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WATCH: How To Be Happy – #SolutionsWatch

So, do you care what The Wall Street Journal says about what “The Science™” says about how to be happy? Yeah, neither do I.

No, you shouldn’t care about what others tell you is the key to your own happiness. But what is the pursuit of happiness? Why is it important? And how do an all-star group of previous Solutions Watch guests answer those questions?

Find out in this thought-provoking and happiness-inspiring first edition of the #SolutionsWatch podcast for 2024.

Sources, shownotes and links – as well as audio versions and download options – can be found here. Previous episodes of #SolutionsWatch can be found here and here.
Follow us on Telegram for regular updates & commentary

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Ambmihai
Ambmihai
Jan 15, 2024 8:40 AM

I remembered what a writer said,quote:
Happiness is just the absence of unhappiness.
Happiness does not exist.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 12, 2024 5:04 PM

Sun is up https://youtu.be/VNfFTuIk-dQ . Inna is the best.

Freddy
Freddy
Jan 12, 2024 4:31 PM

German farmer goes berserk. But the leukocytes of the system in uniform risk a test of strength that the tractor would easily pass like an elephant. Finally they drag him out of his vehicle: “Out! Make sure you get out!” Someone behind the cam seems to shout “Jude!”, which sounds like an Arab speaking bad German. Presumably the leukocytes are meant.

NickM
NickM
Jan 12, 2024 2:29 PM

“An unhappy man cannot be a poet” — Branko Miljković, Poetry Will Write Itself, 1959.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 12, 2024 1:17 PM

The Trotters trot out the QAnon strawman for the usual smearing purposes:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2024/01/12/pnxk-j12.html

Note:

-The constant attempt to drive this into an issue of Republican against Democrat.

-The now monotonously familiar WW2 verbiage.

-Repetition of the usual smear terms, “conspiracy”, “antisemitism, and – a record for this article – “fascist”.

-How this “Great Replacement” theory sounds an awful lot like “Great Reset”.

And finally, and most tellingly,

-How, by attacking an attack on the ADL, the Trotters covertly support the ADL.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Jan 12, 2024 3:03 PM
Reply to  George Mc

George, I am amazed that you still have the energy to regularly peruse the WSWS! Years ago now, I was a regular reader of WSWS. The lesson of Covid/WSWS to me is that pretty much anything can be a psy-op. Like Baudrillard indicated, you won’t be able to discern whether or not something is a simulation or real. And the Right firmly believes that the globalists (the contemporary heirs to the Robber Barons and their rainmakers, people like rabid anti-communists Allen Dulles and Henry Kissinger) are finally bringing their dream to life by making the Communist Manifesto a reality. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 13, 2024 11:28 AM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

I occasionally peruse them. Far less so than Philip Roddis’s Steel City Scribblings where he continues to quote Caitlin. A recent post was about the Toby Jones Mr Bates vs the Post Office thing. Philip approves but disdains the “realist” tradition that “simplifies” by asserting that there are heroes and villains. Which leads you to wonder what Philip would approve of. Something without actual human beings at all? Is this what “Marxism” amounts to now? General forces that are conveniently abstract?

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 13, 2024 11:29 AM
Reply to  George Mc

And speaking about the Jones thing, why is it getting such a high profile now? Is the corruption in the PO now a “safe topic”? Indeed, is it more than that? Does it serve a deeper purpose for the rulers i.e. to finally trash the entire postal service?

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 12, 2024 12:02 AM

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
Papa fixed it again!

Joshie
Joshie
Jan 11, 2024 11:16 PM

But what is the pursuit of happiness?

It’s the illusion that happiness is something to pursue, rather than just to experience. If you’re pursuing it, you obviously don’t have it.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 12, 2024 1:30 PM
Reply to  Joshie

Such is the peculiar nature of happiness that the moment you are aware you are happy, you start to lose the happiness.

NickM
NickM
Jan 11, 2024 8:08 PM

Happiness is a cat on your lap. Apparently we mammals possess sensory nerves under our skin which do not respond to heat, cold, pressure nor chemicals but only to slow gentle stroking. A sign that somebody loves us.

NickM
NickM
Jan 11, 2024 8:01 PM

Happiness is solving a Strong puzzle:

https://youtu.be/FL3ImtGcHqQ?si=RO-nqBsu8RU8CTvm 

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 11, 2024 7:19 PM

For all those who love condescending pyschobabble (and don’t we all?) here’s The Conversation to analyse the attraction of big fruity guys with horns:

https://theconversation.com/why-have-authoritarianism-and-libertarianism-merged-a-political-psychologist-on-the-vulnerability-of-the-modern-self-218949

“Why have authoritarianism and libertarianism merged? A political psychologist on ‘the vulnerability of the modern self’”

Bet you just can’t wait to get your teeth into this full explanation of why the enfeebled masses just don’t have the necessary logic and maturity to trust the clearly honest and sincere media.

