Friday, July 23, 2010

Questions to ponder

What are human beings?

What are you as a human being?

What are the forces that act on your life?

Do you listen to your inner voice?

What do you do to understand your Self?

Can a person become a perfect person?

Does G-d want perfect people?

Does G-d want imperfect people?

What are the obstacles to your personal change?

How do you view the world?

Do you focus on the details or on the bigger picture?

Just some things to think about. Who knows, maybe the answers can change your life for the better.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Secrets to Being Happy

The title on my Yahoo homepage was intriguing, "The Secret to Being Happy." So, sucker-for-a-happy-ending that I am, I clicked on the link. Wow! It took me to a page that offered no less than 27 contiguous pages of happiness links.

There are, apparently, 9 secrets, or 10 secrets, or 17 secrets, or the secret (presumably one secret), to being happy. Then there were the endless categories of happiness, of which here are just a few: how to be happy with a part-time job, how to be a happy woman, how to be a happy dater, how to be a happy teen, how to be a happy teen with a part-time job. And, that did not include the paid ads in the margin for books on Amazon re happiness, numerous religious sites that promote happiness, and all the for-profits that promote happiness through a goal-centered life.

All we have to do, it would seem, is to focus with laser-like precision on happiness via the 9 steps (or is it 17? or 10? or just one?). Is it any wonder that we think that happiness can be obtained, like a job, or a car, or a relationship?

Happiness is a result, not a goal, as I have mentioned in earlier columns on this blog. (When Life Sucks, February; The Unlived Life, January.)

Do you want to know how to be happy? It's simple: be yourself. Be your TRUE self. Go ahead, dare to uncover all that is REALLY you and, then, spread your wings for a wild ride! And, if you say, "Oh, that's too simplistic," then allow me to say that nothing is truly complicated---we just make it that way. Just a thought.

'Tis the season....the wedding season, that is.

Yes, 'tis the season for weddings...and, the little-recognized post-nuptial depression. No, psychology is not creating another disorder that psychiatry can medicate and that the average layperson can mock. It's simply a fact of life: most of the big events of our lives are followed by a certain amount of let-down. For example, the college graduate, who is now leaving the academic fishbowl and facing an uncertain future in an even more uncertain economy, will probably feel some sense of loss for the predictability and freedom of their old life, and some anxiety about their new life.

So what is post-nuptial depression? Let's face it, there's a lot of excitement and romance leading up to the wedding. You're the center of attention and people are calling you all the time. There are details to manage, people to manage, and dreams to manifest. Ah, but then it's all over. Everyone goes back to their own lives, and there you are, stuck with reality. Yes, it's time for the letdown after the parade.

Not to mention the buyer's remorse. That prince in shining armor, who floated with you down the aisle and off to a wonderful honeymoon, now starts looking a little less shiny and little more rusty around the edges. That glowing bride, who never wore anything but matching lingerie, is now wearing comfortable underpants. And those changes don't take long to occur. Now that all the wildly flowing oxytocin and serotonin have calmed down, folks start to wonder if they settled.

Or, financial issues kick in: "Wow, we spent all that money, now it's over, and what do we have to do show for it?" "Geez, we coulda spent that money on a downpayment for a house."

Or, there can be the re-emerging depression. Very often there is a depression that predated the marriage, and now, in the not-so-glowing after-glow of the honeymoon and a return to the real world, the old depression is being kicked up, again.

None of this may become apparent right away. It may occur right after the wedding, or it may be delayed 3 or 4 months. In either case, finding someone to help with the problem can go a long way toward creating a more satisfying future. Just a thought.

Are you saying "Yes!" to your dreams?

Sometimes it is hard to even know what our dreams are.

Sometimes we have so many dreams that it is difficult to choose one on which to focus.

And, sometimes, it seems like our dreams are so very far away...and impossible to attain.

Other times, it just feels hopeless to even dream.

So, how do we even begin?

Try finishing the following sentences to begin to help clarify your special dreams:

In my heart of hearts, I want to...
If I had a billion dollars, I would...
If I had all the time in the world, the first thing I would do is...
I have always wished I could...

Start living your dreams and you'll find that you are living your own life. Just a thought.