here’s the link. I thoroughly recommend you read it.

4 Rituals That Will Make You HappySearching for happiness

I expect some of you have read Viktor Frankl’s Search for Meaning. An Austrian psychiatrist, his most famous book is about surviving several concentration camps during the Holocaust – a thoroughly harrowing subject. However, it’s a fascinating observation of different personalities and their likely influence over outcome.

As someone who managed to avoid watching Schindler’s List for 10 years, I feel I can recommend this book. It’s a tough subject but written with positivity and optimism.

How about you?

Positivity and optimism proving a challenge?

Looking for happiness? Need some help to start looking in the right place?

You know where I am.



Here’s another Eric Barker article I just couldn’t resist including.

How To Have More Energy


One thing we do know will nurture your need for meaning and fulfilment is being equipped to achieve your goals. If you’re struggling to pass exams, you will need to:

  1. Handle stress and
  2. Use a better learning strategy.



Book a Pass Exams Easily Discovery Call

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Lysette Offley

Genius Maker & Founder of Genius Material and The Genius Principles. Working with professionals who need exceptional academic & professional development.

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