The other day me and my cousin were talking about many things and among them came up happiness and how to be happy or some other dumb crap like that. A couple days later he linked me to this article from menshealth.com. It made me think about a lot of things. Like I didn’t realize he reads Men’s Health. He smokes a pound of marijuana a week, I’m pretty sure health is the furthest thing from his mind. That’s actually not true. He’s quitting marijuana, much like most weed smokers it’s for what seems like the 100th time, and he’s very involved in his health. He was in the army for awhile, where he got in the best shape of his life. And then bootcamp ended and he was sent to his base where apparently they drank and partied a lot. If you look at the USA’s army budget it says they spend six billion dollars on Amenities which has an asterisk by it and if you scroll to the bottom of the page it says “*by Amenities we mean alcohol.”
The article, which I better have linked to, basically says that according to studies done by June Gruber, psychology professor at Yale University (you have to put the Ph. D part too) does anyone care if she has a Ph. D (she went to who knows how many years of school no doubt paying well into the six figure all for the purpose of being able to say she has a Ph. D) fine, I’ll give her some due respect. So this bitch with the Ph. D – calm down people, bitch was used solely for the joke of it, I’m sure she’s a good person – says that in order to be happy you can’t try to be happy, because that just gets in the way.
In her study she had one group of people read a newspaper article about the advantages of happiness and then watch an uplifting movie and another group read a newspaper article with no mention of happiness in it and then watch the same uplifting movie. And apparently the people who didn’t read about happiness were happier after the movie. It should be mentioned that the movie was Miracle On Ice and one group was made up of Americans and the other were members of the former Soviet Union (that’s not true at all) the article never said it wasn’t the case, so it could be true.
No offense Miss, or perhaps Misses, Gruber, but your years of college, and Ph. D, and being a professor at Yale are useless (except in terms of being successful in life) because I could have told you this without your control group experiment. Throughout life I remember hearing about how places like Seattle and surprising Yale University have high rates of suicide, and often time people say it’s because they’re dreary, rainy places, but also it’s because those are places with people of high IQs. And to simplify the reasoning smart people want to do good in life and realize they can do good and strive to be great and possibly too great and when they aren’t doing as good as they think they should be they get depressed and that leads to suicide. I’ve known this for years now. The reason dumb people are so happy is because they don’t think about doing better in life. I don’t necessarily think it’s that they don’t want to do better in life, I mostly think it’s that they don’t realize they’re doing so shitty in life, or at least if they do realize it somehow they find a way to not think about it, probably by watching shows like Two And A Half Men, or getting drunk with their buddies all the time, or attending church (wow, cheap shot).
June, I think we’re on a first name basis now, later goes on to say that people shouldn’t try to be happy. Instead they should “shift [their] focus to activities that are meaningful or pleasurable to [them].” But while doing it they shouldn’t be doing it as a means to happiness, but rather because…um…well frankly I don’t really know what the fuck anybody would be doing it for. I mean she says if you go to a bar don’t go with the expectations of being happy but instead think of it as getting some relaxation, or just talking with some friends. But aren’t those things that make people happy? And if you’re doing them not to be happy but knowing that not trying to be happy is how to be happy isn’t that actually trying to be happy? I mean after reading this the only way to really not try to be happy is to somehow ingrain this notion subconsciously in your head and then erase your memory of the passed hour hoping that somehow it reminds deep inside you and your mind puts it to work, but there’s only like a 20% chance of that happening.
I do think lowering expectations can be a good thing. When me and Nathan used to go clubbing or to bars he would always be excited and hoping he’d meet a sweet, charming, slutty girl he could take home and bang, those weren’t his exact words, and time and time again he would be disappointed because apparently chicks aren’t as slutty as the incredibly hot, confident, suave guy I talk to about girls with would lead me to believe. It’s like there’s something about him girls find attractive. I would kill to be incredibly hot, confident and suave – the sad part is there is actually very little I would give to be all that.
So eventually I told Nathan that he’s gotta stop wanting it so much, and needs to be happier for the smaller victories. And guess what, it didn’t work at all, he was still pretty devastated every night. The reason being that you can’t really change the way you think, at least not quickly. He can say all he wants to do is have a nice conversation with a girl and then go do it and he’ll still be disappointed because he really wants more. And I can say I won’t be happy unless I get my dick sucked by Megan Fox and then go out have a nice conversation with a girl, not even get her number, and be ecstatically happy after the night, although the next day I’ll be miserable because I’m a negative person and always find the downsides in life, like how for reasons unknown my “won’t be happy unless” situation was having Megan Fox suck me off when in reality I don’t like Megan Fox all that much, and sure I wouldn’t turn down the blow job, but I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it.