I’m always looking for patterns in people’s actions and temperament. You know that old joke? “The world is divided into two groups: people who divide the world into two groups, and people who don’t.” I’m definitely in the first category.
Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.
I’ve always loved paradoxes and koans, and was very struck by an observation by physicist Niels Bohr: “There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.”
Assay: I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of small treats, small pleasures. They're fun to experience, of course, and I think they also have a very important role to play in happiness.
One of my Secrets of Adulthood--perhaps counter-intuitively--is "It's often easier to do something every day than to do it some days." I post to my blog six days a week. I take notes every day. I write in my one-sentence journal every day.
A common happiness hurdle is the arrival fallacy. We think that we'll be happy once we arrive at some destination: a new job, a new apartment, a promotion, whatever. But often, arriving doesn't make us as happy as we expect.