Both my parents and parents-in-laws are in the same city. The same city we're in. We feel overwhelmed with the once-a-week visits. How do we mitigate their expectations that we visit so frequently? A storm of culture-specific and special snowflake details follow. [more inside]
My parents have been together for almost 50 years, with their ups and downs. Because of their individual situations, I'm afraid they'll drift into an unhappy final period of their lives, and I'm trying to figure out something to prevent that. All the details below. [more inside]
I don't like being asked on such a regular basis (five times or more a day) if I'm okay. I just want to go about my normal activities and feel my normal range of emotions without having to be self-conscious about it. I know he means well, but I feel like if I'm not always smiling and outwardly placid -- like if I'm trying to find something in the house or concentrating intently on writing an email -- then something is wrong, the kind of wrong that I suddenly have to open up and talk about to placate his need to know if I'm okay. 98 percent of the time, I am fine. I'm not a naturally perky person, and I'm a bit introverted so my inner life is important to me. I've mentioned all this to him several times. How do I get him to stop?
Marriage / Employment filter: My wife is finally incredibly happy in her job (a new career), but it hasn't paid a check for 6 months. I want to be supportive, but all I see is her working her ass off and not getting paid. What do we need to talk about / to weigh at the 1 year mark when we assess her getting a job with a salary? (see within for a very long story) [more inside]
When I'm out drinking, I bring my group's empty bottles and glasses back up to the bar so the bartender doesn't have to come out and get them. When I go out to eat, I consolidate the plates and cutlery after the meal so they're easy to bus off the table. What are some other similarly inconsequential-seeming habits I can adopt to help make the world a slightly easier and more pleasant place for my fellow travelers to live? [more inside]
As I work to pay down my debt, while simultaneously learning how to better enjoy life without spending money, I am always in search of essays and books that demonstrate the same: a life well-lived that isn't dependent on having much (if any) money. [more inside]
Does having children impact men and women's happiness differently? [more inside]
A long time has passed since I posted here, and a lot has happened in that long time. Quick update is that now I am legally divorced. I also got laid off last year and thankfully was able to find another great job quickly. Moved to NYC, which is a fantastic city and I went to school here so have a lot more friends here than when I was in Boston. Anyway, so I want to date. I don’t know if I want to get into a serious relationship just yet, but I just want to share my life with someone and do fun things on weekends. Where do I meet responsible, loving, educated men who would want to date me? I haven’t seen anyone in two years (since separation/divorce)… I think I should change that… [more inside]
I have been experiencing a really limited ability to feel actual emotion, even though I'm not having a depressive episode, and I am having a lot of trouble finding a way out. Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
I am in a pretty emotionally difficult time in my life. (I'm in the midst of a season of high stakes interviews, and my finances right now are rather limited.) I've got access to professional help, so I'm all covered there, but I think it would be helpful to have a list that I can turn to on a regular basis of easy to do things that are 1) free or very low cost, 2) outside my apartment, and 3) schedule-independent* to help me keep my spirits up during this difficult time. Any suggestions? [more inside]
What small steps/actions do you take to increase your daily happiness/contentment? I'm interested in practices that can be easily adopted in a full life of work, exercise, home & health care.
Self defeating thoughts make it hard to get things done. I want to be able to enjoy my time at school, but my low self confidence causes a lot of anxiety. Is there a way I can shift my perspective? [more inside]
I had a really lousy childhood, and it left me with the belief that the world is basically cruel and threatening and that people are just looking for excuses to judge you and put you down. I really envy the kind of people who feel like the world is good to them, that they are lucky, that people generally like them, and that things will turn out for the best. I'd like to shift my mindset, but how? Do you have any good techniques or reading suggestions that will help me develop a more positive worldview? [more inside]
Because I often need inspiration and a gentle nudge or two, I like to hear what others 'simple pleasures' are in life, this list and this other list being two examples I'm keen on. What simple pleasures do you all enjoy? What makes for a great day, especially one you're spending by yourself?
