How to be Happy: Oprah Style
Part of the ingredients for Perfection is Happiness.
However, this particular brand of happiness is quite elusive. Many have tried to pursue Happiness and failed miserably (no pun intended). Without finding the happiness that they have sought, they have died without ever getting a significant other, finding the perfect facewash that banished their Miley Cyrus acne, or finding a bra that fit them correctly.
Yes, there is. The magazines have all put their individual heads together and thought about what happiness means, and how to get happy, and how to stay happy. We have Oprah, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and Shine! Yahoo. Surely with six major authorities thinking about this matter, we can’t miss out on our chance of happiness. Right?
Well, you’ll see.
In six posts, I will write about these individual magazine/places’ tips about happiness. In this post, we will look at Oprah.
Oprah says that there are five things every happy woman does. Read the writer’s tips, and you’re sure to find their special secrets for happiness! Yay!
It starts with,
Sages going back to Socrates have offered advice on how to be happy, but only now are scientists beginning to address this question with systematic, controlled research… we canvassed the leading experts on what happy people have in common — and why it’s worth trying to become one of them.
First, they start off by finding their most golden self. Upon reading this, I thought of self-tanner, which is supposed to make people feel good about themselves. But no. Think of yourself as a “golden figurine that would be revealed by cracking away an outer layer of cheap pottery (the person’s baser exterior).” That line was followed by some stuff that sounded like it was in a different language. But yes, I get that. I’ve thought about it for some time, though not in such flowery terms. I think they’re saying that if you try to take on new challenges, the pottery that is your baser exterior will fall away to reveal your inner goldenness.
This can also be taken as a metaphor. Say you don’t look like a model. However, after climbing some more mountains and stuff, you will look like a model and be happy. The fat will melt away, revealing a thinner, more beautiful you.
<—- Somehow I can’t help thinking of this. Ugh.
Next, you design your life to bring in joy. You have to analyze your life. Your happiness is something that you and only you can control. So by designing your life in a way that an interior designer would design a beautiful house, you can call in the happiness to live in you. Or something like that.
It’s a well known fact that unhappy people do not design their houses beautifully and so need people like Oprah to tell them how to design it beautifully.
But come on, it’s as easy as not doing the things you don’t want to know and doing the things you want to do…
Schkade says that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you hate (commuting, scrubbing the bathroom) to one you like (reading, spending time with friends), you should see a significant improvement in your overall happiness. Taking action is key.
Forget the grungy bathroom that needs scrubbing! Forget the toilet that needs plunging! Forget that the sink isn’t going to clean itself! Just lose yourself in a romance novel! Come on girl, take action!
I can see a lot of visits to the gas station down the road in your future.
Also, don’t think “if only” fantasies. Those are useless and can only get you down. “If only I cleaned the toilet” is just going to make your life better, not worse. The toilet is not going to be cleaned in the pursuit of happiness anyway, so just forget it. “If only” isn’t going to make you any thinner. Thinking of yourself as a golden Buddha statue is.
There’s something about hedonic adaption which I didn’t quite understand. Maybe if I understood that would be the key. I don’t know. Reading about the brain’s natural dimming effect is making me all woozy. So you’ll have to forgive me.
Happy people put their best friends first. After themselves and redesigning their lives, of course. You must always come first. Take the time to talk to that cool friend instead of running around trying to talk to everyone.
The last point: allow yourself to be happy! Don’t feel guilty for having fun. Don’t feel guilty about that toilet that is so clogged with poo that you will need a bulldozer to unclog it.
By being happy, you’ll make other people happy too.
Just forget about that bathroom … oh shoot.