Tag: Happiness

Up this week from Dennis Kneale: Why are the media still ignoring #TheTwitterFiles? And… Silicon Valley sage Vikek Wadhwa accuses The New York Times and The Washington Post of telling lies in Kashmir, and best-selling author Natalie Pace on her life as a nomadic journalist..

Plus this: you think your Christmas dinner might get awkward? Hold Dennis’ beer: Our host must decide whether to sit down to supper with a person who recently was thinking of killing him—and this person owns six guns.

What kinds of tools do we need to make big decisions, and why aren’t our universities training us to make them? Are universities doing students a disservice by occupying them with myriads of boxes to tick? Are students right to prefer money to meaning?

Madison Program alumni Ben and Jenna Storey discuss the philosophy of making choices and of restlessness, and critique the way universities treat those topics.

Happiness Is a Choice


The past couple of weeks have been a challenge for me. I have not been particularly happy. By happy, I’m talking about a mental and emotional state where generally a person feels mostly pleased with life, notices the blessings he or she is experiencing, and feels a level of satisfaction and pleasure with relationships and activities. Happiness does not refer to a steady state of joy or bliss. It means choosing to see the good fortune in your life, however you define it, and not choosing to be stuck in a steady mood of anger, annoyance, frustration, and other negative states that you find yourself in. For some people, these states are not a choice. They come up on you, engulf you with disappointment, and it can seem impossible to free yourself from them. They may seem like a way of life.

That has not been my experience. Except recently.

QotD: Courage, Liberty, and Happiness


Those who won our independence . . . believed liberty to be the secret of happiness, and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that, without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; that, with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. – Justice Louis Brandeis

If any single quote summarizes the cause of our present unhappiness, it is this one. Without liberty, one cannot be happy. Without courage, one cannot be free. Today far too many lack the courage required for liberty. They lack the courage to speak freely, to take the consequences of defying absurd edicts and to disregard specious arguments made by so-called experts. They fear to go their own way and defy the mob. It is easier to go along, to not make waves.

“Normal” There’s No Such Thing


I visited my sister last week in the mountain valley where we grew up. She has always lived there, leaving only for a few years of college. I, on the other hand, have lived in six different places since I graduated from high school. (P.S.–we’re both grandmothers now.) These places were distinctly different from each other. I commented how it was going to be in the 100s the week I returned to my current Mojave Desert abode, and she gasped, “Wow, how can you stand it?”

Well, I “stand it” just like when I was growing up there in Wyoming at 6800 feet in the Rocky Mountains, feeding our farm animals, milking the cows, and going to school when it was -20 degrees at 3:00 P.M. You just figure out how to do it! There isn’t a “normal”–there is just real life. What I want to know is how did our ancestors “stand it”?  When I was a child/teenager, dressing up to go out after school to do my chores, I at least had a house that was illuminated and heated by electricity. I could use a tractor to haul the hay out to the animals in the pastures. We had electric/vacuum-powered milking machines to deal with extracting the “cash crop” from our Guernseys and Jerseys.

My grandparents, who all grew up in the same place, and did the same jobs I did, had NO electricity. They milked their cows by hand before selling it to the same cheese factory my parents used. Grandpa had only horses and mules to till their soil and harvest their hay. Grandma had to gather the wood, build the fire, and then cook the meals.

Member Post


I’m stealing these from Gary Chapman (the five love languages guy) and blogging about them for my own sake. I’m going through something right now, a struggle I always new was coming, and it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Thankfully, due to God’s grace, I think I’ve been better prepared for […]

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Roaring with Laughter!


For those of you suffering from depression, anger, frustration, annoyance, or any combination of the aforementioned, you have come to the right place. And Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman has just the perfect remedy for you: uproarious laughter.

Now I’m aware that some of you are not into uncontrollable laughter, guffaws, horselaughs, or even chortles, but simple smiles are guaranteed.

Step right up!

Happiness Amnesia


Why do we daily forget what makes us happy - and unhappy?Sometimes I like to imagine a little bell going off in my ear when I’m about to do something I sense will make me less happy. In my mind, the bell doesn’t generally ring before momentous decisions such as weighing whether to quit a job or drop out of college: those decisions are usually accompanied by an extensive weighing of the pros and cons. Instead, this little bell I imagine goes off whenever we have to make one of the countless sundry decisions of life, particularly when our eyes or tastebuds are preoccupied with getting what they want: A Cuervo golden margarita the size of my head? Bell rings. A cool-looking pair of overpriced sneakers I don’t need and can’t afford? Bell rings. A meaningless, soon-to-be-forgotten, one-off affair with a beautiful woman trying to seduce me thousands of miles from home?

