Tuesday, February 17, 2009


SOFD: happiness by the fray
WIKI: happiness in the morning

so i am currently reading 19 minutes by jodi picoult and in the book, one of the characters is contemplating life and using the equation for happiness; that is


i don't really know how i feel about this equation or if i even think it's true, but it's interesting to think about it. i read this quote on another blog site and continued to ponder:

"therefore, happiness is inversely proportional to expectations. in order to be happy, lower your expectations. to be happy, accept the reality as the way it is."

right now it, i feel unhappy with where i am in my life. so i have three options:

1. lower my expectations to better my reality
2. accept my reality
3. toss the whole concept out

1. the problem is that i don't want to lower my expectations. i mean, i don't even know how i would do that. my expectations of what my situation is has already been shattered.

2. this is this the hardest way to go. i have to realize that accept the facts that things aren't easy now. there's no easy way out and i have to press on. my attitude needs to change too. my life is really is not as hard as i have made it out to be. actually, i'm pretty sure that life will be much harder than this, so i should most definitely see the good.

3. this is pretty simple. i continue to wallow in my pathetic dislike of my situation and do nothing to change myself.

i want to be someone. a friend. a lover. an artist. a teacher. a traveler. a sage. a confidant.

what do i want out of life?
what am i putting into life?
what are my dreams?
how am i going to get there?
how can i start tomorrow?

last week in ed psych, my teacher told us about bill bennet who wrote the book of virtues. in his book, he organized the chapters by 10 different virtues:
1. compassion
2. courage
3. faith
4. friendship
5. honesty
6. loyalty
7. perseverance
8. responsibility
9. self-discipline
10. work

bill bennet states that the first virtue is self-discipline. you can't do any of the other virtues if you can't master self-discipline. in my own self-evaluation, i feel like i have a lot to do to master this virtue. restraining desire is what maturity is all about.

maybe happiness is based on a person's mastery of self-discipline.

and to explain the picture: happiness is a journey, not a destination. so i guess i'm going with option number 2 and making the most of everyday, not just hoping to be happy when i am somewhere different.

jodi picoult's character, lewis, sums up the h=r/e equation on page 130:

"why hadn't he realized this before? everyone knew that if you divided reality by expectation, you got a happiness quotient. but when you inverted the equation-expectation divided by reality-you didn't get the opposite of happiness. what you got, lewis realized, was hope. pure logic: assuming reality was constant, expectation had to be greater that reality to create optimism. on the other hand, a pessimist was someone with expectations lower than reality, a fraction of dimishing returns. the human condition meant that number approached zero without reaching it-you never really completely gave up hope; it might come flooding back at any provocation. someone who was happy would have little need to hope for change. but, conversely, an optimistic person was that way because he wanted to believe in something better than his reality. lewis started wondering if there were expections to the rule: if happy people might be hopeful, [and] if the unhappy might have given up any anticipation that things might get better."

maybe self-discipline is acting on a hope. maybe hope and self-discipline make their own equation:


that is all.

and on a totally different note, today marks the day that eric and my parents embraced technology. yay for texting and blogging! haha...

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