I recently mentioned a new book about happiness: The How of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubomirsky. The premise of the book is that we each have a setpoint for happiness—we are born with a proclivity toward being happy or not. But we can affect that proclivity to become happier. And Lyubomirsky tells us how.

There are snooty quotes in the promotional material from other happiness researchers saying that this book is superior to other self-help books because it’s based on science. They think that if you use scientific data to tell someone how to be happy, then the advice is more effective than if you use nonscientific data to tell people how to be happy.

The problem isn’t whether the advice is based on science or not. The problem is that you need to find self-discipline in order to execute the strategies in the first place. If all anyone needed in order to change was a scientific reason then we’d all be muscular and thin.

To be sure, tucked deep inside Lyubomirsky’s book on page 274, is the admission that we need “motivation, drive and inspiration” to do the stuff that she has scientifically shown will get us to happy. But that’s the hardest part. That’s the part I need to read three hundred pages about. If we each had the self-discipline to accomplish whatever we set out to accomplish, the world would be a very different place. But what we have instead is a world divided into the people who have self-discipline (those with good careers, good bodies, and good mates) and people who don’t.

I’m not talking about the self-discipline just to get dinner on the table every night. I’m talking hard-core self-discipline, where you conduct routine investigations of how you feel and what you’re doing, and then make changes. What Lyubomirsky recommends requires a whole mind overhaul through amazing self-discipline, but I can’t even stop eating two bagels for breakfast. (Cut back just one a day! That’s like losing 1.5 pounds a week!)

So I called my favorite positive psychology coach and asked her how to get more self-discipline.

She asked me if I had read Lyubomirsky’s book, The How of Happiness.

I told this coach that I’m annoyed by the assumption that self-discipline is just a side note.

And also, I said that by the way, I’m annoyed that in eight years, when only two people have emailed me to correct data in my column, Lyubomirsky is one of those people. I have already written about how people who correct journalists are annoying and generally off-base, so you can imagine how chirpy I was to receive her corrections.

In fact, I remembered from the last time I talked with Lyubomirsky that she was a difficult interview, so I never quoted her directly, so that she would not have a chance to complain about the post. But she ended up sending overly academic clarifications to information that I didn’t even attribute to her. How can she be a happy person when she is such a nitpicker?

If I had good self-discipline, I’d take out those last two paragraphs. Because saying unpleasant things about people will not increase my happiness. And I risk the wrath of the movers and shakers of the positive psychology movement. Leaving those paragraphs in this post is a career-limiting move for me. But we all have recognized a career-limiting move and then done it anyway. So there’s another moment that calls for developing great self-discipline.

My coach has good self-discipline, of course, because she is in the business of teaching people self-discipline. So she did not bite my bait to dis Lyubomirsky. After all, talking trash about people makes you unhappy.

I told the coach that I am frustrated with happiness research because doing any of it requires tons of self-discipline. And I know I have more self-discipline than most people and I’m still overwhelmed with how much more I need.

I tell the coach I want to change the setpoint of my self-discipline. She likes the idea that people might have a setpoint for self-discipline. She has never heard of it, but she likes it. So I am claiming, now, to have coined the term. This, by the way, will only make me happy if it increases my blog traffic. That’s because authentic compliments right after an action are pleasing to us, and what is more authentic than measurable web stats? (Career Advice: This is why you should give co-workers feedback right away and not wait—right away is twice as meaningful to someone.)

The coach says I can change my setpoint for self-discipline by making small, manageable changes, because small, manageable changes will improve your ability to change other things without trying as hard.

This research is quoted all over Lyubomirsky’s book. I believe it.

The coach asks me what I want more self-discipline for.

I say I want to do the most important thing on my to-do list first, every day.

She asks me why I don’t.

I explain that I write my to-do list the night before. And I star the item that I want to do first. And I block out from 8-9 am for that most important thing. But then I sit down to work at 8am and I answer email. Which is never the most important thing, but it is always the most fun, because a full in-box is like a bucket full of lottery tickets: You never know, but you always hope you’ll hit big.

She says that I should break down the starred task into smaller pieces and just ask myself to do the first, tiny piece at 8am.

This is good advice. Which is why this post got written today. I just wonder if I can keep it up. Or if I’ll have to call the coach again.

