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  • feedwordpress 00:46:15 on 2016/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: behavior change, , happiness, redemptive   

    Ready to Turn the Page to the Next Chapter of the Life You Want to Live Now? 

    Writing of her secret life as a prostitute, a blogger with the pseudonym Belle de Jour had a backstory worthy of a movie script. In fact it was turned into a Showtime TV series. She wanted to have a satisfying next chapter of her life story so she wrote about it. You see, in real life, she was “a respected specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology.” Few of us lead a startling double life like her yet you, too, may want to play a new role in your life story, perhaps revealing some largely hidden facets to your character…
  • feedwordpress 17:01:42 on 2015/09/30 Permalink
    Tags: brown, , Csikszentmihalyi, desire, happiness, Perel, seligman, , worthiness, zizek   

    The Critic’s Pursuit of Happiness 

    I totally love Žižek, of course, that old rabble rouser! And I am not a fan of chasing happiness. However, in this post, I will invert both of those.

    Žižek talks about happiness, here on Big Think.

    Zizek on Big Think

    First, it is important to understand the tradition that Žižek comes from. His is Slovenian, the first to translate Derrida into Slovenian, one of his first books was a response to Lacan (read: Freud), and a post-Marxist Communist and far left of liberal. He is so much a practitioner of post-post-modernism that he is even post-ironic. Of course, he isn’t interested in happiness! Duh!

    Second, the father of the positive psychology movement would support the flow and purpose elements that Žižek mentions (see also the flow and purpose work of Csikszentmihalyi). If you want to go deeper than these TED talks, take a look at Seligman’s book: Flourish (and for that part Csikszentmihalyi’s classic book on Flow).

    Third, most of us have a terrible and childish relationship with desire that fits the kind of model that Žižek describes as the problem with the pursuit of happiness. See The Pursuit of Unhappiness for the real errors from a practicing psychologist. It ties well with Brené Brown‘s work on being whole-hearted and worthy of love and belonging (and the flip side: shame). Because people reject their achievements when they feel unworthy of them. It isn’t about the goal, it is about whether we believe we deserve it.

    Finally, to finish my critique of Zizek’s view of happiness, see Esther Perel’s Ted talk on long term relationship for how to solve the mistress problem. Sure, if TED isn’t your style, she has a book too, Mating in Captivity. When we become conscious of the dance between security/safety and desire, we can better ride the edge and enjoy desire as desire rather than the pursuit of an (unsatisfying) outcome.

    I also think Open to Desire from Mark Epstein may have some of the answers on how to ride that edge beautifully. But I have to finish reading it to be sure.

    Also note, the title is eerily similar to Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, the biography by Jeannette Winterson.


  • nmw 14:53:47 on 2014/07/21 Permalink
    Tags: appreciate, appreciating, appreciation, care, , codependence, happiness, , , interdependence, interreliance, negative, negativity, positive, positivity, ,   

    The Difference Between Wanting to be Wanted, and Knowing What You Want 

    In “the art of praising 42 year old women“, Justine Musk raises some interesting issues revolving around caring for/about other people. One issue she sidesteps, though, is appreciating the happiness of other people.

    Some people say to “surround yourself with positive people” — I have many problems with this approach to interacting (or not interacting) with others. You would have to be living under a rock not to understand that the feelings other people have are related to how we behave ourselves — so perhaps the positivity / negativity of others is merely a reflection of who we ourselves are, how we behave, etc.

    Justine also mentions the concepts “independence” and “interdependence”. I have never like these terms very much. Years ago, I made up the term “interreliance“, in order to emphasize how each person’s well-being sort of relies on the well-being of others.

    In any case, check out Justine’s post — it also raises many issues I have not addressed here.

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