And as a heads up, this page mentions “conspiracy” and its derivatives no less than 10 times!

Martin
Martin
Jan 12, 2024 10:16 AM
Reply to  George Mc

The Conversation is an online ‘academic’ article site, that invites academics within universities to write on contemporary subjects. And therein lies the problem. My experience of working in the field of higher education is that most academics hold the same view as the author of this self-opinionated verbiage. The middle class academic set are still totally asleep to what is going on… and the majority are vaccinated. Oh dear…and they all keep falling ill with ‘Covid’ because they even believe in the PCR test…The Conversation is just academic crap.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 12, 2024 1:33 PM
Reply to  Martin

Yes, academics are usually the biggest hacks of the system. They got there by pleasing the previous hacks. And none of them have the slightest intention of jeopardising their position.

george bernard shaw
george bernard shaw
Jan 11, 2024 6:10 PM

If facts should be sacred why do they cancel people who state facts on this website? It’s kind of ironic, idn’t it?

Maxwell
Maxwell
Jan 11, 2024 2:55 PM

The positive thinking movement is only going to get stronger as the political situation worsens. It is a natural, sad attempt by people to control something in this increasingly out of control world, where the individual has less and less real power and the corporation/state dictates more and more aspects of our life, including the right to life itself, based on the principle of maximum profit.

From a psychological point of view, negating our “negative” or “dark” side carries a penalty, as it cuts us off from ANY real feeling, as well as our source of psychic energy, creativity and even intelligence (see Jung’s concept of the Shadow). It becomes increasingly easy to consider that victims deserve the situation they are in, that they “thought” themselves into it, that they are paying the price of not being “positive” enough. It also produces the still-birth of any meaningful discussion, search for real solutions or creative attempts at reaching a more balanced situation.

From a cultural/religious perspective, it is also the natural consecuence of taking Christianity (in its present-day form) to its extreme (and illogical) conclusion. Since even THINKING about something bad or evil constitutes a sin, then bad thoughts must be the source of all bad and evil things. So, if your thoughts are positive/pure/radiant enough, a pain-free, ideal life will be manifested.

And from an ecological/global standpoint, this movement constitutes a real global menace. According to it, we’re all “entitled” to everything we want, we can all have it all, we all deserve to be fabulously rich, live in mansions, have several luxury gas-guzzling cars, travel wherever we want, etc. Since nothing is as important as the happiness of the individual, other, larger considerations are not taken into account, and if they are, the solution to everything (from global warming to war to poverty to disease) is to happily think it away. It’s the American dream run amok, to the Nth degree…

It’s also easier and less painful to adopt some kind of blind faith, put our head in the sand and hope bad things will go away if we ignore them long enough, than to do all the work of thinking and acting upon the often hard solutions that are necessary if we are to survive as a culture and a species.

The “pursuit of happiness” is in the end a shallow and dehumanizing pursuit.

“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.”

-Karl Marx’s 1859 Preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

NickM
NickM
Jan 11, 2024 3:42 PM
Reply to  Maxwell

“So, if your thoughts are positive/pure/radiant enough, a pain-free, ideal life will be manifested.”

That sounds to me more like Buddhism than Christianity:

“The Noble Eightfold Way consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi (‘meditative equanimity).[8]” — Wikipedia

Buddha died peacefully though in pain, whereas Christ died “the most ingeniously painful torture that humans could devise”

This is a somewhat pedantic point, and by no means doesI it contradict the thrust of your article; which I take to be: that a focus on happiness ignores other emotional resources with which we cope with life, and is a sort of copout.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 12, 2024 12:08 AM
Reply to  NickM

“Everybody has a plan until they get a punch in the face”.

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 12, 2024 2:37 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Or brain damage from too many punches in the face.

TRT
TRT
Jan 11, 2024 4:50 PM
Reply to  Maxwell

we’re all “entitled” to everything we want, we can all have it all, we all deserve to be fabulously rich, live in mansions, have several luxury gas-guzzling cars, travel wherever we want, etc.

Not sure, but I hope you’re not suggesting that only a select number of us are entitled to these things. The oligarchs would definitely agree with that as they implement their Great Reset motivated by that belief.