134 replies
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  1. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I like the pragmatic and insightful advice of your psychology coach – break the starred task into smaller pieces and start with the first tiny piece. Many times that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and before you know it you’re well into the task. My guess is your coach doesn’t have any more self-discipline than you do. However the self-discipline she does possess is evidently focused on the tasks (realistic and attainable in a certain time frame) that she knows will make her happy when she completes them. I don’t see happiness and self-discipline coexisting at the same time when working a difficult or unpleasant task but rather self-discipline as a vehicle to ultimately achieve happiness once the task is complete. I find it helpful to imagine how good I’ll feel at the completion of the task that requires self-discipline. I also make it a point to reward myself somehow at the completion of the
    task (especially the tasks I’ve been procrastinating on for a long time). Of course it’s necessary (and rewarding with some happiness thrown in) to take those breaks while you’re exercising self-discipline to look back at what you’ve accomplished on your task(s). If completing your tasks and achieving your goals is what makes you happy (most people), I totally agree with you
    Penelope that self-discipline is more than a side note. Perhaps what we need here is a book on “The How of Self-Discipline” as a complement to the book on “The How of Happiness”. I wouldn’t worry too much about the two bagels in the morning as long as you can balance it off with your energy output for the rest of the day. It’s the two bagels just before bedtime that would really become problematic!

  2. John
    John says:

    Everybody WANTS something. They want to lose weight, they want to get fit, they want a better job, etc. etc. But as a piano teacher I had a few years ago often said, “There is active wanting and there is passive wanting”. Passive wanting is easy, but the results are nil. Active wanting takes work and discipline. So decide what you REALLY want and are ACTIVELY willing to work towards and set your sites on those goals. All the others are fluff.

  3. CherryCherry
    CherryCherry says:

    The ironic thing is that most researchers studying PP do not seem to like acknowledging is that it’s happiness which makes us kinder, grateful and more likely to volunteer. Not necessarily the other way round. How many of us have begrudgingly done a favor for someone else? But if we are in a good mood, we think nothing of helping a buddy out. Yet these rather worthy exercises keep popping up throughout PP literature.

    In my own (deeply, deeply) unscientific research, I have found that by physically moving around quickly, talking faster, and acting upbeat (smiling and laughing) watching comedies was far more successful than doing the rather more introverted activities suggested i.e. writing a letter of gratitude and then reading it out to a loved one. I find a simple hug, a smile and a thanks far more effective and somewhat less embarassing and mawkish. (But I’m British so that might have something to do with my stiff upper lip.)

    Extroversion is linked with happiness, and this is why a book on happiness will never make you all that happy. Or at least it will be a more subdued form of joy. That’s because anything that encourages you to stay in a sedentary/seated/supine position for long periods of time is somewhat depressiogenic. Reading for leisure, for example, is linked with lower levels of positive affect. Now contrast this with a happy kid. They never stop moving.

    A happy kid doesn’t have to schedule playing in the park, riding his bike or bouncing on his trampoline. That’s because he likes it and wants to do it. That’s why we like to procrastinate rather than doing a boring task. Self-discipline is never hard, when you are doing things you actually WANT to do.

    I think doing fun, active things during the day would be far more conducive to happiness than the self-disciplined work-horse approach to happiness that Ms. Lybomirthsky advocates. And that’s why the happier amongst us tend to balk at hard work.

  4. Jo
    Jo says:

    @CherryCherry

    There’s no doubt that exercise keeps you in a good mood. And getting out of bed, putting the washing in the machine, tidying the house, etc. does put us in a good mood. Keeps us trim too.

    I’ve also questioned the relevance of positive psychology when things are really really bad. But positive psychology acknowledges that at around 1 negative out 4 events, you begin to struggle.

    When you are around about there and things aren’t too bad, some of these exercises help. One I like is going to bed thinking of what I have accomplished during the day and what I am grateful for. Sometimes I am more aware of what I haven’t finished that what I have, and this way I sleep better. Has to be good.

    It is also good to wake up and think of your purpose, not your to-do list. Or as the poet David Whyte says, What you can plan is too small for you to live, what you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough . . ” So when I have to really get myself going to do something I don’t like, I don’t get disciplined, I jettison the discipline and focus on what I can do wholeheartedly. To do lists are for what I like to do.

    This is your philosophy actually but sometimes in this world, life gets hard. It is also hard if you have set yourself a real challenge – one which could fail and which could cost you and your family dearly. Then you need to take care of yourself mentally. Another quote from David Whyte about living as a corporate poet”
    I’ve learned to these years, how to be alone, and at the edge of aloneness, how to be found by the world.”

    Great post Penelope. You’ve got everyone involved.

