A Happier Life?

As you may have noticed, I took considerable time off posting to contemplate a number of things.

First my interest in studying happiness led me to attend the First World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association based around the first MA course set up Marty Seligman of Penn State, whose book, Learned Optimism, I always highly recommend). The inexpensive, well-attended (1500) conference was great and all the ‘who’s who’ of Positive Psych presented – Diener, Haidt, Fredrickson (many of whom I’ve mentioned in posts previously) and many others, some known, others not so much. An amazing amount of research has been done in 10 years of the concept’s short life and a number of countries have actually absorbed the general principles as a way of measuring the success of government policy. After all, what is the purpose of government if not to create the environment for happier lives. Perhaps this is even a concept business might look at. We know for a fact that happier employees are more productive. More on this as we go forward.

Second, I spent considerable time thinking about why I don’t post more. And concluded, not totally surprisingly, that I only feel like doing so when I think I have something of value to say. What a novel concept. Of course, it’s very personal since, like most sites now, there is some unknown, potentially large number of people who MAY be reading some of this, but typically a lot fewer than 1% comment, so you have no real measure. Perhaps there are thousands of people out there just dying to hear everything that pops into my head. Somehow I pretty much doubt that. If so, I apologize, but you’re always welcome to let me know.

In the mean time, I will stick to my new timetable – whenever something is significant in my opinion. I’m not in this to pump out posts every day or attract business or a huge following, but to see if ideas can evolve into useful forward movement. With so many blogs and discussion groups desperate for readers, attention and significance, I’m happy not to compete every day. It will either add up to value in the long run or it won’t. Over time the Internet needs better ways to help people locate material of true interest to them. Maybe then the right people will find what they need here. In the mean time I’ll keep at it. occasionally.

Third, this coincided with some thinking about ‘full retirement’ whatever that might look like. I concluded that for me it probably looks like what I’m doing – bits of this and that – work, volunteering, travel, etc., all melded together. My idea of great travel was going to the conference, for instance. And I’m blessed with a spouse who is happy to tour those towns on her own and then guide me to the best parts we can share together.

My main conclusion was I should stop soul-searching about all of it – the ‘worry’ was a drag and I enjoy the stuff I do. While I don’t market, the work coming in is just fine. I like to be engaged and hopefully always will be, but not at the expense of a strenuous sales effort. Again, either people are interested or they’re not. Wouldn’t it be great if the world could work this way for everyone. It’s great that people write about what they and others are doing and keep us aware of new products and services. We all want to hear about things we think might improve our lot, but. do we really want the hard-driving sales ‘attack’ that so many businesses feel they must keep up?