Sunday, 5 January 2020

Some thoughts on being positive and on the pursuit of happiness.

My daughter and I were talking the other day about being happy with what you have. Well, actually, it began with her saying she almost feels guilty at times because she enjoys her babies so much. So many people, she commented, go on and on about how difficult motherhood is. Were there really as many cases of postnatal depression when I was having babies as there are now? Because it seems, she said, as if there is an epidemic of it, as if it’s almost de rigueur to suffer from it, almost as if those who don’t are somehow not fashionable. Of course, as her latest baby is her fifth, she has a fair bit of experience behind her in the bringing up babies field and it has to be said that the one before this, now three years old, has been singularly delightful and easy to be around.

The answer to her question is that I really don’t know but I get a sort of gut feeling that maybe there were not so many cases. However, we need to take into account that we didn’t have social media and so there was no great pressure to keep up with others or to make yourself important by posting again and again about how hard life is.

Some of the solution, we concluded, is relaxing into enjoying the good goes on in your life, in all aspects, not just raising babies, making sure you focus on that and not on the bad, difficult stuff. In fashionable terms, this is all about finding the joy. Everyone is talking about it, in all sorts of areas. Here’s a link to an article about how to make 2020 as joyful as possible.

The writer of the article tells us this: “ Many of us treat joy like the good china, only warranted on special occasions. Even if we know it is within our reach, we may not see it is within our control.” For her article she interviewed a “happiness expert”, one Nataly Kogan, who has written books about happiness and is the founder and chief executive of the wellbeing business Happier, which apparently helps companies to improve their workplace culture and professionals to foster joy in their lives.

Oh boy! Now, she may well have set up is business as a consequence of “lessons born out of her experience of career burnout and personal dissatisfaction in her late 30s”, but I still remain amazed at the ways people can make money out of almost anything!!

By the way, Nataly Kogan lives in Boston, Massachusetts, if that makes any difference to her chosen life path!

Everyone appears to be writing about seeking happiness. There are two articles, one of which seems to be in favour of finding happiness as you go along while the other suggests that the pursuit of happiness makes you miserable.

I suppose in the end it comes down to whether you are a glass half full or a glass half empty person.

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