Maxwell
Maxwell
Jan 11, 2024 6:09 PM
Reply to  TRT

Not in the least.

shizandra
shizandra
Jan 11, 2024 6:10 PM
Reply to  Maxwell

I think it notable that the “personal development” movement started to gain momentum in the wake of the general failure of the 1960’s movements to achieve radical social/political change in the US at least but rather just a temporary truce in the class war via a few “Great Society” liberal tokens granted to the working class: medicare, civil rights legislation, etc.

All of which have been clawed back over the ensuing decades as the post-WW2 boom gave way to globalized production, crisis of the rate of profit, etc.

So people, partly out of sense of desperation and demoralization tended to turn inward towards various forms of spirituality and personal improvement. Not all bad, it has its place, but even a million bodhisattvas focusing within will not save the planet from Capitalist encroachment, ecological destruction, genocide or nuclear war.

An embodiment of this transformation is new age personal development Guru/author/opportunist Marianne Williamson running for president as basically a kinder gentler neo-liberal shilll.

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 11, 2024 10:57 PM
Reply to  Maxwell

Thanks Maxwell, I always enjoy your thoughtful writing.

‘Positive thinking’ is typical American sales hype. We can ignore it. Ditto ‘blind faith’.

Diminishing and/or ridding ourselves of our learned unhappiness is another thing entirely.

As individuals we cannot change this world. We can only change our perceptions and reactions to the monotonous, droning, broadcast misery of it all.

If Karl Marx and his ilk were not happy then they have nothing to teach us.

Philosophy, psychology, isms, science and religion are complete failures when it comes to happiness.
They all promise some future place of paradise and peace. FFS! Get real.

We are responsible for our own state of Being. Here and now.

Edwige
Edwige
Jan 11, 2024 2:48 PM

If all else fails, there’ll soon be the state-sponsored Soma room:
https://dumptheguardian.com/society/2024/jan/11/drug-consumption-rooms-could-save-thousands-of-uk-lives-study-finds

Because they care… they care so much the suicide-booth will be next door readily available.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 12, 2024 12:11 AM
Reply to  Edwige

The opium houses coming home from China?

santadoesnot
santadoesnot
Jan 11, 2024 12:45 PM

I like this SolutionsWatch.I hope 2024 was better than 2023.
Happy new year

Keith Ford
Keith Ford
Jan 11, 2024 10:50 AM

People can chat away about this, but there is one outstanding thing that makes you happy – owning your own home with the mortgage paid off by the time you retire from work. Nothing else comes close, and it is tragic that so many never achieve this!

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 11, 2024 10:57 AM
Reply to  Keith Ford

They just tax your house as fortune, or they invent other taxes on your house or an incident where you are personally responsible and must pay for by taking your house into custody.

If the law doesnt permit it they will change the law so it does. You are not secure anywhere.
If they can sanktion Russia and freeze $300 billion of its overseas assets, how can you think they cant do anything to you?

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Jan 11, 2024 2:05 PM
Reply to  Keith Ford

Try not paying your council tax if you want to find out what you “own”

Paul
Paul
Jan 11, 2024 9:44 PM

Have not paid it for two years and nothing has been taken from me. It’s an illusion. They can’t do sht because it’s not an obligation.

Neil
Neil
Jan 13, 2024 12:35 PM
Reply to  Paul

Even within the normal ‘law’ millions of people seem entitled to a council tax reduction, often to zero. Few people know about this means-tested concession to the less well-off. So they go on paying the full tax.

george bernard shaw
george bernard shaw
Jan 11, 2024 6:13 PM
Reply to  Keith Ford

This is interesting. Why aren’t you canceled for making such an offensive, and factual, point?

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Jan 11, 2024 10:16 AM

comment image?_nc_cat=103&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=efb6e6&_nc_ohc=n5EW0dy5xQkAX8vNlUw&_nc_ht=scontent-dub4-1.xx&oh=00_AfDGlhTrLLV1A9dyV6o04U_iVOt7yjOtygiWUIDJDkW_bA&oe=65A52054

niko
niko
Jan 11, 2024 7:28 AM

The trick seems to stop thinking there’s some solution of happiness in captivity and start and keep looking for ways of living beyond the wall.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 11, 2024 10:59 AM
Reply to  niko

…paywall. Fixed it.

YourPointBeing
YourPointBeing
Jan 11, 2024 5:50 AM

You can’t have happiness without sadness.

People should aim for contentment, not happiness.

