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To paraphrase Steve Jobs: you're thinking it wrong.

http://www.vox.com/2015/6/2/8686191/happiness-myths
As a therapist, the number-one goal I hear from my patients is: "I just want to be happy." I ask, "What would being happy mean to you?" The answers range from "Everything I wish for will happen" to "I will feel good all the time" to "I won't ever feel sad or disappointed."

These patients are deeply misguided: believing that bliss is a permanent, attainable state is both unrealistic and emotionally dangerous. Awful things occur that we cannot control, and that will and should at least temporarily affect how we feel.


Six myths follow. The story is worth going to for the photo at the top of the article by itself.

PF
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I consider myself a happy person. A philosopher said "the unexamined life is not worth living". I have to agree.
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" A philosopher said "the unexamined life is not worth living"."

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He did not say that while running from a tiger.

Howie52
In some situations, happiness is either a slow tiger
or a slower philosopher.
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" A philosopher said "the unexamined life is not worth living"."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

He did not say that while running from a tiger.

No, he was in a court of law on trial for his life. Here, he was explicitly rejecting a possible deal under which he would be allowed to go on living if only he would stop doing philosophy (examining things). Such a life -- he announced -- was not worth living. The jury understood that he was committed to a life of philosophy. They condemned him to death. Socrates obeyed the law, and drank the hemlock.

culcha
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No, he was in a court of law on trial for his life. Here, he was explicitly rejecting a possible deal under which he would be allowed to go on living if only he would stop doing philosophy (examining things). Such a life -- he announced -- was not worth living. The jury understood that he was committed to a life of philosophy. They condemned him to death. Socrates obeyed the law, and drank the hemlock.



Wow. Thanks for the above. I had no idea.
As for myself, I started a journey of self-discovery 30+ years ago and I am a better person for it. I am happy now but that wasn't always the case. I had to get the toxic people out of my life in order to become the person I was meant to be.
I focus these days on the good people in my life, husband, kids, grandkids and the new puppy. I have fantastic neighbors in our new town, which is so much friendlier than the big city that I used to live in.
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Yes, toxic people can be a problem.

Part of it is figuring out who they are and how to deal with them.

Avoid them or be polite but ignore them as best you can.
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" The jury understood that he was committed to a life of philosophy. They condemned him to death. "

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And not a moment too soon.
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Being happy is a tough one. You have to find happiness where ever you can. When I have the kids and grand kids over for dinner and we are all sitting around the table eating and talking I tell myself enjoy this moment.

When I am in a store and I find a deal on something I am looking for I tell myself see how lucky you are be happy and enjoy the discovery.

Happiness is day to day in my life. You never know when that diagnosis will be delivered or the accident is waiting to happen. So when I drive to work I tell myself don't yell at the idiot in the other lane doing dumb things enjoy the drive to work and be happy you have a decent job that pays you enough to keep a roof over your head, help your kids and build for your retirement.

We have to take what life hands out but any time even a simple thing happens tell yourself to enjoy it. The flowers blooming in the flower beds, the roses opening up, the vegetable plants showing their crop. Stop, stare at it and take it in.

Or walk around and be angry and disappointed every day and find everything you can about what is wrong and ignore everything else and miss out on the small things that can bring you happiness if you are paying attention.

Nick
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Avoid them or be polite but ignore them as best you can.



Especially when they are your close relatives.
At the ripe old age of 61 I decided I had had enough of the crazy relatives and friends and got rid of them all.
We owe it to ourselves to live the best lives that we can and to be happy. When we give up our own happiness in order to make OTHER people happy, that's a real problem and we are doing a disservice to ourselves in the process.
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Being happy is a tough one. You have to find happiness where ever you can. When I have the kids and grand kids over for dinner and we are all sitting around the table eating and talking I tell myself enjoy this moment.



We retired two years ago and bought a house right down the block from my daughter and two grandkids. We have watched them grow for the past two years and I cannot tell you how happy that makes us.
When their car passes us by and I hear them screaming "Grandma, Grandpa", I almost start crying. Before we retired we saw them only 3 times a year. Now we are practically neighbors.
But, for some people, happiness will never be something attainable for them. My parents and sisters were alcoholics and prescription drug abusers. I suspect some of them were bi-polar. They drank to mask their depression and it became a vicious cycle.
For those of us who have found happiness, I can tell you right now, it's a big deal. Enjoy it because as far as I'm concerned, if you aren't happy you cannot accomplish much. I think it's the basis for everything. Money certainly cannot buy happiness as I've met some of the most miserable people ever and they have lots of money.
Inner peace is what I was aiming for and I think I found it.
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Getting outside for some activity seems to help too.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2013/11/01/outdoor...
“In addition to the widely known benefits of physical activity, research studies have found that exposure to natural environments also improves physical and emotional health. Exposure to the outdoors has been found to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, Vitamin D deficiency, depression and anxiety, and may even improve attention.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_exa...
In January, a 13-year-old patient named Kelssi came to Dr. Robert Zarr’s office at Unity Health Care, a community health center in Washington, D.C. Kelssi had struggled with her weight for as long as Zarr had known her and was now obese. But during this visit, she looked at Zarr and told him she was finally ready to do something about it.

Zarr told me that exhorting patients to “get more exercise” was too vague. Last year, he decided to start trying something different. He stopped asking his patients, “Do you move?” and began asking “Where do you move?” He discovered that many spent very little time outdoors, and he began prescribing time outside for conditions as wide-ranging as ADHD, high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, anxiety, diabetes, and depression.

With Kelssi, Zarr figured out that she could squeeze outdoor time into her commute. Kelssi lives in Northeast D.C. but goes to school in Northwest. Every day, she takes a bus to a train, and the commute lasts about an hour each way. Zarr and Kelssi decided she would get off the bus to school four stops earlier and take a walk through a park.

At Kelssi’s next visit, she was no longer obese; her weight was within the “overweight” range, a feat that Zarr described as no small victory. But perhaps even more strikingly, she seemed much happier and more positive. “It’s working,” she told Zarr.


PF
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I'm dealing with a few issues that make happiness a little harder to come by than it was a few years ago, but I find that it helps to be outdoors in the sunshine, cook & eat good food, see nice scenery, be with people I care about, and have sex often(!).
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