Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happiness is a Choice... So choose to be happy!

Our life is filled with up hills and maybe even more down hills. Most of us may not have had an easy life, but i think sometimes is our state of mind that determines the outcome of our short journey on earth...

The following words are some thoughts by Karl Ericson . I was very much moved by these thoughts. After all the best natural remedy of all for our mind, body and soul, is happiness...

Barry Kaufmann the founder of the Option Institute  and student of Bruce Marsico, the creator of the Option Method, has stated a fundamental and important secret of Happiness which is that "Happiness is a choice". In fact that is the title of one of his books. The reaction I would have had a while back to a statement like that would have been that it is nonsense. I would have said "I want to be happy and I'm not, so it is absurd to say that happiness is a choice. External tragic events can happen over which I have no control so happiness is not a choice. 

In 100 A.D. Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher once said

What disturbs people's minds
is not events
but their judgments on events.

More than 1800 years later this sentence is quoted by both rational emotive and cognitive therapists.   Throughout history this wisdom has been put forth by different people.  Marcus Aurelius said:
Life is
what your thoughts
make it. 
Abraham Lincoln said:
A person
will be just about as happy
as they make up their minds
to be. 

Charles Popplestone (whoever he was) said:
You cannot
always control circumstances,
but you can control
your own thoughts

    We have some degree of control over our reaction to events and to that extent happiness is a choice.  The more we understand about happiness the more power we have to achieve it and the more it becomes a choice.

     Often people do not choose happiness. That may sound strange, one would expect that everyone would choose to be happy if they were in the position to do so. If I am anxious to get something done quickly I sometimes tell myself that I have to hurry and things will be bad if I don't hurry and by doing so create anxiety within myself.  What I am doing is choosing to be nervous rather than happy in order to get something that I want. If I am worried about something happening e.g. losing a job, I might make myself more worried than I already am so that I will take action to prevent myself from losing the job.  In this case making myself afraid and unhappy is a defense mechanism against the threat of losing my job.  Likewise I disapprove of myself if I spend my time on enjoyable activities other than work.  This is another way to motivate myself to spend more time working.  My choice to disapprove of myself is a choice to be unhappy since that is the end result.  Of course if I lose my job because I didn't spend enough time on work I'd be unhappy as well but the point I'm making here is that for whatever reason, people sometimes choose to feel unhappy.  In addition to generating anxiety to motivate ourselves I sometimes don't want to be happy because I want to fight against a threat.  It might make me feel important to think I can do something against the threat of terrorism for example and that might be a reason I want to think about doing that instead of trying to be happy.
    Not all emotions are by choice.  We may be naturally anxious about a situation.  We may be frustrated because things aren't going our way.  In these situations we can choose to try and not feel this way or to feel this way even more strongly.  Sometimes I dwell on things that I am upset about because I want to change them. Once I have made a plan of action to deal with the situation dwelling on the situation doesn't help and just generates unhappiness.  Yet sometimes I dwell on it anyway and so make myself unhappy.   We can call motivating oneself by creating unhappiness "negative self motivation".

Barry Kaufmann described negative self motivation beautifully in his book  To Love is to Be Happy With.  He wrote,
    I realized how I had used myself against myself because of what I had believed.  I dreaded obesity and rejection in order to motivate myself to diet.   I feared lung cancer so that I could stop smoking.  I became anxious about unemployment as a way of pushing  myself to be more conscientious and to work harder.   I felt guilty to punish myself now in order to prevent myself from repeating a "bad" behavior in the future.  When I surveyed the environment, I saw people punish in order to prevent, fear death in order to live, hate war in order to stay in touch with their desire for peace.  Unhappiness was used as a motivator to help me take care of myself and to try to get more....All this so that eventually I would be happy or fulfilled.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why are soap operas called ''Soap Opera''?

This question has been intriguing my soapy brains I did some investigations and found a great explanation for this question. So here goes...

Soap Opera - Goes back (1939) to the early days of radio suspense serials, which were mainly sponsored by soap-makers; the "opera" part is an echo of the earlier "horse opera"—a Western (1927).

You might be asking now, why would a soap company sponsor such a thing?...

In the 1920s, radio was booming, and broadcasters wanted to get advertisers in on the act to increase their station's profits. So radio stations convinced businesses that sold household goods to sponsor radio shows. 
Since they were on during the day when the viewing audience was predominately housewives the demographic was perfect for companies to promote household cleaning products.
Soon, all the networks had serial aimed at women, and companies selling cleaners and food products rushed to sponsor the shows. For example, Proctor & Gamble's Oxydol soap powder sponsored a popular serial drama in 1933.

Soaps moved from radio to TV along with most entertainment forms in the 1950s. Despite the intervention of evil twins, presumed-dead spouses, vengeful lovers, and the occasional vampire, soap operas have been going strong ever since.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Soap Quotes

Just for a good read ;) ... 

What is elegance? Soap and water!  -Cecil Beaton

I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world -Mark Twain

Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants -William Osler

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope - Bill Cosby

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul -Yiddish Proverb

What soap is to the body, tears are for the soul - Jewish Proverb

...You may charm it with smiles and soap- Lewis Carroll 
Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air and a happy contented spirit -Lillie Langtry

You gotta be careful with your body. Your body is like a bar of soap. The more you use it, the more it wears down. - Richie Allen

There are four things a child needs: plenty of love, nourishing food, regular sleep, and lots of soap and water - Ivy Baker Priest

I am constantly amazed when I talk to young people to learn how much they know about sex and how little about soap - Billie Burke

Love is like a bar of soap, once you think you have it, it slips away- Anon

The clear layer is glycerin. You can mix glycerin back in when you make soap. Or, you can skim the glycerin off. You can mix the glycerin with nitric acid to make nitroglycerin. You can mix nitroglycerin with sodium nitrate and sawdust to make dynamite. You can blow up bridges. You can mix nitroglycerin with more nitric acid and paraffin and make gelatin explosives. You can blow up a building easy. With enough soap, you can blow up the whole world -Chuch Palahniuk

To many people, dramatic criticism must seem like an attempt to tattoo soap bubbles - John Mason Brown

I have wished to see chemistry applied to domestic objects, to malting, for instance, brewing, making cider, to fermentation and distillation generally, to the making of bread, butter, cheese, soap, to the incubation of eggs – Thomas Jefferson

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth. Only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair – C.S. Lewis

He made enemies as naturally as soap makes suds. -Traditional