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Friday, March 22, 2013

What makes you happy

An Idea and a Book

Jesse writes a lot about why finding what makes you happy is a cornerstone of building a good life. When you’re happy with yourself or certain aspects of your life, decision making becomes easier, you have more fun, you are more social, and more eager to take on new challenges (these ideas comes from observation and personal experience). But, are some things we THINK will lead to happiness, e.g., more money, having more fun, a body like hers... really the way to make it happen?

I recently met with a well traveled friend who told me about her experience trekking in Nepal. Nepal was awesome and eye-opening she said. Eye-opening because of how poor the country is, but also because the Nepalese people she met were all SO happy and kind, even though they have nothing. This stuck, and I did a quick inventory of my life in the present. I’m sitting in a sunny cafe, eating my $15 meal with friends, feeling great post-workout. What was I just complaining about an hour ago?

More to the point, I think some of us might be measuring our happiness against ideas, activities, and people that only offer a fleeting sense of the real thing. My Dad gave me great book by Dennis Prager called Happiness is a Serious Problem that explains just this. I’m not gung-ho on self-help books (I find most too repetitive and preachy), but this one is definitely worth a look. Prager talks about how happiness is a process we are obligated to work at. The “problem” is how we go about finding happiness in unhealthy and ineffective ways. He breaks down life into categories like work, fun, relationships, and family, and explains exactly what behaviors cause dissatisfaction in those areas and how we can change them. Being aware of and evaluating when these behaviors occur and why they do can help achieve happiness that will last.

If you’ve got the curiosity to pick up this book, I’ll make it easy for ya:

Has anyone read this, and what did you think?

All my best,


1 comment:

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