Summary of “What the Aztecs Can Teach Us About Happiness and the Good Life”

My students reveal something that the pre-Columbian Aztecs knew well.
Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the Aztecs had a philosophically rich culture, with people they called ‘philosophers’, and their specious counterparts the ‘sophists’.
Like the Greeks, the Aztecs were interested in how to lead a good life.
The Aztecs had a saying: ‘The earth is slippery, slick,’ which was as common to them as a contemporary aphorism such as ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is to us.
First, the Aztecs held that this sort of life would not lead to ‘happiness’, except by luck.
The Aztecs grounded themselves in the body with a regimen of daily exercises, somewhat like yoga.
The Aztecs believed that ‘god’ was simply nature, an entity of both genders whose presence was manifest in different forms.
Aztec philosophy encourages us to question this received ‘Western’ wisdom about the good life – and to seriously consider the sobering notion that doing something worthwhile is more important than enjoying it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Many of us have a little bit of hoarder inside — here’s what to do |”

What will definitely make you feel better – and free up time and space – is letting go of stuff you don’t use, says Matt Paxton, a cleaning expert on TV’s Hoarders.
Matt Paxton – one of the expert cleaners on the reality TV show Hoarders – has glimpsed all the different kinds of stuff that people choose to hold onto.
While the hoarding situations that he deals with are extreme, Paxton wants us to look with empathy at the humans behind them.
If things don’t bring us happiness, what does? Paxton says that real contentment comes from the time we spend with other people and the relationships we build with them.
Although the KonMari method does work for many, says Paxton, it’s not quite right for people who have a bit of a hoarder inside themselves.
Ready to lighten up? Here are a few more do’s from Paxton.
“Be brutally honest with yourself,” advises Paxton.
If you have too much stuff, that means you’re probably better off than many other people, says Paxton.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why You Should Stop Trying to Be Happy at Work”

In one survey of 12,000 employees, 50% said they didn’t get a feeling of meaning and significance from their work, but those who did reported 1.7 times greater job satisfaction, were 1.4 times more engaged, and were more than three times as likely to remain with their current employer.
As a coach to executives considering their next career move, I often hear clients express their desire to find greater meaning at work.
What are we really searching for when we say we want more “Meaning,” and how does it differ from happiness?
Connections to others is important for both happiness and meaning, but the character of those connections informs the type of fulfillment they give you.
Jon was willing to take the more difficult route of figuring out an alternative to the CEO job in order to increase his chances of finding meaning at work.
The distinctions above provide guideposts on steering your professional life toward meaning, which, as research by psychologist Pninit Russo-Netzer found, can ultimately lead to happiness as well.
Living with meaning and purpose may not make you happy – at least in the short term.
When you approach work situations mindfully, with an eye toward contributing to others while honoring your personal identity, you’ll find opportunities to practice the skills that help you find the intrinsic value in your work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The link between spending and happiness”

4 minute Read. There are a lot of personal finance “Experts” out there who will tell you that the key to making money is to stop spending so much of it.
People who spend on experiences get way more bang for their buck.
Spending increases your happiness when it brings something new to your life, whether that’s a possession or an experience.
Nobody enjoys spending money on a flooded basement or a flat tire.
When the expensive purchase caused him to spend money to insure and maintain it, the spending didn’t make him happy.
You don’t get that conversion of splurge-to-unexpected cost spending.
If all spending isn’t created equal, does that mean not all cuts in spending will hurt? If certain expenditures don’t increase your happiness, doesn’t that mean eliminating them won’t affect it one way or the other? If certain expenses decrease your happiness, wouldn’t removing them make you happier?
Slashing your spending doesn’t always decrease your happiness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Humans aren’t designed to be happy”

A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal.
Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture.
Happiness, as the Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes put it, is “Like a feather flying in the air. It flies light, but not for very long.” Happiness is a human construct, an abstract idea with no equivalent in actual human experience.
Different geographical locations and circuits in the brain are each associated with certain neurological and intellectual functions, but happiness, being a mere construct with no neurological basis, cannot be found in the brain tissue.
Advocates of a morally correct path to happiness also disapprove of taking shortcuts to pleasure with the help of psychotropic drugs.
George Bernard Shaw said: “We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.” Well-being apparently needs to be earned, which proves that it is not a natural state.
Chemicals alter the mind, but since happiness is not related to a particular functional brain pattern, we cannot replicate it chemically.
The model of competing emotions offered by coexisting pleasure and pain fits our reality much better than the unachievable bliss that the happiness industry is trying to sell us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Aristotle is the Perfect Happiness Guru”

