The problem with happiness

Last night the CBC aired an Ideas program called Say No To Happiness. I found it a good one for further understanding the problem with the pressure to be happy.

In it, Ideas producer Frank Faulk interviews the following people (whom I’ve listed in order to provide links and easy reference).

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Daniel Polish, author of Talking About God: Exploring the Meaning of Religious Life with Kierkegaard, Buber, Tillich and Heschel

Todd Kashdan, author of Designing Positive Psychology

Jordan B. Peterson, author of  Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

The show’s introductory blurb indicates that the pursuit of happiness and the need for meaning in life exist in tension. The discussion of the difference between joy and compassion as desirable outcomes, and the bit on radical discontent, are particularly helpful to me. 

I am having a hard time writing about my responses to the problem with happiness today. But the following two songs help to convey some of my current moodiness. The first is kind of hipster.

The second is kind of country. I like to keep an open mind. If any one thing actually produces happiness in me, it is that.

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1 Response to The problem with happiness

  1. michael says:

    Crud. The thing I hate about your posts: I have to think so much! Ahhh!

    (But, in all seriousness, I’m sick of happiness being the be-all and end-all of existence. What the hell kind of stories would we tell if we were all so unbearably boringly happy?)


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