Building community in a changing world

August 25, 2020

Don’t Worry, Be Happy (To the Extent Possible)

With the election looming – and a pandemic raging – it’s so hard to even consider being happy. But recently, a friend mentioned a book called “The Happiness Project.” The author – Gretchen Rubin – dedicated a year of her life to becoming happy. I still haven’t read it but it’s a bestseller and apparently there is a “movement” where people meet in groups all over the world to discuss their progress in their happiness journey. Becoming happy is big business as it should be. For my sons, all I’ve ever asked of them is to strive to be as happy as they can. So it makes sense that there would be guidance out there about how to achieve that goal.

My friend also recommended “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor and “Authentic Happiness” by Martin Seligman. “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert is also supposed to be good if you want to learn about the science behind happiness. The one book I have read is “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalia Lama. It’s been a while since I read that and I should give it a re-read. The book explores the notion that the purpose of life is happiness – and that happiness is determined more by the state of our mind than by our external conditions & circumstance (once our basic survival needs are met). Meaning that happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts & minds…