You’ve got the Headspace app, know your downward dog from your black dog, and once read something by Freud, so what can a guy who lived 23 centuries ago tell you about the pursuit of happiness today? “Aristotle did it first and better. So why not go to the source, the original brain that figured all of this out?” says Professor Edith Hall.
Her book, Aristotle’s Way, promises to teach you “How ancient wisdom can change your life”, in particular how to achieve a lifelong state of what the ancients referred to as eudaimonia and we come closest to with “Contentment”.
Aristotle approves of food, drink and sex; he believes leisure is more important than work; that we all have innate talents and that we don’t peak until we’re 49.
Simple, huh! “Happiness is not a state as far as Aristotle is concerned, it’s an activity,” Hall explains.
Like anything, happiness just takes a bit of planning, Hall argues.
“Plato, his teacher, said that the unconsidered life is not worth living. Aristotle would say the unplanned life is slightly less likely to be happy. It’s planning. Just planning.”
With all the injunctions to become the Best Possible You, Hall clearly has an eye on the self-help market as well as both feet firmly in the classical world; you almost expect to find a photo of a toga-clad Aristotle smiling beatifically over a slice of avocado toast.
“It’s terribly grown-up to take complete responsibility.” And here Aristotle is characteristically forgiving, arguing that humans aren’t capable of consistent rational forethought until they are at least 25.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stop Trying To Be Happy”

If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy.
Just as a confident man doesn’t wonder if he’s confident, a happy man does not wonder if he’s happy.
You can’t buy happiness and you can’t achieve happiness.
Happiness is Not the Same as PleasureTony Montana didn’t seem too happy.
Ask a man who almost ate himself to death how happy pursuing pleasure made him feel.
The failure to meet our own expectations is not antithetical to happiness, and I’d actually argue that the ability to fail and still appreciate the experience is actually a fundamental building block for happiness.
This is the reason that trying to be happy inevitably will make you unhappy.
Cue statements about “Finding happiness within,” and “Knowing that you’re enough.” It’s not that happiness itself is in you, it’s that happiness occurs when you decide to pursue what’s in you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lapham’s Quarterly”

The shoot served as both the debut of-and, in its grandstanding way, a metaphor for-the Indian government’s latest addition to its sprawling bureaucracy: the Ministry of Happiness.
The media blitz, the press photos, the public speeches, the calendar, the government’s promises-none of these really answered a central question: Was the ministry a sincere effort? Or was it merely a marketing campaign, an attempt to project the image of a happy country without actually addressing the concrete problems-food insecurity, homelessness, joblessness, violence, and uncompromising gender roles-that tend to hold most Indians back from pursuing happiness in their own way?
In 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declared, “Gross national happiness is more important than gross domestic product” and created a Gross National Happiness Index, which acts like a political barometer, slumping when social or political ills overwhelm.
The idea of a Gross National Happiness Index remained mostly foreign to the West until 2008, when French president Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned economists Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi to study how useful it would be to consider happiness when developing global indexes.
One of the results of Resolution 65/309 has been the annual World Happiness Report, the country-by-country ranking of national happiness on which India had fallen toward the bottom.
There is the United Arab Emirates’ robust Ministry of Happiness and Well-Being, designed to “Align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction.” There was Nigeria’s Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, in the state of Imo, which aimed to “Reduce the costs in skilling employees and improve the employability of young people.” And then-after India slipped seven places from its original ranking of 111 in 2013, and it was noted by Indian media that Pakistan ranked higher-the country created its ministry.
Two years before the Happiness Ministry was announced, Modi launched a “Make in India” campaign that attempted to officially market some of these practices, including yoga, as a UNESCO-protected Indian heritage.
A little over a year into the Ministry of Happiness’ existence, a strange incident occurred: Lal Singh Arya, the ministry’s director, went missing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stop Trying To Be Happy”

If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy.
Just as a confident man doesn’t wonder if he’s confident, a happy man does not wonder if he’s happy.
You can’t buy happiness and you can’t achieve happiness.
Happiness is Not the Same as PleasureTony Montana didn’t seem too happy.
Ask a man who almost ate himself to death how happy pursuing pleasure made him feel.
The failure to meet our own expectations is not antithetical to happiness, and I’d actually argue that the ability to fail and still appreciate the experience is actually a fundamental building block for happiness.
This is the reason that trying to be happy inevitably will make you unhappy.
Cue statements about “Finding happiness within,” and “Knowing that you’re enough.” It’s not that happiness itself is in you, it’s that happiness occurs when you decide to pursue what’s in you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Resiliency Versus Happy Kids: Why Anxious Parents Can Calm Down”

In an attempt to keep children happy now, many parents may be failing to help children develop the skills to pursue happiness for the rest of their lives.
Parents’ desire to see their kids happy, it turns out, can stand in the way of their obligation to raise resilient adults capable of facing hardship and seeking out joy.
For raising happy kids after tying childhood happiness with success during adulthood.
Schleider says many parents do what’s called accommodating: avoiding anything that makes their kids anxious at all costs.
In her clinical work, Schleider has seen parents of kids with obsessive-compulsive disorders actually join in their kid’s rituals.
ADVERTISEMENT. So how do parents take that step back and focus on long-term happiness – healthy development – instead of trying to prevent all forms of sadness? A lot of it comes down to encouraging social behavior and shared experiences, explains NYU developmental psychologist Caitlin Canfield.
“When we looked at kids in early elementary school who reported high chronic stress that was reflected in their cortisol levels,” says Canfield, “Those kids whose parents reported doing more reading, talking, teaching, and playing also reported that their kids had fewer mental health symptoms.”
That’s not to say that medical problems ought to be ignored just because Fatherly Dot Com says it’s important for This is, of course, not to say that parents shouldn’t be alert and sensitive to the feelings of kids to feel sadness their kids have.

The orginal article.