  5. EAC
    EAC says:

    I’ve read that self-disciple/control is directly related to levels of serotonin in the brain. People who struggle with impulse control (in eating, shopping, drinking…you name it) may suffer a serotonin deficit.

    This makes it less of a moral issue. It also opens the door to more concrete treatment options.

  6. Jo
    Jo says:

    @EAC
    I was going to have the self-discipline NOT to reply to this post but as the day wore on . . .

    Actually, I was posting links to Salsa Dancing in London and I thought I really have to.

    In extreme cases, some of us have to take pills – true, but let the psychiatrists decide. I think you can live by a handful of golden rules two of which are: if you are at your lawyers, you have already lost. If you are at a psychiatrist, for anything other than a physical malaise, you are seriously short of good entertainment. Much as I love my GP and I try to be a respectful and rewarding patient, . . But if you feel unwell, check in. Far be it for a bunch of internet geeks to interfere with anything as serious as your health.

    If you are not sick, insist on a good life, and insist on it for others as well.

    Do whatever you do wholeheartedly. If you like eating, eat. But become an expert. Take classes and sell your know-how. Run a restaurant. Share your pleasure with the rest of the world.

    If you like fast food, eat it. And then get involved. Build a better food chain! Build a mashup so fellow fast food connoisseurs can share your expertise. Give us the nuances of doing this well! Infect us with your enthusiasm. We want to be happy too! We want to love loving you for what you love.

    If your job is appalling, work harder. Yep, just work like the crackers. Turn it into a game. How quickly can I do the task? Can I make this cranky boss happy? Can I count to ten before I blink at his abuse? (And start applying elsewhere). I know there is a recession but bosses are more expensive than you! So plan to have your boss’ job!

    And when life sucks, as it does from time to time, when nothing specifically is wrong, yet you seem in a rut: if you do nothing else, get out of bed. It burns calories like mad. And then exercise in whatever way you like – walk, dance, go shopping, beat up a boxing bag, swim, do taiji The only way to get rid of adrenaline fast, is to burn it off. Generals let soldiers pop off their rifles for this alone. We are born to be active, not to sit still. Move around as much as you can. Gradually your energy and enthusiasm returns and you start to notice you are smiling for no reason at all.

    “The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness”

    I am one of the several million Zimbabweans who have left home with a suitcase and nothing else and who are making a go of it in as strange land. I have two blogs on ways and means of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. The first is
    http://scotchcart.wordpress.com.
    The other you can follow by hitting my name.
    Cheers, and I would be happy to have your comments.

    And I am going to take up salsa dancing!

  7. pn
    pn says:

    your coach sounds like a broken record, may bit sound nice but gets things done. A long post post, lucky I didnt quit till the end.

  8. Lisa Natoli
    Lisa Natoli says:

    Happiness is our natural birthright. It is the way WE ARE underneath all our ideas of what we have been taught here in time & space. We have been badly taught. So in order to be happy, you have to remove the layers of worldly learning, and when you have uncovered every idea and belief: there is happiness, joy and love that never changes. It’s there already, buried. You, as a total masterpiece of perfection.

  9. Dr. Karen
    Dr. Karen says:

    @Kevin who said:
    “…I disagree that "doing any of it requires tons of self-discipline." Most of the suggestions are pretty simple and easy to implement. It takes just a couple minutes a day, for example, to begin a gratitude journal, which is one of the most effective ways currently known to increase your happiness. If you're having trouble implementing one strategy, try another one. …As I begin a new strategy, I add it as a daily item on my ToDo list until I'm able to turn it into an automatic habit.”

    What you are describing here IS the self-discipline that many of us struggle with. And turning the Something into an “automatic habit” is the proof of your own effective self-discipline to establish the habit.

    I also add things to my daily to-do’s — doesn’t mean I follow them ;-). I need to see which I’m not following and break them down or shorten them even more until they are so easy even I can get them done.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking this process doesn’t require self-discipline to follow the list or make the journal entry or…

  10. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    O-M-G.

    I say I want to do the most important thing on my to-do list first, every day.

    She asks me why I don't.

    I explain that I write my to-do list the night before. And I star the item that I want to do first. And I block out from 8-9 am for that most important thing. But then I sit down to work at 8am and I answer email. Which is never the most important thing, but it is always the most fun, because a full in-box is like a bucket full of lottery tickets: You never know, but you always hope you'll hit big.

    I do this except with getting ready for work/school vs turning on the computer and blog-surfing. In fact, I’m busy slacking off right now!

