Thoughts On Happiness 🦋
I’ve been thinking about happiness lately. Mostly, because I am happy, and it’s come as a bit of a surprise.
My newest piece on Medium is about the funny alchemy of unexpected happiness. The rest is an exploration at large.
This is the first in a series of digests I am curating. The topics will be diverse, sometimes racy, always frank, illuminating, and I hope, useful.
“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” Henry David Thoreau
It does no good to think of selling everything and running away to a beach in Portugal. What if I don’t die? I’ll be wishing I had kept my things and missing my friends. I don’t entertain the future so much anymore. It’s a puzzle I just can’t work out.
Misbehaving has remained central to my ideas of pleasure and fun. Girls like breaking the rules too, and I think they should, often.
“On social media, the top descriptors to complete the phrase “My husband is …” are “the best,” “my best friend,” “amazing,” “the greatest” and “so cute.” On Google, one of the top five ways to complete that phrase is also “amazing.” So that checks out. The other four: “a jerk,” “annoying,” “gay” and “mean.”
I’ve been dying over this. It’s my new favorite thing to do is type in “my husband is..” or “why is my husband…” and see what google suggests.
Google knows y’all.
Think of death, a lot ‘It supports the intuition that recognizing one’s mortal limitations helps one realize how life is a pleasure and a gift,’ says the School of Life’s Mark Vernon.
Counterintuitive thoughts on happiness. Or, happiness for contrarians.
Knowing where ‘enough’ is. More might be better for awhile, but sooner or later, it can’t always be better. Diminishing returns are the law, not an exception.
Seth wisely preaches the gospel of ‘good enough’.
“To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, the Phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commissions and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice, or carelessness.”
These words shot through me when I read them. Sometimes the truth is searing in its plainness.
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“To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses”
Her writing exposes our soft under-belly. Read it anyway.
Artist — Ali Farka Toure (with Ry Cooder) Album — Talking Timbuktu Song — Soukora
I dare you to listen to this and not feel joy.