This powerful quote by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reminds us that we should approach conventional self-help “wisdom” (but also Positive Psychology interventions) with a certain amount of caution.
There will always be gurus who claim to know the way, and Facebook/Twitter are full of posts such as “These are the 7 things successful/rich/happy people do before breakfast”. These people greatly underestimate human individuality – and the power of context and timing.
Positive Psychology researchers also suggests doing certain things (such as being grateful frequently) but, in general, are very cautious when making claims about efficacy. Additionally, there’s a growing body of research investigating so-called fit models, showing that people may profit greatly from some Positive Psychology interventions, but may not do so with regard to other exercises, e.g., due to individual preferences. If you would like to find out more, I suggest checking out this research article: To each his own well-being boosting intervention: using preference to guide selection.