The Happiness Discussion Continues

I just got around to reading a response to the recent post on happiness and the Naikan Challenge. Pearl from Interesting Observations has written a post entitled How To Be Happy and it has some great insights on happiness and all of the struggles we as individuals and as a society go through to try to capture this elusive feeling.

She includes some great links to statistics from a Time Magazine survey that you may find interesting. Her conclusion is that it’s all about the mindset and I tend to agree. It’s our perspectives on life that dictate how we react and how we feel about our situation. That’s the tough part, though. It’s much easier to learn a physical task, like swinging a golf club or hemming a dress, than it is to learn to control the mind.

She also talks about the fact that most people worry about a lot of things that are completely out of their control. What’s happened in the past or what might happen in the future, as well as what other people are doing or thinking, these things aren’t things we can do much if anything about. This is the most difficult part of getting a handle on our perspectives. I struggle with this myself every day.

Peter at Necessary Skills has also written a post that is directly related to our ongoing happiness discussion: Deliberate Creativity. He asks if perhaps we’re making the same mistake over and over again by trying to solve our unhappiness problem:

If we always start with the same idea then we shouldn’t be surprised when we always reach the same answer. To get different and better answers we need to change the idea we start with. All problems and ideas can be approached creatively by changing the initial idea we start with and then letting our logical solving routines go to work.

Be sure to check out both of these articles. They have some great ideas that may help us all to be a little happier.

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4 Responses to The Happiness Discussion Continues

  1. pearl says:

    oh wow!! this is such an honor ray… I never even imagined a whole post referring to what I had written.. THANKS ..:) Did you take that happiness quiz? I did – and I answered all 3s on a 1 to 7 scale and the results showed I was ‘somewhat’ ‘dissatisfied’ with my life!! and I talk about happiness 😀

  2. Swapw says:

    Ray,

    Nice article on happiness. I have finally found you through the e-mail and I’m glad that I’m here. I think there are a lot of incites to the article that happiness do come with and that is at many times having to do with your own thinkings. Obviously as things you can’t control, you can’t control. But I think it’s important to examine what happens before such events occur. Obviously no one knows what happens tomorrow and we can only do the best that we can. Have a good weekend.

    -Swapw

  3. hmm… quite insightful. any other ideas?

  4. ray says:

    Hi Pearl, it’s my pleasure! You have really added a lot to the discussion and I’m sure your post has helped people. I haven’t taken the quiz, yet; I’m a little afraid to!

    Hey Swapw, that’s a great observation about control. We spend a great deal of time stressing about things we can’t do a thing about. Stephen Covey talks about this in 7 Habits and it really makes sense. A little self-reflection is good, too, just not too much. Thanks for commenting!

    Hi Brian. I think we’ve gotten some great answers up to this point, but I’d love to hear more on this issue. It sounds like it’s mostly boiling down to an issue of keeping life simple and not worrying about things outside our circle of influence. Thanks for your comment!

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