Perhaps happiness is living in japan getting paid by the pentagon……

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 11, 2024 7:20 AM
Reply to  YourPointBeing

Your accusation being?

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Jan 11, 2024 10:12 AM
Reply to  YourPointBeing

of course you can, you can have joy/bliss without sadness.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 11, 2024 5:30 PM
Reply to  YourPointBeing

You are right. We are back to real life.
Read about Nikki Haley’s way to the US Presidency behind a pay wall of $100 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/01/11/chris-christie-could-help-nikki-haley-trump-new-hampshire/ .
You cant have your pudding without money. Just saying.

Mark Vossler MD
Mark Vossler MD
Jan 11, 2024 3:56 AM

Happiness
What is this that stirs my soul?
Name it’s price, I’ll pay the toll.

It’s said you can not find this bliss.
Yet you may have it if you wish.

They say, “Seek not till you are numb”
For to the “seekers” it never comes.

And once it is known, upon a meeting.
It’s conscience life is quickly fleeting.

So, seek it not, just let it be.
And you may find that joy is free.
Mark Vossler 1982

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 11, 2024 10:34 PM

Salient and succinct Mark.
Thank you.

Big Al
Big Al
Jan 11, 2024 3:45 AM

“Happiness is a warm gun”.

NickM
NickM
Jan 11, 2024 4:17 PM
Reply to  Big Al

“Anger, sweeter than honey” — Homer, The War with Troy.

Jeffrey Strahl
Jeffrey Strahl
Jan 10, 2024 11:32 PM

I hope this is NOT what you mean.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jan 10, 2024 10:30 PM

DEEP PURPLE “Hush” (HD official) from “Celebrating Jon Lord”

Ann in Oregon
Ann in Oregon
Jan 11, 2024 2:52 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

Love it. It made me happier.

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 11, 2024 4:54 AM
Reply to  Ann in Oregon

In my experience this is one of the most beautifully melodic and thoughtfully worded songs I have ever heard.
Poetry put to music Ann. Enjoy:

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 10, 2024 9:58 PM

Happiness is our natural state.

Witness a baby in a crib gurgling away, oblivious to the man made stressors of the world, smiling and content within themselves unless they are hungry or uncomfortable.

As they grow they start to fall under the influence of their unhappy parents and the unhappy world.

They are surrounded by distractions from their natural state, and many well meaning people telling them they must do this, they must do that, they must conform.

Then they take on the weight of the world in the form of worry, conflicting thoughts, ambition, apprehensive thinking, ruminating and reminiscing.
They are no longer present. In the now.

We learn UNHAPPINESS from those around us.
Happiness is the absence or the ridding of learned behaviour or disposition.

Living is hard.
Living is finding our way in the get and take world.
Life is the feeling of simply being on an awesome Earth.

We don’t have to be some-one or some-thing.
We just have to BE.

Ann in Oregon
Ann in Oregon
Jan 11, 2024 3:00 AM
Reply to  Johnny

The get and take world indeed.

NickM
NickM
Jan 11, 2024 7:10 AM
Reply to  Johnny

“Witness a baby in a crib gurgling away, oblivious to the man made stressors of the world, smiling and content within themselves unless they are hungry or uncomfortable.
As they grow they start to fall under the influence of their unhappy parents and the unhappy world.”

Reminds me of the FranceTV series about a happy, confident little girl called Lou and her unhappy timorous mother. It struck me that what made that single-parent mother worry was the burden of maintaining her child’s happiness and confidence in “this tough world” (Shakespeare, King Lear).

No wonder that baby is smiling; all she has to do is bawl and her parents come running to feed her and comfort her.

Johnny
Johnny
Jan 11, 2024 10:29 PM
Reply to  NickM

Babies do not plan or plot, they react. They react to hunger, to discomfort and pain.

Babies are simply Being. Innocent Beings of Life and Love.
The plotting and planning comes later. They learn it from those around them.

Children learn to manipulate very early because they are rewarded with ‘things’ instead of Love and lessons in understanding.
“Give him/her a toy or turn the TV on!”

Enter the future manipulator.
Enter Unhappiness.

AntiSoof
AntiSoof
Jan 11, 2024 3:38 PM
Reply to  Johnny

Yes, we must be. But, one has to be aware. Many people are walking in a dream state. Self awareness is good. How can one be happy, if he don’t know WHO is happy?
So, children are happy and fall in the ‘ego’ state of mind. Nobody learns them later to wake up for reality. We need teachers who learn people tot become self-aware. Its a gift to humanity, but it seems hidden for must of us.
People who are not self-aware can not learn how to be happy. It is difficult to understand. We are nature, free as a bird. Who talks different is a. not fair/criminal, or b. unaware.