  11. Dr. Karen
    Dr. Karen says:

    I find that one of the strategies that does work for me is to record at the end of a Good Day what made it so good. Notice that I don’t do this after not so good days, because I don’t have the self-discipline yet to do many things when I don’t “feel like it”. ;-)

    But after a Good Day, I’m still energized and able to capture what gave me so much energy. Over several days and weeks, I’m starting to really see the pattern.

    Not that this pattern is surprising, mind you, but it’s more powerful from having created it myself.

    And my own pattern is that on days I Get Things Done, I’m good, really good, And optimistic about getting more things done tomorrow.

    Sometimes I do — more so as the pattern becomes clearer and clearer, it gets easier to “make” myself do a few minutes of Something (I even have a section on my palm to do called “Getting Started”, which is a list of easy things that tend to kick-start me into doing even more productive things.

    If this is helpful for anyone else..please fell free to borrow it ;-)

  12. Jo
    Jo says:

    @ Dr Karen
    I have done the same until a few weeks ago when I used the Canadian 2.0 site “inpowr” for the first time when I had a bad day.

    The wonderful thing was that the one goal I hadn’t achieved, important as it was, was put in context by the goals I had achieved, and which I had forgotten about in my unhappiness with my self.

    It is also a lot more powerful to tick their “5” – things went well, than their “3” could do more because they have follow up questions and the one for “doing well”, is why did things go well today. Even if you are disappointed something went right, and it is good to trace the process you followed positively rather than negatively.

    I’ve lectured on this ad nauseum and thought I was a positive psychology evangelist. Doing it is believing it, though, and I would recommend it.

    I thought I was a doer and achiever before, but now I know I could do and achieve, have heaps more fun . . . without self-discipline! Inpowr send me an email every afternoon. I do their exercise before I shut down my computer. In so doing, I am reminded of my goals, and I am more likely to achieve them.

    Sweet.

    Oh I cheat. A local UK service sends me emails when my MP says or does anything in the House. They also have a hasslebot which kindly hassles me on a random basis “to go further at the gym today”!

  13. Michele Connolly
    Michele Connolly says:

    Loved your post, Penelope – thanks! I’ve read a lot of Sonya’s work so it’s interesting to have some insight into the person behind the research.

    And I agree that some happiness strategies demand self-discipline. But others don’t!

    Some research-based happiness strategies have an almost light-switch effect in changing how you *think* about happiness and, by shifting your perspective (eg about what happiness is or how much you can affect it) in helping you get happier.

    An example of a mindset- rather than discipline-based strategy from my blog is “How to be happy – 10. Don't keep up with the Joneses”
    http://www.happinessstrategies.com/blog/2007/11/15/how-to-be-happy-10-dont-keep-up-with-the-joneses/.

    The first several strategies in the 101 Happiness Strategies are also largely about mindset rather than things you should do.
    http://www.happinessstrategies.com/blog/101-happiness-strategies/

    If you take a look I’d love to know whether you feel any differently.

  14. Beany
    Beany says:

    I began to get suspicious of scientific studies after being a guinea pig for several studies in order to make extra cash. So by and large I don’t buy them, unless the study has been around for several years and others have tested/validated the original hypothesis. I have friend who work in science as well and knowing the distance from the PIs in their ivory towers to the grunt workers actually processing the data also makes me suspicious of many claims. Just a general thought not specific to Ms. L.

    I don’t know about the set point theory however. For most of my life I considered myself a very grouchy and pessimistic person. Then I removed myself permanently from the situation that caused me to be grouchy and pessimistic (family) and lo and behold! I was instantly much happier.

    I just finished my degree and realized to my dismay that going back to college didn’t increase my happiness at all. Just made me feel more depressed. Now that I’m done, I am happy! I get to do stuff I’ve been putting off for years. I feel like I am climbing the Mt. Everest of happiness and I am just getting happier and happier. I’ve been a bit cautious about this, but this happiness kick has been going strong for about 2 months now.

    Love your posts.

  15. missC
    missC says:

    I have two to-do lists: one specific things that need doing just because they do (contingent?) and the second, things that ALWAYS need doing (necessary?). Looking at the second helps me get the essentials done.

    Sorry if this is irrelevant, I was looking at Dr. Karen’s post and was sparked off.

  16. missC
    missC says:

    what objection? Positive thinking and positive psychology aren’t the same thing: I assume that’s what you mean? Try Martin Seligman (not that I’m a fan especially).

  17. Jo
    Jo says:

    @ missC

    Some “positive thinking” is a little trite and more on the level of wishful thinking.

