At Issue: The Happiness Imperative

First of all, I’d like to take the chance to extend a warm welcome to our many new readers.  March has been a month of surprising new growth, not just outside with the early spring but for our blog, and we are genuinely happy to have you all join us.

The happiness that comes from knowing that readers enjoy our work is a true and long-lasting reward.  But what about other kinds of happiness?  The more fleeting, less sustaining kind?

This month at 4 Mothers, we are looking at The Happiness Imperative.  It seems that lately, you can’t swing a cat without hitting someone’s happiness column.  Sarah Hampson has one in the Globe & Mail, Chatelaine has its own Happiness Plan, and, of course, there is Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, both book and blog, and soon, her Happier at Home, the much-anticipated follow-up to The Happiness Project, will hit the shelves.

But is all this advice and striving to be happy what we should really be pursuing?  Is there a down side to the barrage of advice on how to be happy?  Here is an interesting article on the pressure to be happy from Psychology Today.

How about you?  Do you find that there is a happiness imperative?  Please do join in our discussions this week.


3 thoughts on “At Issue: The Happiness Imperative

  1. My belief is that there is far too much emphasis on happiness as an end in and of itself. And people have the expectation that they will be “happy” whatever that means. Children are taught that it does not matter what they are so long as they are happy. I think we have lost our way on this and have far too much time to ponder our existence in this manner in post-modern industrial society. Happiness should be a BY-PRODUCT of a job well done, a life well lived, a good deed, a tough obstacle conquered, a job that is challenging. Not a goal. I think we are setting up our children and ourselves for failure by telling them to just be happy when really we should be teaching them or guiding them in the kinds of things that they should be doing, ways they should govern themselves, goals they should set and meet, and the “happiness” will often flow. Happy is also a really banal over-used emotional descriptor. We can replace it with “proud, content, excited, anticipatory, joyful, hopeful, etc” you get the point. I have not read then linked article from psychology today, but I say just say no to say no happy!!

  2. All i know is that you cant measure the true happiness by material means. But when you see that people surrounded you are smiling and happy. Having my first baby is one of the priceless happiness I received this year. God Bless.

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