The Happiness Found in Doing Things!

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I just finished an impressive article from The Huffington Post on The Hidden Key to Happiness. Joe Robinson, author of Don’t Miss Your Life, addresses an interesting attitude about finding and discovering happiness in life. He explains that it is more about the doing then the acquiring.

Experiences ultimately bring us more happiness than possessing material objects because experiences allow us to live in the now. Robinson explains that by immersing yourself in an activity, whether it be a vacation, a dance class or even dinner with friends, you are much more alive in the moment. You allow yourself to step outside of your typical worries about yesterday and tomorrow and live in the now. It is crucial to get into the “life participant column” says Robinson. ¬†Another thought-provoking concept that Robinson found in the research for his book is that people actually like you better when they see you as someone with interesting life experiences.

“Do too much watching and not enough experiencing and you wind up looking in the window of life.” ~Joe Robinson

Robinson writes that we are too focused on our careers and seek too much of our happiness from the day-to-day schedule, performance evaluations and paychecks. He says we need to disconnect and not see spending time doing enjoyable things as “slacking.”

I definitely fall into that category. I work 80 plus hours a week. When I’m not eating dinner or watching a reality show, I’m working. The irony isn’t lost on me that I watch more “reality” than live it.

But at least I am recognizing the changes I need to make. I need to stop making to do lists and start doing things. I need to log off from my virtual world and connect with the real world. I need to step away from work from time-to-time and step into new activities and gatherings. My goal for the new year is to start taking more time for myself, start enjoying life more and start living in the now. Yes, it is going to be baby steps. You can’t dive right in to a new way of life, but it is the thoughtful and concerted effort that counts. It is being aware that changes need to be made. It is recognizing the flaws in the system and making strides to fix them.

Do you live in the now? Do you value experiences over material objects? What are you NOT doing that you wish you were?

The Future of News

I am intrigued by the current debate going on over the future of print journalism. Recently, The Daily Beast, weighed in with their opinions on the fate of print journalism. It is an interesting argument coming from one of the new leaders in online news and opinion. But here is the question, are sites like The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Women on the Web providing enough impartial journalism or are they too heavily weighted with opinion pieces?

Jill Abramson, managing editor of the New York Times, spoke at NYU recently and provided her observations on the importance of strong investigative reporting and print journalism. But can’t strong reporting come on the web? Is it the immediacy that causes people to consider it to be insignificant or inaccurate?¬† It is that the rush of getting the story out FIRST propels most websites into disseminating news before it is checked for accuracy or fact? This is the primary problem that leads to a lack of trust with online sources. However, in the world of topical issues, the more voices heard, the more accurate the understanding of the issue at hand. If you search for how the recession is affecting relationships, you find a number of personal, well thought out and well written stories about people’s reaction to the current economic downturn. This is the internet at its best. I think websites excel when they adopt the “Lifestyle Section” method for delivering information. These are the stories that people want to send around, talk about, use to create a dialog and post comments and reactions.

Yes, websites don’t have the same strict and stringent editorial process, but that doesn’t mean the information or news they provide is any less valid. In certain ways it mirrors how we, as a society, think and work, moment to moment with things changing all the time.