Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fearing Sadness Is Not Happiness


By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I came upon this quote from author Hugh MacKay and found it to be profound. Hugh is a psychologist, sociologist, social researcher, writer, and teacher. It particularly resonates with me because I've written previously that we may be able to become happier if we re-defined what happiness truly meant. Is it an emotion or is it about meaningful actions? Is it about ourselves or is it about others? Do you want happiness or do you just fear sadness? It's probably a little of all of these things; but for many, the focus is too much on the emotional selfish side.

"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that — I don't mind people being happy — but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying 'write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep' and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness.' Ask yourself, 'Is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you're having a bad day, it is."

— Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

Source: Must Triumph
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Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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