eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, January 13

Reflections on Happiness

The site is a bit odd to navigate, so I can't figure out how to link to the exact article I am referring to here. It's near the bottom of the list of articles on Self-Esteem:

There is a tendency for most people to explain feelings of happiness or unhappiness in terms of the external events of their lives. They explain happiness by pointing to the positives; they explain unhappiness by pointing to the negatives. The implication is that events determine whether or not they are happy...

The more I studied and thought about other happy people I encountered, the more clear it became that happy people process their experiences so that, as quickly as possible, positives are held in the foreground of consciousness and negatives are consigned to the background. This is essential to understanding them.

In contrast to my snarky bit about avoiding one's problems, one could instead choose positive experiences to dwell on that help one be most creative and able to cope with the negatives. This doesn't mean ignoring those problems, but it might mean prioritizing differently.

I suspect that this might carry over to dealing with other people as well. It may be more important to nurture a person's good qualities and encourage them than to criticize their faults.

1 comment:

Leo said...


I was very sad this day and I didn't think of reading your blog then. I see now it was a mistake.