Wednesday, September 30, 2009

C'mon, Get Happy!

There's a book out right now titled Bright-Sided:  How Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  It's all about how positive psychology and positive thinking are vastly overrated.  Ms. Ehrenreich says it is, instead, "blind optimism" that prevents people from seeing things as they really are and making choices based on the realities of their situation.

There's a part of me that agrees with the premise of her book.  I don't want to be so focused on happiness and getting happy and being happy that I forget there is always going to be "less happy" episodes of life.  And that getting through those graciously and with some common sense is just as important.... maybe more so..... to living completely.

But being happy is something everyone wants as much of as they can get.  Me, too.  It's how you define happiness, I think, that helps you get it.  One woman's "happiness" could be another's "oh, shit".  Personally, I'd like to have the contentment and peace of mind kind rather than the delirious type.  And to also remember in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:  "is not a goal, it's a byproduct".  So, finding an interest or a cause might be a big first step in the happiness equation.  Time to get out and explore some new stuff and jumpstart the old happiness engine.

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