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When happiness is threatened …

November 10, 2010

This post might be just a little bit too left-field. But it’s worth a shot. It’s worth seeing whether it resonates or – to use a current buzzword from work – ‘chimes’ with anyone.

I’ve spent the last ten days or so thinking about happiness and the pursuit of happiness. This has been in part because of the brilliant weekend I spent up in Newcastle, seeing how radio producers work, how radio presenters speak, how lecturers write and how audiences interact. The process has – as you might expect – been an incredibly enriching process.

You might even say it’s made me ‘happy’. I’ve ended up feeling like I’ve grown to fill the space I want to occupy. It’s as though the process of listening and responding has helped me fulfill my potential. It’s a process which promotes good feeling. That. Is Important.

So, given that backdrop – a surprisingly positive one, now I come to read it back – you might think it surprising I’m feeling a bit blue in the video below. You shouldn’t worry. What you see is pretty normal for me, as it happens. This is the “half-past ten” thought process in action. What’s unfortunate is that this was recorded at half past seven.

Hey ho. No matter. What I’m really interested in here is what happens, how we react and how we manage those moments when we feel as though the happiness we’ve acquired is at risk. Do we roll over and say “Yeah, whatever, happiness is cyclical – accept it.” Or do we embark on a way of protecting ourselves? Do we protest like the students outside Millbank this afternoon? And if we protest, what is the best to do rail against that perceived injustice?

:: The picture included in this blog post is was published by Flickr User by Jim Rafferty and is used here under licence.

From → Life & Society

  1. I have two possible responses to this Jon. One is that everything is cyclical, and there’s nothing at all we can do about it. I always think of the George Harrison track “All things must pass”. This applies to good and bad things. So I always feel it’s best to enjoy what’s good without analysing it too much because one day it will be gone – but it’s 99% outside of one’s responsibility.

    My second response is, and I admit I wrote this first, “You post a video like that and then say hey ho no matter, this is pretty normal for you?” You’re making me a little anxious. Do we need to talk? We haven’t for a while.

    • Bless you sir … your concern is noted and appreciated. And, whilst I can see why you end up thinking “Do we need to talk?”, it’s also worth bearing in mind that this post is part of a series about happiness (see the Free Thinking panel at the top of the page). The video illustrates what I think perhaps a lot of us experience during the commute (perhaps?) and helps establish the fundamental question…. how do handle the potential loss of it … do you get me ? 😉

  2. It’s true that I hadn’t considered your post as part of that series. I can see now that maybe I overstepped the concern mark. It’s just that you can do glum so awfully well and I thought this time you had excelled yourself!

    As far as the bigger question is concerned, well I dunno really. Interesting that you relate it to thoughts whilst commuting. When I used to work for other people I always used to spend the commute home looking forward to the evening, and vice versa the commute in to work would fill me with a ticking-clock anxiety. Maybe because you enjoy your work much more than I ever did your happiness boundaries are more blurred than mine.

    • That is an interesting take. I hadn’t looked at it like that as it happens. As for the glum remark …. I prefer the word ‘authentic’.. 😉

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  1. When happiness seems indestructible « Thoroughly Good Blog

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