Happiness Archive

  • We get into ruts for all kinds of reasons – busy schedules to extremes like natural disasters. Sometimes the way we think about things can help us get out of a rut. I want to consider the the differences between the way we look at things in the West and the way people in the East look at the world, and then consider how that may help some of us in the West get out of a rut that we’re in. Transactional View I’m always interested in seeing and learning from how other people deal with and overcome adversity in […]

    How To Get Out of a Rut: Perspective Matters

    We get into ruts for all kinds of reasons – busy schedules to extremes like natural disasters. Sometimes the way we think about things can help us get out of a rut. I want to consider the the differences between the way we look at things in the West and the way people in the East look at the world, and then consider how that may help some of us in the West get out of a rut that we’re in. Transactional View I’m always interested in seeing and learning from how other people deal with and overcome adversity in […]

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  • Merry New Year (tomorrow)! If you were expecting JustHeath to talk about New Year’s resolutions, then I’m afraid that I’m going to have to disappoint you.  You see, I do not make them…never have, never plan on doing so in the future.  I’m certainly not against them or the concept, but my personal decision is more related to the trendiness or fad-like nature of New Year’s resolutions.  I am very goal-oriented, and I make a myriad of both short-term and long-term goals…just not revolving around an arbitrary date on the calendar.  For those of you who do choose to make […]

    Psychology of Effectiveness: Starting the New Year Well

    Merry New Year (tomorrow)! If you were expecting JustHeath to talk about New Year’s resolutions, then I’m afraid that I’m going to have to disappoint you.  You see, I do not make them…never have, never plan on doing so in the future.  I’m certainly not against them or the concept, but my personal decision is more related to the trendiness or fad-like nature of New Year’s resolutions.  I am very goal-oriented, and I make a myriad of both short-term and long-term goals…just not revolving around an arbitrary date on the calendar.  For those of you who do choose to make […]

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  • Rather unintentionally, there has been a lot of talk about holiday traditions and comforts here at Philosophy Matters. It began with a discussion of Black Friday shopping, and was recently followed by discussions on comfort food and comfort TV. Talking to LKAwesome, we realized that these comforts, while comforting and certainly interesting to think about, all focused on what could be construed as negative actions. Certainly one of the big worries during the holidays is over-eating, and I’ve spoken many times about the problems with television. I’m not trying to be bad the guy here – I have my own comfort foods […]

    6 Healthy Holiday Comforts and Traditions

    Rather unintentionally, there has been a lot of talk about holiday traditions and comforts here at Philosophy Matters. It began with a discussion of Black Friday shopping, and was recently followed by discussions on comfort food and comfort TV. Talking to LKAwesome, we realized that these comforts, while comforting and certainly interesting to think about, all focused on what could be construed as negative actions. Certainly one of the big worries during the holidays is over-eating, and I’ve spoken many times about the problems with television. I’m not trying to be bad the guy here – I have my own comfort foods […]

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  • You’re 16 years old, your hormones are raging, and you’re finally making out with that hot girl from 4th period, hoping to push things to the next level. The last thing on your mind is the possible long-term consequences of that next level. Instead of pausing to think about sexually transmitted infections or the responsibilities of parenthood, all you can focus on is what comes next. Right now is all that seems to matter. Or, the way it’s being expressed lately: YOLO – you only live once. One of the problems that always gets brought up in discussions I find […]

    The Epicurean Problem with YOLO: Short Term vs. Long Term Happiness

    You’re 16 years old, your hormones are raging, and you’re finally making out with that hot girl from 4th period, hoping to push things to the next level. The last thing on your mind is the possible long-term consequences of that next level. Instead of pausing to think about sexually transmitted infections or the responsibilities of parenthood, all you can focus on is what comes next. Right now is all that seems to matter. Or, the way it’s being expressed lately: YOLO – you only live once. One of the problems that always gets brought up in discussions I find […]

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  • A new book explores the impact that a person’s media viewing habits can have on the quality of their life and ability to achieve happiness. WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 15, 2012 Meridian, Mississippi, USA – This November, author J.J. Sylvia IV has released the book “The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life,” available throughAmazon.com. This book focuses on the ways that viewing television can prevent one from living the good life. With degrees in both communication and philosophy, the author is able to bring these two fields together and make a convincing and thorough argument against […]

    The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life

    A new book explores the impact that a person’s media viewing habits can have on the quality of their life and ability to achieve happiness. WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 15, 2012 Meridian, Mississippi, USA – This November, author J.J. Sylvia IV has released the book “The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life,” available throughAmazon.com. This book focuses on the ways that viewing television can prevent one from living the good life. With degrees in both communication and philosophy, the author is able to bring these two fields together and make a convincing and thorough argument against […]