    Positive psychology subsumes that and is positive thinking, if you try it. Exploring what works in an appreciative way.

    Once you try it, you won’t look back! You will wonder what space you used to inhabit.

    Simply end your day thinking about what you accomplished and what you are grateful for and begin your day considering your purpose (not your to do list), and then buy me a beer! Oh damn, I swore off those. Buy someone a beer!

  18. missC
    missC says:

    Happiness is our natural birthright. It is the way WE ARE underneath all our ideas of what we have been taught here in time & space. We have been badly taught. So in order to be happy, you have to remove the layers of worldly learning, and when you have uncovered every idea and belief: there is happiness, joy and love that never changes. It's there already, buried. You, as a total masterpiece of perfection.

    Posted by Lisa Natoli | February 16, 2008

    What, no work, effort, character, moral fortitude required?

    a) I don’t think it’s true
    b) I think if it was true it would devalue any human achievement
    c) I wouldn’t want to live in a world where we were all naturally saints and everything was somebody/something else’s fault. Sounds too close to UK plc as it is right now.

  19. Jo
    Jo says:

    @ missC

    While I believe wholeheartedness is the antidote to exhaustion, at this minute I need some sleep. Sorry if I am unclear.

    Which experiments have you tried? I think some of them tempt one into doing things mechanically. They are tools you apply in a goal to explore the positive. The goal is important too.

    I agree with you that our culture is pretty negative – the protestant ethic may have benefits but it is also dour. Happiness isn’t automatic though. A negative thought far outweighs a positive thought. Roy Baumeister’s work demonstrates that.

    We have to work quite hard to stay in a space where we are working out how positive stuff works. Hence Penelope’s post. But as I will be working hard at something, it may as well be this!

    Let’s compare notes. This stuff works for me and I am also a psychologist – conventionally trained – experiments, factor analysis, etc etc. So I know both sides.

    Night, night (I’m this side of the pond!)

  20. karma_rider
    karma_rider says:

    I figured out my “how of happiness” without any self-discipline. I decided laziness is a virtue. I’ve been happy ever since!

  21. Barbara Giorgio
    Barbara Giorgio says:

    Problem is…reality…it is just too hard for many people to do the thing they know is right but not the wherewithall to do it…after all, can we be any more saintly than St Paul who said as much about himself? I have seen people while away their later years waiting for death in gambling joints preferring the mind-numbing life of pokie machines than coming face to face with annihilation, meaninglessness, purposelessness, then blame it on the kids who don’t love them, loneliness, pain whatever whatever…then I see all of use in the grip of addictions, you name it we the human sepecies has it…now animals are a far purer breed…they seem to live life with a great deal more ease … who wants to confront the existential burden of the responsibility of one’s own life? OK so you might be happy to have the go lights out saying I did everything the right way, or my way, or I did my best, or I contributed to society ….so on and so on…but why aren’t we just dying to die? Yet without the reason of subsistence or getting the next meal, the affluent countries have only one reason to exist – consume…and when they can’t ….there’s a recession, fear, greed, angst, crime etc etc. Can I die saying that in my 50 years of life, I have seen technology make us better human beings? Does it make me love you more than my pet or my bank balance? Do I really care about anything but the next high, the next moment of pleasure – which never seems to sate…Now you want positive psychology to tell us we can have happiness?

  22. Ms. Mama
    Ms. Mama says:

    Love this post.

    I just read this and even though you wrote a long time ago, I am giving you quick feedback rather than waiting to do it later.

    Love that you dissed someone in your post it might have made you unhappy but it made me happy!

    Screw 8 am, put on your list to open email at 8.. then you’ve already accomplished something that you know you’re goign to do. Which according to the research, according to you of course, having accomplished that one thing will snowball.

    Basically it all comes back to knowing what you want, and be willing to take babysteps to get there.

    We just took a big step to opening a restaurant and now have to backtrack and make some baby steps to get the annoying stuff done.

    Thanks for writing.

  23. Tina
    Tina says:

    Your idea about the set-point for self-discipline has been demonstrated scientifically in a recent study.

    I can dig it up for you if you’d like.

    According to that research, your coach is right, and you can
    increase your set-point, although they don’t exactly call it that. By doing just what she suggests.

    Cool! You’re brilliant!

    But you knew that.

