Sunday, 21 February 2010

Storms in tea cups

I remember reading an article about happiness some time ago. It identified many criteria that those with a generally happy disposition tended to have.

There were not many surprises. It stated, for example, that severe poverty can have a negative impact on happiness but once all basic needs are met, there is no correlation between increased wealth and an increase in happiness (although many strive for wealth, I assume, with the idea it will make them happier which is not surprising considering the conditioning we receive in the capitalist western world!). It spoke about 'flow', personal 'wiring' and health and so on.

However, the one happiness criteria that stood out for me was, 'the ability to transcend pettiness.' It is remarkable how we can sometimes let something that is, in the large scheme of things, quite insignificant, annoy or upset us to the point of it being detrimental to our happiness and wellbeing.

Which brings me to one of my more serious catchphrases. When a storm kicks off in a tea cup, I will admit, I can become embroiled - like many - I suspect. However, I can find the exit when I re-guage with the thought, 'some parents watch their children die in their arms from starvation.' It's usually all I need to put things back into perspective and feel humbled by my own stupidity!


  1. O.K. I have decided to see to the end of Feb and write a post a day. That's four months of continuous daily posts. Then I am going to try very hard NOT to blog every day as I fear I might be a little addicted and perhaps believe something bad will happen if I don't produce a post-a-day!. If I spontaneous combust on March 1st - I will know that it was the blogging that was keeping me safe!

    Hey - this comment makes me sound unhinged! Yay!

    I think what I am saying is... some people give you stick for writing a blog every day. They might have a point - there are better theings to do. I will prove to them that I can take it or leave it! I will. Now that's public, it'll work!

  2. I use The Great War, but then you knew that.

    it just ticks all the buttons, or pushes all the boxes or something...

  3. The ability to transcend pettiness. Spot on. Does it matter? No? Then don't sweat it. Choose your battles, fight the important ones.

  4. somebody said, "don't sweat the small stuff." oh, i think that was me. only i didn't say it first. i do like to say it, alas mostly to others tho' because when it comes to ME not sweating the small stuff, i tend not to listen to my own advice.
    however, i agree, that it could be a BIG part of the secret to happiness. that and a few million on the lottery.
    come on. money is the TRUE root of happiness. we ALL know that.
    what am I supposed to read then if you don't blog every day? completely selfish.

  5. I completely agree with Cogitator...leave the small stuff and fight only when it's important...that way it has more impact!!

    A blog a day....I am in awe of your output!! I'm struggling to manage two or three a month!! *Hangs head in shame*

    C x

  6. Things are never as bad as they seem. Well maybe if you've just been bitten by a Western Diamondback rattle snake and it's a long way into town.

  7. To commit to daily blogging is quite hard really - and it is sometimes difficult for people (i.e. me :p) to keep up with the output. Good luck - and yes, blogging can be addictive but it does eventually wear off. Not the urge to blog - but the urge to blog continuously.

    As for being a naturally happy person - yes, that charge has been laid at my door quite often. I am an optimist really and don't tend to be very petty.I bet you're not either really (petty, I mean)

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  9. In regards to Happiness & Poverty: Very few people in the rich western world ever ask themselves the question of: How little do I need to live on ?

    The frequency of blogging & the subject matter is entirely
    the concern of the blogger. It has nowt to do with anyone else :)

  10. Mr T – that makes me think these thoughts need a name. Perspective finders. PFs Perspective focus shifty....or something.xxxx

    Codgi – I wonder if one person’s pettiness is another’s big issue? Mmm. To me...most things are petty!!! I am quite good at avoiding real pettiness but can sometimes become embroiled when I am caught off-guard . After my dad died, I regularly used the catchphrase, ‘what does it matter, we all die in the end.’ I had to be brought back to focusing on small things!!! But I do think lots of us need little reminders now and then!xxx

    Clipster – yes we’re all better at giving advice than living by it!!!! That needs a saying...something the cake you serve or time for the mirror to stand in front of you or train the advicetaurus to return home.

    I know, I know....absolutely selfish!!! I know I will write a post on 1st March and try not to publish it. I can keep spouting this stuff...I just want to prove to myself that I can take it or leave it!!!xxxx

    Carol -yes – less is always more when it comes to impact. Everyone always listens to the quiet person in the meeting!
    And less is more when it comes to blogging – surely. xxx

    Eric – Living up to your leftfield reputation xxxx

    FF – Yes if I write less, people might comment more – as they’ll be more time for them to. I think you’re optimism shines through FF – very obviously. xxx

    Heronster – I think you’d like Chris – Mr ECO – the chap I blogged about in the ‘acquisition’ post: xxx
    Consumption has undoubtedly gone crazy for most

  11. Your blog title reminded me of a wonderful little artwork I saw in Ireland.....

  12. Yes, I am happy whenever I have enough money so I don't have to worry about paying all my bills for the month, any more than that I doubt would have much effect on me! But if I don't have enough money for the month then I will probably be very stressed and unhappy until things get back on track.

    I tend to think of happiness as the natural state people are in unless something goes wrong, but I think maybe that is just me. Of course it can be enhanced if really great things happen!

    I really like the feeling of "flow", had been missing that for quite a while. Really pleased that I have got back into writing now to unleash my creativity and really enjoy myself! The only sad thing is that report season is coming up so I daren't start a new novel just yet.

  13. 'Living up to your leftfield reputation'

    Yes, and much like your blogging, I don't *have* to be left field all of the time. I can stop for a while if necessary, really. I'm fairly sure :/

  14. Hi Molls, Hmmm Perhaps the importance of an issue is entirely subjective....I wonder?

    Here comes the feeling/thinking split again :) I tend to use the question "Will this matter in a year's time?" If the answer is no, it's a small thing. So if I can show you that it won't matter to you in a year's time either, is it necessarily a small thing for you too?

  15. Eric - I always like your angle...never know where you're going to come in from! Thank you.

    Codgi - yes...feelers launch into evaluative judgements readily - which by their nature are not always rational (how do I feel about that) and can benefit from just looking at the facts - if they can learn to!!!

    I have added a couple of comments to my Myers Briggs and Book club posts. (I know you like MB). You might want to read them.

  16. I looked - and added more to book club post.


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