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  • How do we know if we’re happy? How do we know if we’ve “made it”? We’ve been discussing happiness a lot over here at Philosophy Matters and to each of us it seems to mean something different. We can easily define what happiness isn’t (stress at work, loss of a job, debt, death in the family, car accident, divorce…) but struggle with coming up with one answer for one thing that would definitely make someone (anyone) happy. Puppies may make someone smile, but then they need to be cleaned, trained, fed and acquire vet bills. Jumping on a trampoline may encourage […]

    PSA for trampolines, puppies and symphonies

    How do we know if we’re happy? How do we know if we’ve “made it”? We’ve been discussing happiness a lot over here at Philosophy Matters and to each of us it seems to mean something different. We can easily define what happiness isn’t (stress at work, loss of a job, debt, death in the family, car accident, divorce…) but struggle with coming up with one answer for one thing that would definitely make someone (anyone) happy. Puppies may make someone smile, but then they need to be cleaned, trained, fed and acquire vet bills. Jumping on a trampoline may encourage […]

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  • It’s easy to view happiness like it’s a quest that we’re on. We can see it lurking around the next corner: I’ll be happy once I get that promotion, once I pay off that debt, once I have kids, once I…  you fill in the blank. But there’s always a new corner to turn. This view of happiness keeps us on an endless treadmill, where we’re constantly seeking something else. But why is this? Why aren’t we happy once we achieve what we want? Why do we simply set up a new goal and pursue that? Research in positive psychology […]

    Why Aren’t We Good At Predicting What Will Make Us Happy?

    It’s easy to view happiness like it’s a quest that we’re on. We can see it lurking around the next corner: I’ll be happy once I get that promotion, once I pay off that debt, once I have kids, once I…  you fill in the blank. But there’s always a new corner to turn. This view of happiness keeps us on an endless treadmill, where we’re constantly seeking something else. But why is this? Why aren’t we happy once we achieve what we want? Why do we simply set up a new goal and pursue that? Research in positive psychology […]

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  • My last posted ended with the question: if we can choose to be happy no matter our circumstances, what motivation does that leave us to improve our lives? Personally, I have realized that I’ve been stuck on this question for several years now, and it has impacted decisions I have made in my life. I’m still trying to fully sort out the answer for myself, but one of the things I’ve realized is that there is a problem with the ways we discuss happiness and the language used to do so. To move our discussion along, I believe it’s important […]

    5 Reasons Happiness Is Hard To Discuss

    My last posted ended with the question: if we can choose to be happy no matter our circumstances, what motivation does that leave us to improve our lives? Personally, I have realized that I’ve been stuck on this question for several years now, and it has impacted decisions I have made in my life. I’m still trying to fully sort out the answer for myself, but one of the things I’ve realized is that there is a problem with the ways we discuss happiness and the language used to do so. To move our discussion along, I believe it’s important […]

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  • The past month or so has felt a lot like those times where life throws you a curveball. My grandmother passed away and work has been in one of it’s more stressful cycles. All of this has culminated in my coming face-to-face with some of the struggles that have been a recurring theme in my life: feelings of being stuck and never pushing myself to reach my full potential. There is one passage that I’ve read in my life that stuck with me more than anything else I’ve ever read, and during all of this struggle and reflection, it kept […]

    Choosing Happiness

    The past month or so has felt a lot like those times where life throws you a curveball. My grandmother passed away and work has been in one of it’s more stressful cycles. All of this has culminated in my coming face-to-face with some of the struggles that have been a recurring theme in my life: feelings of being stuck and never pushing myself to reach my full potential. There is one passage that I’ve read in my life that stuck with me more than anything else I’ve ever read, and during all of this struggle and reflection, it kept […]

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  • Hurricane Isaac will be making landfall 7 years to the date of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I was three months into owning my first home when Katrina struck and rendered it unlivable for the next four months. Several things still stand out very strongly to me since then: Devastation emphasizes the importance of community.  After the hurricane struck, it was evident more than ever how much we all needed each other. I had evacuated and stayed with friends in Jackson, then stayed with more friends in Starkville until the roads could be cleared enough that I could even make it […]

    Hurricane Katrina: 7 years later

    Hurricane Isaac will be making landfall 7 years to the date of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I was three months into owning my first home when Katrina struck and rendered it unlivable for the next four months. Several things still stand out very strongly to me since then: Devastation emphasizes the importance of community.  After the hurricane struck, it was evident more than ever how much we all needed each other. I had evacuated and stayed with friends in Jackson, then stayed with more friends in Starkville until the roads could be cleared enough that I could even make it […]

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