Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy

Author Hugh Howey published an interesting blog post on happiness last week. Oh, wait. I guess it was on selling books, or not selling books. But really it was on our innate base level of happiness. Basically, he believes we choose our own happiness, which is only temporarily affected by outside factors. I believe that's true. For proof, we only need to look to our kids at Christmas when they get that toy, game, or gadget that they absolutely had to have. The initial happiness they experience upon opening that gift wanes quickly and their relative happiness goes back to base level before we parents have even paid the credit card bill. 



We do this in our writing lives, too, don't we? I'd be happy if only I were a better writer, could land an agent, get published, sell more books, win an award. . .  But the reality is that those things may bring a momentary surge of euphoria, but won't change our innate base level of happiness. Growing up, my mother always said that it was possible to be happy no matter what your circumstances. Mr. Howey says it this way: "How we feel should be up to us." Which is actually pretty empowering. I do not have to rely on anyone else for my state of mind. It is within my choosing to be happy and that starts, to quote Mr. Howey again, "by seeing the small good in the world."

I watched About Time last night. It's a romantic time travel movie with Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, that, in the end, reminds us to live every day deliberately, to find the extraordinary moments in an ordinary life, to savor the moment. This one. Right now. Without fretting over how it could be better if only...

Today, this music video is making me particularly happy. It may be a temporary high, but hey, I can hit play as many times as I want ;)  I dare you to watch it and not smile! 




 Do you have a favorite feel good movie, song, or book to recommend?


41 comments:

  1. Great song on this Monday morning. I can't think of a song or book to fit this, but I'm sure I have one.

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  2. I'm such a softie when it comes to chick flicks. It doesn't matter how terrible they are--they always make me happy. :-)

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  3. How fun. The little girl was my fav. Love this post. It's a good reminder.

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  4. "To live everyday deliberately." Yes, that is it, exactly.

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  5. Such a great post. Right now I have "Everything is Awesome" from the Lego Movie in my head and I'm not exactly hating it. :)

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  6. You're so right about happiness. I'm sometimes surprised by how little mine is impacted by the things (good or bad) that happen to me.

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  7. DS just shared this very video with me- it is cheerful.

    It's a different kind of happy, a contended kind, that I get from wistfulness. A resignation, and an affirmation that anything felt deeply is proof that I'm alive and able to feel...

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  8. The movie, A Good Year, with Russell Crowe is one of my favorite "feel good" movies. The main character, Max, must learn a healthier base level of happiness. Great post, Ruth!

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  9. We sometimes think happiness is just beyond our reach. But sometimes we just need to be reminded of the good things and that happiness comes from within.

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  10. Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry--Be Happy" is my go to song when the world seems to be crushing in. And I agree totally--we are in charge of our own happiness.

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  11. Love this post! I really believe the saying that happiness lies within.

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  12. I loved this post! Great perspective about being content where you are. My favorite way of cheering up is usually with a sappy romcom or a Jane Austen movie. Dark chocolate usually helps too!

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  13. Great post, Ruth. I like the Happy song too. I can't help but smile when I hear it. I also like Best Day of My Life by American Authors. Very upbeat. :)

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  14. We can't choose what happens to us but we can choose how to react. I do believe we can choose to be happy.

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  15. I think we should remember to be happy about the things we do have instead of constantly tearing ourselves down over what we don't have.

    I'd taken my daughter to see the movie "Frozen" recently, and certain songs from that movie have been bringing a lot of smiles when we listen and sing to them now at home.

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  16. What an excellent post! I try to stop and appreciate things each day. There are always things to stress us out or make us unhappy, but we can choose to focus on the positive. Each day is a new chance to start again, and when we look around we live in such an amazing world. Lots to be happy for!

    Great video! Watching favorite funny movies always makes me happy (Vacation comes to mind). I also love music that makes me want to sing and dance. :)

    ~Jess

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  17. The timing of this post feels like fate to me! I was just thinking this morning that I need to stop dwelling on how crazy works makes me and just stop worrying about it- and simply be happy. Be happy when I get to go home and make a meal for my family, sit down w/a great book, or kiss my son's button nose(I could kiss it raw!). Those are the things I need to dwell on, and not all that other junk.

