|A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.|
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 0 comments
Mood: The usual...
Currently listening to: I Against I - Massive Attack & Mos Def
Hey! My RTF and WYSIWYG tabs are working again!!! Thanks Blogger/Google tech support people!!! Wow, what can i say? That was fast... :)
Nothing much happened today since i didn't have any classes so i spent the better part of the day at home surfing the net and attempting to do my assignments (ATTEMPTING being the key word here). Swung by CSA for a bit, took care of some financial issues, signed the employee contract at NSS (reading through the NDA as i type), did my gym and before you know it its already 10pm... *siiigh*
Personally i think the work will be good for me, primarily because i become amazingly disciplined when i have a job. I sleep right, eat right, and usually have enough things to do throughout the day to actually keep me on the up and go at all times (something that i could never take seriously at uni). Maybe i'm a closet workaholic - hard to believe, i know - or maybe its about the only time my traditional/stereotypical Chinese genes kick in.
Geez, I just hope i'm not biting off more than i can chew...
Hrmmm... just got an sms from Serina and it sounds like she's writing up some massive expose for tomorrow tentatively titled "How Pat broke his left arm 5 times". To wit (via sms):
"Its a series of short stories abt u. I showed it to my mom. She liked it. :) She thinks u're *delicate cough* interesting."
Hah! This should be worth reading since most of you out there should have some sort of past knowledge on my astounding acts of stupidity... just try not to mention the ones that DON'T include broken arms ja? :)
Oh yeah, did i mention that it was St. Patrick's last Thursday? Just for the record my family always makes a big deal about it (which is, strangely enough, about the closest thing we have to any semblance of religious adherance) and that night was no exception with a nice steak dinner at Castello's in PJ... mmmm...
Where's ma free beer people? Look, even 'Herr Hoff' loves me:
Whoa. Just realised how wrong that sounded (and looks, i mean... AIEEE!!! His NIPPLES! I just spotted teh NIPPLES *gouges eyes out*)...
But anyhow, moving my aimless rant along, as i was going through the huge stack of random reading material next to my bed (insomniac remember?) i noticed that recent publications of National Geographic and TIME magazine have been discussing the issues of the human mind in regards to... happiness.
The TIME one - The New Science Of Happiness - is a really interesting article (or rather, series of articles) and something that i think is worthwhile sharing with all of you. Here's some interesting outtakes for those of you who can't get ahold of it:
For most of its history, psychology had concerned itself with all that ails the human mind: anxiety, depression, neurosis, obsessions, paranoia, delusions. The goal of practitioners was to bring the patient from a negative, ailing state to a neutral normal, or, as Martin Seligman puts it, "from a minus five to a zero."...
..."I realized that my profession was half-baked. It wasn't enough for us to nullify disabling conditions and get to zero. We needed to ask, What are the enabling conditions that make human beings flourish? How do we get from zero to plus five?"
Research has shown that once your basic needs are met, additional income does little to raise your sense of satisfaction with life. A good education? Sorry, Mom and Dad, neither education nor, for that matter, a high IQ paves the road to happiness. Youth? Think again. In fact, older people are more consistently satisfied with their lives than the young...
...Marriage? A complicated picture: married people are generally happier than singles, but that may be because they were happier to begin with. Watching TV? Not at all. People who watch more than three hours a day - especially soaps - are more unhappy than those who spend less time in front of the box.
On the positive side, religious faith seems genuinely to lift the spirit, though its tough to tell whether it's the God part or the community aspect that does the heavy lifting. Friends? A giant yes.
W.A.F.! W.A.F.! (hehe, lets see who remembers what this means) ;p
...As a result of his research (Seligman's), he finds three components of happiness: pleasure ("the smiley face piece"), engagement (the depth of involvement with one's family, work, romance and hobbies) and meaning (using personal strengths to serve some larger end). Of these three roads to a happy, satisfied life, pleasure is the least consequential, he insists: "This is newsworthy because so many people build their lives around pursuing pleasure."...
...After comparing happiness data on identical vs fraternal twins, he (David Lykken) came to the conclusion that about 50% of one's satisfaction with life comes from genetic programming (genes influence such traits as having a sunny, easygoing personality; dealing well with stress; and feeling low levels of anxiety and depression). Lykken found that circumstantial factors like income, religion and education contribute only about 8% to one's overall well-being. He attributes the remaining percentage to "life's slings and arrows."
Its them thar damned genes again!
...Edward Diener has found two life events that seem to knock people lastingly below their happiness set point: loss of a spouse and loss of a job. It takes five to eight years for a widow to regain her previous sense of well-being. Similarly, the effects of a job loss linger long after the individual has returned to the work force.
Argh, my fingers are killing me! But as i hope to have pointed out here, its an utterly fascinating series of articles that i feel are worth reading... it goes on to prove that money (up to a set point) won't buy you happiness in The Real Truth About Money to the cultural factors behind happiness in Its A Glad Sad Mad World... which actually reminds me about an article a fair while back that described how Bhutan is the ONLY country in the world that measures its success (seriously) on 'Gross National Happiness'. You can read THAT article here.
So, yeah, what do the shrinks say that you can actually DO to lead a more satisfying (aka, happier) life? Scientifically proven of course... and not to mention the fact that they're stupefyingly simple:
1. Count your blessings.
2. Practice acts of kindness.
3. Savor life's joys.
4. Thank a mentor.
5. Learn to forgive.
6. Invest time and energy in friends and family.
7. Take care of your body.
8. Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardship.
Simple huh? :)
Right thats about it from me for tonight...
Strangely optimistic (ya live longer doncha know?) Pat signin' out...
Name: Patrick Pincon
Studied at: Monash
Work: Business Development
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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