  24. Tom
    Tom says:

    Consider Bob Dylan: “advertising signs, they con you into thinking you’re the one, that can do what’s never been done, win what’s never been won, meantime life goes on all around you!” Want motivation, inspiration, self-discipline, take up a hobby. No part of it will seem like drudgery. You will secure the proper equiptment, learn the skills, practice, look and feel good, etc., and have a ball doing it. You will be left with a heap of achievement, good memories, and know you had fun. The hobby could have been computing, which, if you see this, you already took up, writing or countless other things. Do it!

  25. Elyse
    Elyse says:

    I really appreciate this post. It’s true that everyone talks about time management and organization, but no one talks about self-discipline – as you said, it’s always assumed. I learned this just recently when I looked into reading up on the subject in the career & self-help sections of the library.

    And that pisses me off, because I am about one of the most undisciplined people who actually cares about self-discipline that you’ll ever meet. My will doesn’t know a way. I was raised to value discipline, but never taught it, just one of the great inconsistencies in my life growing up. People talk about getting “back on track”, but what if you never had a track? What if small, manageable changes help, but will never get you to where you want to be? And I know from experience that drastic changes are nearly always doomed to fail.

    And what about the difference between impulsiveness and compulsiveness? I can plan & organize and make to-do lists and schedules, but then I blow it all immediately, and I can’t tell whether it’s because I’m irresponsible or because I simply can’t control my own behavior.

    I seek resources for teaching oneself self-discipline and giving oneself structure when these things are foreign in a person’s life. I’m 23, intelligent, and have always winged it. Now I’m ready for things that can’t be half-assed. What to do?!

  26. MHJessen
    MHJessen says:

    “…we need “motivation, drive and inspiration” to do the stuff that she has scientifically shown will get us to happy.”

    I’m motivated, driven, and at times even inspired, the problem is directing all that energy. Often authors of self-help intend a focused approach on a specific target, whereas I have more of a shotgun approach to life. At times I’m lucky to be pointed at the right timezone when I up and pull the inspiration trigger.
    Surprisingly though it works more often than not. And it may not be anything even remotely resembling what I originally intended but it’s never boring.

  27. Marilyn Ebler
    Marilyn Ebler says:

    Reading this post was quite helpful. I’ve spent the morning contemplating “Now what am I going to do;” as I consider ways to build a better happier life? I have days like this where my happiness meter is just above mediocre and my thoughts are filled with questions.

    I've been unemployed for almost 4 years, I'm a student, I work part time temp jobs, I moved to a new community and have met a few people but have no friend relationships. I believe the latter is the toughest of my endeavors. Making new friends is the most challenging. I exchanged phone numbers and have found that as friendship goes these connections take time to move into a bonding relationship. If there is somehow a working connection people tend to call each other.

    As for finding someone that who shares leisure activities (taking walks, going to movies, playing scrabble) is more of a challenge. Perhaps what I need is more self-control, to be able to take charge of daily routine activities, to organize my days so I can find more time to seek out places to go to meet people with common interests.

    I am on holiday today, I watched Dr. Dyer's "The Power of Intention" for the 20th or so time. Then watched PBS documentary This Emotional life "Rethinking Happiness;" part three of this activity was to check my web space before I get out for the day. This is when I searched and stumbled on this blog about Positive psychology. A word I heard on the Rethinking Happiness documentary.

    Perhaps I should read the book you mentioned by Sonja Lymbominsky, though I've read several self help books and find solace in some I also learn something I can use or reinforce things that I have learned.

    Now I'm ready to tackle the rest of my day, I have routine task to complete for the rest of the day. Thank you, sincerely for providing food for thought. Reading online blogs, is a form of human connection, with one exception, someone may or may not respond to the comments you post. Blogging does not satisfy the need for actual face-to-face human interactions. For now this is the closest connection to chatting with someone about personal interests. – €“ Have a great day…

  28. Froztwolf
    Froztwolf says:

    This article mirrors my own concerns with most of the self-improvement and positive psychology industries: They tell you what to do, but fail to describe how to achieve it. And on the rare occasion that they do describe the ‘how’, it’s usually something that requires constant self-discipline.

    That said, I haven’t given up on these fields. If I know what to do, at least I know when I’m not doing it. If I’m feeling miserable, at least I might know why.
    The more you understand your own psychology, the simpler and more manageable your inner life becomes.

  29. austen hayes
    austen hayes says:

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    Positive Psychology is designed to help the individual use their strengths to create a fulfilling and meaningful life. It depends on what that particular individual wants from their life on how the solution is approached. Self discipline is a good idea anyway, but does not necessarily mean it is required for Positive Psychology…. it requires that the individual gain a focus on their strengths and develop a goal to achieve. Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up.

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