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  18. Loved this post. It is so easy to get mired in the negatives and miss the positives. I love Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying or Stand by Rascal Flats.

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  19. I can drive along with a huge grin on my face when certain music is playing. My tastes are varied - male operatic solos, boy sopranos, country and western yee-hah songs.

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  20. I do think we make many choices in this respect. It's interesting to consider what our minds dwell on through the day. I am working on being more aware of this, and replacing negative pattens with positive, scriptural ones. Good post, thanks for the reminder! :)

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  21. Oh gosh... this is SO TRUE... I often fall into the "I'll be happy when" mindset. I think it's the natural man, lol! I definitely struggle to find peace and contentment while I work on a project and not just when I finish it!

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  22. I am happy. I might not always seem it, but deep down I am content. It means I can smile when everyone else is running around trying to make their lives better with 'stuff'. I really want to see About Time, too!

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  23. Real happiness has to come from within.
    I'd recommend watching The Princess Bride. That is a happy, feel-good movie.

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  24. One Eskimo's Amazing is a wonderful song.

    Yes, we do have a baseline of happiness. I guess fulfillment and satisfaction is different. We can't stay in euphoria, but if we can be paid to do what we loved is a different beast.

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  25. I waited a long time for a publishing contract and I can say there are many moments of happiness during the journey--and many moments of happiness after you get "the call." I think it's a mistake to assume 100% happiness will ever come... Once you're published, you have all new things to worry about, so enjoy every minute!

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  26. I like your snow smiley. It looks really happy and put a smile on my face.

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  27. Hey Ruth. What a cool smiley face. I'll do that tomorrow if we get snow. They say it might be ice. I only like ice in my tea.

    I used to think my writing would never be validated unless I received THE BIG CALL! But now I know that will just be icing on the cake. The writing is just something I have to do. This is a wonderful post you gave to us.

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  28. If our happiness isn't up to us, then we're in trouble. Here's to finding our way no matter what.

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  29. I believe you are right. We do make our own happiness, and the little happy things that happen along the way just add a touch to it.

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  30. How ironic cuz I'm about to watch that movie in about 5 minutes. I tried using a similar theme in my TT story. How life is in the present.
    I try to remind myself all the time that just the fact I get to write what I want, when I want is enough to make me happy.
    This was a good reminder. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  31. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing that Happy Video! I'm feeling happy today so it made me want to dance, dance, hop, hop, twirl, twirl, and clap, clap! I'm saving that video to my desktop and watch it whenever I'm feeling "pouty or happy."

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  32. Absolutely, we make our own happiness. It's all about the attitude we choose to have.

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  33. Ruth, what wise words! We should all remember that our happiness is in our own hands!

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  34. Your post is a great reminder, Ruth. I haven't watched About Time, but I should. My go-to happy films are Little Miss Sunshine, Amelie, and Spirited Away. Sometimes I watch an episode of The West Wing (the early seasons) to inspire me in writing.

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  35. I used to think that I'd be ecstatic if I could only get a book published and then I did and it was just another day, an anticlimax. My favourite song and video is Pharrell Williams singing Happy. It's amazing.

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  36. Happiness is fleeting. Joy is where I want to live - that place where no matter what circumstances I'm experiencing the fruit of the Spirit called, "joy." It's born our of relationship rather than events.

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  37. You are so right. It's our underlying attitude toward all things that really counts. When extra good things happen, that only makes us feel better. When the bad things or the disappointments come, they don't undermine us; they're only passing moments.

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  38. Yes, I can definitely attest to this -- in the writing context, what I've noticed is that, for me at least, the most important thing is enjoying the process of writing itself -- if I start to treat the validation or acknowledgment I get for my music as more important than that, that's when writing becomes painful because it's merely a tool to get me to the approval I want, as opposed to an end in itself.

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  39. I try to remember your mom's advice. It's so true. We can always choose to look at things in a positive light and find our own happiness.

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  40. Came back to tell you you have something over at The Write Game. Hope you'll stop in and pick it up!

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