EppsNet Archive: Happiness

Life Gets Better After 50?

About 15 years ago, economists made an unexpected finding: the U-shaped happiness curve. Other things being equal – that is, once conditions such as income, employment, health and marriage are factored out of the equation – life satisfaction declines from our early 20s until we hit our 50s. Then it turns around and rises, right through late adulthood. — The Guardian So once you factor out all the things that make life miserable, it turns out older people can be just as happy as anyone else! Read more →

It Is Just Too Shaking and Wearing

We are just not strong enough to endure more! It is just too shaking and wearing. So often people in . . . ecstatic moments say, “It’s too much,” or “I can’t stand it,” or “I could die” . . . Delirious happiness cannot be borne for long. Our organisms are just too weak for any large doses of greatness. — Abraham Maslow Read more →

All the Elements For Your Happiness Are Already Here

Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just Be. — Thich Nhat Hanh Read more →

Wasteland

And those that had money looked good but weren’t too happy And those who didn’t have money didn’t look so good And weren’t too happy either and in a city of three million two hundred and sixty nine thousand nine hundred eighty four Everyone was lonely — Dan Bern, “Wasteland” Read more →

Happiness is Not . . .

Happiness does not consist of the gratification of your wishes. Anna Karenina, for example, is quite illuminating on this point. Try reading a book once in a while, you’ll pick up on a lot of universal errors like that. Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Hotel World by Ali Smith

Happy is what you realize you are a fraction of a second before it’s too late. Hotel World takes place in and around a hotel in London, hence the title, but Hotel World is also a metaphor for life: people check in and people check out. It’s about remembering to live, remembering that you won’t live forever . . . it’s about love, not romantic love, but a mother’s love for her daughter, sisters’ love for each other . . . and it’s about how close people come to really understanding one another, which is not very close at all. Rating: Read more →

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because, naturally, it is alien to our experience but it is true: You know far less about yourself than you feel you do.   A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.   It is the consistency of information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.   The exaggerated faith in small samples is only one example of a more general illusion — we pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up with a view of the world around us that is simpler and more coherent than… Read more →

Can You See the Real Me, Doctor?

I decided to get off meds for a while . . . Things That Are the Same I start every morning thinking about how great it would be to just stay in bed the rest of the day. Repeatedly hitting the snooze alarm — does life get any better than that? I live in fear of negative judgment. I dread being around other people. (May be just a restatement of #2). Things That Are Different I don’t feel like I’m in as much of a fog all the time. I feel sadder, angrier, happier, more scared, more alive for better or worse. Read more →

At Any Rate, That Is Happiness

Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep. — Willa Cather, My Antonia Read more →

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday of an apparent drug overdose at his Manhattan apartment. Police responded to the 46-year-old’s apartment in the West Village shortly after 11 a.m., police sources told FoxNews.com. A friend found his body in the apartment and phoned police. Hoffman was alone in his bathroom when he was discovered with a heroin-filled needle in his arm, law enforcement sources said. — Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment from apparent drug overdose I am really shocked to hear that. People are shooting up heroin first thing in the morning?! To me, a shot of heroin — like a nice, warm bath — is best enjoyed in the evening, to unwind after the travails of the day. This is yet another blow to a theory that most Americans believe, which is that wealth is synonymous with happiness. Philip Seymour Hoffman, he’s in… Read more →

At the Drive-Thru

“Hi, would you like to try our new [insert product name here]?” “Do you think I’ll like it?” “Uh, I don’t know.” “Then why are you recommending it? Don’t you want me to be happy?” Read more →

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. — Joseph Addison

Accurate Self-Perceptions Considered Harmful

Consider a survey of nearly one million high school seniors. When asked to judge their ability to get along with others, 100 percent rated themselves as at least average, 60 percent rated themselves in the top 10 percent, and 25 percent considered themselves in the top 1 percent. And when asked about their leadership skills, only 2 percent assessed themselves as below average. Teachers aren’t any more realistic: 94 percent of college professors say they do above-average work. — Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior The human brain is a better lawyer than scientist. A scientific brain would form hypotheses, test them against the evidence and reject the ones that don’t pass. The lawyer brain starts with a conclusion that it wants to be true, formulates supporting arguments and discounts evidence to the contrary. Studies show that people with the most accurate self-perceptions tend to be… Read more →

Customer Undertone at the Furniture Store

If we spend enough money on home decorations, maybe we’ll finally have a chance to be happy . . . Read more →

Thoroughly Smug and Thoroughly Uncomfortable

O generation of the thoroughly smug    and thoroughly uncomfortable, I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun, I have seen them with untidy families, I have seen their smiles full of teeth    and heard ungainly laughter. And I am happier than you are, And they were happier than I am; And the fish swim in the lake    and do not even own clothing. — Ezra Pound, “Salutation” Read more →

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorcing

“Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children,” said a statement from Cruise’s rep on Friday. “Please allow them their privacy.” — Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorcing – TODAY Entertainment Again the press release asking for privacy. ATTENTION EVERYONE! A LITTLE PRIVACY PLEASE! If not for the press release, who would know or care about this? I’ve got my own problems, thank you. And it’s another blow to the theory, believed by many, that having a lot of money, free time and famous friends is a guaranteed ticket to happiness. No one’s life is a fairy tale, no matter what it looks like . . . Read more →

May all beings be well, may all beings be happy, may all beings be free from suffering.

Unhappiness is Good for You

As a society, we are not actually all that interested in happiness. If we were, people would stop relocating for jobs, people would stop eating french fries, and people would stop scheduling their kids for activities that happen close to dinnertime. If anything, I think people are focused on hiding the fact that they desperately want more money and more passion in their lives even though it’s not fashionable to admit it. — Penelope Trunk Read more →

I Am the 99 Percent

But I’m not clear on what constitutes a win with regard to the Top 1 Percent? What if we take away everything they have and leave them with nothing? Then the Top 2 Percent roll up to become the Top 1 Percent and we’d have to stage another round of protests against them, right? Why can’t we just count our blessings and enjoy what we have? You think you’d be happier with a lot of money? You wouldn’t. Where’s the evidence? The guy making a million a year wants to make 2 million a year. The guy making 2 million wants to make 10 million. The guy making 10 million is in jail for trying to steal an extra 10 million. As Epictetus used to say, “None of these objects that men admire and set their hearts on is of any use to those who get them, though those who… Read more →

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