In other words, the bell would ring more often than you expect – and perhaps more often. 

As the internet wisely points out, getting drunk is like borrowing happiness from tomorrow. Each day we must make decisions pertaining to everything from what we eat to whom we associate with – and these decisions and countless others impact our happiness.

For the Love of God!


I have to write this while it’s fresh in my mind. Where do you stand in this world, in your life? As a property manager, I am responsible for checking on second homes (three and four story luxury beach homes) in a tourist area. My clients are mostly wealthy, very wealthy, and some are average. I love my job. I’m self-employed and I make my own hours. The idea for the job was my husband’s, a landscape designer and manager. I created this job because I have scoliosis and needed to bow out of my 35-40+ hour admin life because sitting and standing for long periods became intolerable. It was a great idea and I love my clients – but not for the reasons you think. While I treat each property as if it were my own, I have come to know very successful people on a different level.

So here we are during the week of the July 4th holiday – roads busy with cyclists, golf carts, beachgoers, and kids everywhere, I get a voicemail from an alarm company that an alarm has lost power. I hop in my car and head to the property. All ok, I unlocked the door and the husband pops out. The alarm failed because there was a breaker issue, my second one today. But the husband, a very successful, wealthy 66 year old man follows me out to my car in his bare feet and keeps talking… Tomorrow is his wife’s birthday, and he winks. He bought her a wine cooler and stocked it, I’ll shoot her a happy birthday text. She told me about his appendix attack and emergency surgery at 2:00 AM last year, but as he walks me to my car, he tells me more, that he’s had multiple strokes in the last year. What??

Quote of the Day: Lessons From My Mother


I’ve mentioned this favorite saying of my mother’s many times before. And for the first time, when I did my due diligence and searched the Internet before I wrote this, I found it attributed to someone else: Helen Gurley Brown. Pretty sure Mum didn’t get it from her, and I’ve long wondered if it was, perhaps, a line from a radio comedy show of the ’30s or ’40s that Mum heard and remembered. I guess there’ll forever be a mystery, and an unanswered question in my mind about that.

I know there are variants of it, but this formulation and the pithy distillation of sentiment is just perfection, and it evokes Mum to a “T.”

Member Post


It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readily confesses, but just how widespread that tendency can be is suggested in the old Danish proverb, “If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.” The parson in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales laments it because it is so far-reaching—it […]

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Veneration and Vulnerability: Suicide in the Midst of Prosperity


Man does not live by bread alone. As bread was being earned at a record clip, and more people got off the dole, more people in their prime years cut their own lives short. Reflecting back on the U.S. military’s Herculean effort to end suicide in the service, an unwon battle, I am painfully aware there is no clear solution, no magic pill or words. And. I wonder if our changing societal habits and beliefs make vulnerable people more vulnerable.

2017 brought unbroken good economic news, and not just for stockholders. President Trump repeated at every occasion the good news for everyone, including demographic groups who had been lagging in employment. Wages started to rise. And in the midst of all this, the suicide rate increased to a 50-year peak.

[I]t’s deaths in younger age groups — particularly middle-aged people — that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.

Quote of the Day: Choosing


“When you wake up each morning, you can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Unless some terrible catastrophe has occurred the night before, it is pretty much up to you. Tomorrow morning, when the sun shines through your window, choose to make it a happy day.” – Lynda Resnick

For me, the best thing about 2018 is that it is almost over. If I have had a worse year, I cannot recall it. My wife died, my father died, and my father-in-law (a man I have respected for nearly 50 years) will likely die before the year is out. I had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night because of difficulties breathing. I have had money and job challenges.

Quote of the Day: Peale on Happiness


“Happiness will never come if it’s a goal in itself; happiness is a by-product of a commitment to worthy causes.” — Rev. Norman Vincent Peale

Is everybody happy? If not, dedicate yourself to a worthy cause. Go make a family. Get involved in a church. Quit your moping and move your feet.

Member Post


There are so many quotes about joy, and its place of importance in our society. Take joy in the small things, never let your heart be without joy, etc. The importance of joy has been expressly stated throughout religious texts and history. “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin […]

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