I'm struggling with my routine as I am new to work life, details inside. [more inside]
Solitude, isolation, introversion...how to be happy with related life choices and what to watch out for. Advice? [more inside]
A new, simple game I downloaded this morning, Personal Zen, got me thinking. What games do you play that cultivate happiness? Literally lift your spirits? It doesn't have to be a game "designed" to do so like this particular game necessarily.
If you've decided to let something go in a relationship, how do you get past it while it still hurts you? [more inside]
Which would you choose: a great job and lifestyle OR being close to your family and friends? Especially if you really can't have both at the same time...? [more inside]
Magical video of festive people speaking lines in rhyme about life and fun? [more inside]
I'm struggling with a lack of self-confidence and undercurrent of doubt, and hoping that I might be able to shift my attention more towards what I hope for the future than what I fear from it. What are some simple techniques that I can use to gradually move the spotlight over to the positive? Looking for very concrete exercises or practices. Something like: “start each morning writing a vision of what you want.” Would that actually work? I'd think it might just freak me out more, make me feel guilty that I'm not there yet. But something concrete like that. Thanks. [more inside]
Keeping myself happy: How do I maintain the mindset that it's for me and not to find a partner? [more inside]
My husband and I are dying to move to another province where we have tons of family. People are much more laid back there; they know how to have fun without spending a lot of money. They enjoy each other's company, chat with strangers, tell great stories and place a lot less value on money. It's a beautiful province with lakes and tons of beach access. Houses have decks and fireplaces. To me, it's paradise. The family component is wonderful for my daughter. The problem is that in our home province, we make crap-tons of money. Moving to the other province could mean as much as a $50,000 pay cut. We've decided to stay here another 2 years to build up some super-savings. My question is: What can we do to make our lives here more bearable until we are ready to move? If worthwhile, I could spend up to $500 a month on any changes. [more inside]
I recently listened to The Happiness Project and started reading the blog. I have enjoyed this and found it insightful, so I'm looking for more resources like this. I'm currently listening to The Happiness Hypothesis. Basically, I'm looking for information (with or without personal anecdotes) on possible means of achieving a happier, more balanced and enjoyable life that might not otherwise be obvious.
What kinds of lawyers are happiest? Personality types, practice areas, employer types -- or any other relevant factors. Anecdotal evidence welcome, although certainly non-anecdotal information would be great, too. [more inside]
Pushing your work beyond the upper limits of your comfort zone: what is this phenomenon called? [more inside]
I saw the coolest little foursquare toy, kind of a portable mini-court, yesterday at the park. I wish I'd stopped and talked to the guys playing with it, but I thought I could find it pretty easily... but not so. So there's a little trampoline, I guess that's about two feet square, with a circular wall around it divided into four sections. They had a ball smaller than a kickball but bigger than a tennis ball, and if they hit it on the trampoline and it went between one person's section of the bordering wall, then it was like it had hit their square. Does anybody know what this? I must have one. Immediately.
I'm trying to train myself to find more joy in creative pursuits, and I think a key would be in becoming more about the process and less about "success." Any advice on how to rewire my brain to this end?
I need help constructing mental snowshoes that will prevent me from falling into deep drifts of work BS and frustration at a job I can't leave. [more inside]
Help me find books that are as happy, joyful and well-written as Silas Marner! Last time I visited my grandmother I gave her my copy of Silas Marner. She loved the book so much she read it three times in a row within two days… She told me it brought her "an unexpected deep and quiet sense of joy"… Because she's pretty sad and depressed right now I'd love to find other books that might lighten her long and lonely days! Can you help me? :) [more inside]
I want to be a healthy, fit person, and I want my partner to want that, too. What's the selling point? How can I convince my SO to make this change with me and notice how our generally very sedentary life is sucking the life out of our relationship? Help! [more inside]
How to work with employees who don't like what you're doing, but won't work towards making things better? Specifically vocally negative long-term employees who think they know it all, but refuse to share their wisdom beyond flat-out complaints because it's "not their job"? [more inside]
I've become an unhappy Grumpy person. I would love some suggestions on positive music and notebooks, calendars which have inspiration positive quotes ? I just need some motivation in times of stress. Some blogs on positive thinking would also be useful. Thanks to all!
