Steve Jobs explains the rules for success
It's illusionary. You should seek contentment instead.
I find it very difficult to be happy By Chana Weisberg. What an amazing and important question! Your concentration will no longer be on yourself and surprisingly the more you do for others, the more you will find yourself feeling so much happier. One last idea: Act happy. Even if it is not real. Even if, at first, it feels like an. 21 Aug We work very hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way- of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will almost certainly—finally —make us happy. My students absolutely hate hearing about this; they. 10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and.
I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels.
They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to raise a family, Jennifer soon announced the joyful news of her pregnancy. They felt blessed; every moment since their first encounter had been nothing but pleasurable.
Everyone who knew them concurred that their lives as a couple had been replete with happiness. Tragically, it was not to endure. She was sleeping fitfully and her colic stubbornly persisted. Jennifer felt utterly demoralized as a new mother. Her mounting sense of guilt and melancholy led to her admission to a psychiatric ward her first ever encounter with psychiatry ; the fear of her harming Annie or herself spread through the family and circle of friends. And then, quite shockingly, despite the most diligent medical and nursing care, Jennifer met her death after jumping off a second floor balcony.
Her family and friends plunged into deep grief; the medical professionals who had looked after her were similarly bereft.
Sidney Bloch is an emeritus professor in psychiatry at University of Melbourne. We work very hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. And when in a flow, happiness follows. Join the Discussion Sort By:. In the warm-up to the run, I could keep track of men wearing black footwear—odd to be precise.
Having worked as a psychiatrist for over four decades and got to know dozens of men, women and children of diverse backgrounds and with unique life stories, I have witnessed many a sad narrative, although suicide has mercifully been a rare event. These experiences, in tandem with a lifelong fascination with what makes people tick, have led me most reluctantly to the judgement that while we may savor happiness episodically, it will invariably be disrupted by unwelcome negative feelings. Still, most of humankind will continue to harbor the expectation of living happily and remain oblivious that this wishful fantasy is an unconscious way of warding off the Why Is It So Difficult To Be Happy of psychic pain.
Namely that clinging to the fiction of being able to avoid suffering and enjoying a continuing state of pleasure is tantamount to self-deception. I have offered them the hope — but not a guarantee — that they have the potential to lead a more fulfilling life than hitherto by participating in a challenging, and at times even distressing process of self-exploration whose purpose is to enhance self understanding and acceptance of the reality-bound emotional state I call contentment.
As the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud emphasized in his essay, Civilization and Its Discontentswe are much more vulnerable to unhappiness than its opposite.
1. We live in the past or future.
So, am I simply a misanthrope? We only have to think about the 50 million people who are currently displaced and unlikely to find a secure haven anytime soon, or the 2. Given the formidable obstacles to chasing after happiness or promoting its sustainability if we are lucky enough to come by it, what options do human beings have?
I find it very difficult to be happy...
I have not come across any meaningful approach to this question, even from the unswervingly confident proponents of the contemporary school of positive psychology. So, I espouse the following: Happiness, derived from the Norse word hapmeans luck or chance; the phrase happy-go-lucky illustrates the association. Many Indo-European languages similarly conflate the feeling of happiness and luck.
In the story we started this article with, Jennifer may have persevered had her baby slept peacefully and not been assailed by colicky pain in her first few weeks of life. Contentment is derived from the Latin contentus and usually translated as satisfied. No multiple meanings here to confuse us. And, most critically, these assets are valued and nurtured whatever the circumstances, or even especially when they are distressing or depressing.
I have had the privilege of knowing men and women who suffered grievously as children in the ghettos and concentration camps of Nazi Europe but emerged from their nightmare to face the challenge of seeking strengths, emotional and spiritual, within themselves.
With the passage of time, many succeeded in achieving a sense of deep-seated contentment. What these survivors have clearly demonstrated is that accepting and respecting oneself, coupled with determining what is personally meaningful, stand a greater chance of accomplishment, even if never completed, than a relentless and ultimately futile pursuit of happiness.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share on Google Plus. Be the first to know about new stories from PowerPost. Stop trying so hard to be happy. You should seek contentment instead. Image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn. Sidney Bloch is an emeritus professor in psychiatry at University of Melbourne.
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It took me a while to make peace with the fact that I had failed to follow the instructions. Comparison really is the thief of joy. Given the formidable obstacles to chasing after happiness or promoting its sustainability if we are lucky enough to come by it, what options do human beings have?
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