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Archives for July, 2012


I’ll Never Be Buff (But I Can Be Happy)

You’re only one workout away from a good mood.

The trouble with working out, a friend grumbled, is the lack of immediate gratification.

I understand that. But that also depends on what you’re going for.

If you exercise to look good, then yeah. No immediate gratification there. In fact, depending on how hard you work, you may or may not ever be gratified. You have to put some real work into your workout to change your...
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Happiness Is Dull

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Leo Tolstoy

What do you think…true or false?

Believe me, I am not out to dis Tolstoy. Anna Karenina is one of my all-time favorite books and I reread it every few years.

But this famous quote…I don’t know. I’m not sure I buy it. To say that all happy families are alike is to say that all families are...
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Want to Accomplish Nothing? Wait For Inspiration

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. -- Jack London

Violent imagery, perhaps, but consider the source. Still, it’s the kind of kick in the pants that anyone who aspires to creativity needs.

Not that you want to drag your inspiration in bruised and bleeding. A fine mess that would make when you try to turn it into something of beauty. Trying to pound a half-baked idea into something...
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In Defense of Denial

Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy. -- Kurt Vonnegut.
Ah yes, the little white lie. I'm all for it. You're haircut looks great! The party was a blast! No, I don't mind doing you a favor at all!

Life is indeed nicer with harmless untruths like those.

But this quote also makes an argument for what I think of as benign denial.

I grew...
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Pithy Quotes Smackdown: Carl Jung vs. Hermann Hesse

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. -- Carl Jung

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us. -- Hermann Hesse

So. Here are two variations on a theme. They might seem to be saying the same thing, but are they? Not quite.

Hesse is saying that which you hate is part of what you...
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You Can’t Control Life, All You Can Do Is Hang On For The Ride

Ride the life ride.

I googled this and didn’t find it anywhere, so I am taking credit because I think it often and say it sometimes. Ride the life ride—sometimes that’s all you can do.

Being introspective tends to make me think that as long as I understand something, I have the power to change it. Or that if I think hard enough, I’ll be able to see the future. Or bend it to my will....
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Taking Comfort Wherever You Find It

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.

--Mahatma Gandhi

The good life is just the process of figuring out what brings you inner help and comfort, and living your life around those things, places, people, activities, etc.

Research finds that people get happier as we get older. Very likely this is because over time, we figure out what brings us inner help and comfort and stick with those things.

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That’s Your Problem

“The best years of life are the ones where you decide your problems are your own.” -- Albert Ellis

Oh yeah. I love it when the problem is mine.

Sure, it can be lots of fun to point fingers and heap blame on other people.

It’s nice to imagine that we are perfect and that the only thing standing between us and whatever it is we want are all those other annoying people....
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