Our year-and-a-half old cat hates being touched. He's incredibly aggressive towards anyone except me and my wife (and sometimes towards us too). We've yet to find a toy that holds his attention. What would make him happy? [more inside]
2013 will be our year! ...But how? Have you had a storybook year or season at work or school or in a club? Something that felt like a Lifetime movie, making it to regionals for the first time for choir, or smashing your sales goal for the quarter, or collecting a ton of stuff for your canned food drive? I am trying to figure out what factors influence extraordinary success in a team setting. [more inside]
I work in IT and am 32. I've recently left my job of 11 years for a 10K pay increase and to try to advance my career. I really didn't want to do it because I was comfortable and happy where I was in the old job. I'm an ISTJ (introvert) and my nature is to not make big changes in my life. I worry about not having a clear path in my life. Ive been at the new job for 2 months now and It's been up and down but i'm definitely not as happy as I was at the old job. [more inside]
Rave Filter: am I going in with the right expectations? [more inside]
Books/advice on how to let go of perfection and be happy with where you are? [more inside]
Secular songs of communal joy? [more inside]
As a recent graduate, how can I engineer my life to maximize happiness, financial security, and independence (in that order)? What choices did you make that led to suboptimal outcomes in these areas, and what would you do differently given another chance? [more inside]
Given plenty of money, how would you improve your life in New York City? [more inside]
Does anyone know the source of this parable? I am using it and want to quote a source if I can find one! Once an enlightened master was asked by his disciples, “Master, it is so easy to reach God’s Love and, consequently, happiness. Why then are people so unhappy?” To this the master answered, “Nobody wants it.” But having seen that the disciples did not understand him, he sent them to inquire of people what they wanted. When they came back, they said that they had encountered many people from various classes in life. And none of them had said that they wanted be happy and to reach God’s love. They all answered that they wanted to buy a new house, to attain a high position, to earn lots of money, to have many children, to become more spiritual and moral...
For practically everyone I know, myself included, their 20s contained the best times of their lives and many experiences that likely will not be repeated or enjoyed as thoroughly as they get older. What is the secret for me - or anyone else - to recapture the magic of youth as life goes on and responsibilities grow? More details, including snowflakes, inside. [more inside]
Help me understand why this is not getting any better. Someone has given me nothing but signs that he thinks I'm incompetent. Then came an outstanding positive review. Yet I'm still not any happier nor do I care anymore to improve the relationship. [more inside]
Would I know if this is as good as it gets? I know I've got it pretty good, better than most I bet...but I feel a little, I don't know, perhaps unsettled. But maybe that isn't even the right way to describe it - physically it's more liked stressed with a side order of tired. How do you know when you're at the top of your game and when you are in the place that is best for you and your family? [more inside]
I'm a Torontonian who is intrigued by the UPenn 'Degree of Happiness' / Master of Applied Positive Psychology. Is there anything like that available in Toronto? If not, are there any other resources or courses in Toronto that someone like me may find interesting (30s male, working full time)? Book suggestions would also be welcome...
I feel like I just have moment-to-moment mindsets; that I have no underlying unitary will. Help? [more inside]
How do I make life magic again? [more inside]
What high-paying post-grad degrees/fields pay well? $75k+ [more inside]
I'm looking for fiction that is short(ish) and has happiness as a theme. By happiness, I mean any of the following: factors influencing happiness, someone gaining/losing happiness, pondering the meaning of happiness, money causing/preventing happiness, thinking something will make you happier and it does or doesn't, etc. Snowflake details inside. [more inside]