Personally I did the non-dualistic road combined with Christ and Boeddha. Non-dualisme learns to grow aware. We are not words, nor objects, we are.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jan 10, 2024 9:30 PM

Tip of the iceberg covid next
‘The Most Widespread Miscarriage Of Justice’ Mr Bates vs The Post Office | Good Morning Britain”

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Jan 11, 2024 10:46 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

Just an aside on this:

When this drama aired I asked myself “Why now? ”

Why would they allow such a damning portrayal of the Post Office and, by extension, the government ?

How about this:

The money that the postmasters were supposed to have stolen was all in CASH.

If cash was taken out of the equation then these poor people could not have found themselves in this position.

What’s the betting this is going to used as an argument for CBDC.

Making sense now ?

Thom
Thom
Jan 11, 2024 11:12 AM

When the media are united over one story, and put up ‘ordinary people’ as victims/heroes, it is safe to assume they are up to something. Possibly this Post Office story is some way to degrade or sell off the rest of the Post Office, or help competitors, whether Amazon or the courier firms. The fact is it’s not a big scandal in the scheme of things – nothing like AstraZeneca’s ‘vaccines’ or imprisoning the public during 2020, for example, which the media have been ignoring.

Judith
Judith
Jan 11, 2024 5:52 PM

Yup

Veri Tas
Veri Tas
Jan 10, 2024 9:17 PM

Just follow your inner voice along the path to happiness.

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 11, 2024 1:22 AM
Reply to  Veri Tas

Yes, the one behind your heart. Not any below or above that location, as those are market places of external forces.

Paul
Paul
Jan 11, 2024 1:22 PM
Reply to  Veri Tas

Which “inner voice” though? They can be of good and evil. We have to discern which is which otherwise the murderer can say “I was just following my inner voice”.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jan 10, 2024 9:03 PM

It helps, if you have got as old of and play the latest versions of snap after a childhood decorated childrens story involving a young cat..if you want to involve the entire family including the cat…she couldn’t stop looking at herself in the book…and our one year old and her brother “cat” .she is a lovely kitten – and all the children love her. They do not pull her tail…just part of the family.

My wife is completely brilliant with young children, but even she couldn’t keep up with the kids with the latest version of snap. Its about rapid visual identfication of two round cards placed upside for everyone to see.

Paul
Paul
Jan 10, 2024 8:19 PM

A sense of freedom. Being loved unconditionally. Knowing the truth.
I never had any of the above until at 39 I was born again – of the spirit (in Christ).

Paul
Paul
Jan 11, 2024 2:12 PM
Reply to  Paul

The fool says in his heart, “there is no God”.

underground poet
underground poet
Jan 11, 2024 5:04 PM
Reply to  Paul

Its been proved that there is a god of destruction, a god of production, now this is debatable.

Paul
Paul
Jan 11, 2024 9:46 PM

We were created. Only a fool could think otherwise.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jan 10, 2024 7:32 PM

Corbett is Great, but I am somewhat Older him – but only slightly older than the man accused by all the media of being guilty re the ICL/Fujitsu(Bracknell)/ Government thing / Post Office – My wife has been watching on the Telly.

Yes, I did work in ICL Bracknell for 6 weeks…..

I worked in ICL at West Gorton and Ashton-U- Lyne and represented the company I was working for with the UK CCA Central Computer Agency…

We wouldn’t do that…might have had some parties, but we told the truth – were honest – 1970’s kids….If the software was not crap – which means it works a bit, none of us would claim it was perfect

And if you are running a major software project – you have as The Systems Administrator enormous responsibility – cos you can see and potentially alter anything. Of course you can gain access to any connected screen in the system

What I did, was to tell The Management about all these Security Flaw, and insist we employ a couple of Security Experts to clean it up a bit…

What you do not do is what ICL/Fujitsu/Bracknell Did

I am disgusted with you and don’t want to see you again

If you can’t be honest when placed in such a position of trust – why are you here, except to destroy innocent people lives, and destroy local communities cos the local postmaster, wife and family have been accused of fraud.

Even The Americans in my experience aren’t that bad they have morals

Jimmie Joe
Jimmie Joe
Jan 10, 2024 7:26 PM
Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jan 11, 2024 11:13 AM
Reply to  Jimmie Joe

Poor CNN. Really, so bad bad Israel is censuring innocent crybaby CNN? Cry me a river  😭