Happiness

Happiness

Life Is Not a Zero-Sum Game

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 9 2022

Life is all about growth, but we live in a world with a near-incalculable (i.e., how many bottom of the ocean?) number of organisms on it, all competing for growth-enabling resources.  Trees compete for sunlight, animals compete over food and water, and some animals have to eat others to survive.  Naturally, it would seem that the fight-for-your-li...

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Happiness

How You Can Choose to Be Happy

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 26 2022

“Happiness is a choice.” If you’ve ever listened to a self-help guru or optimistic person, you’ll have heard this statement. Many respond with, “Easy for you to say…you have ______. If I had that, I’d be happy, too,” or its opposite, “But you don’t have _______. If you had that, you wouldn’t be happy, either.” To many, happiness seems to be a matte...

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Happiness

The Positive Outcome

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 27 2022

There is one unifying goal in all of life: the positive outcome.  Everyone is looking for that one meaning in life that makes them feel fulfilled: service to others, love, happiness, pleasure, achievement, learning, personal growth, financial success, respect, or appreciation.  The truth is that it is all growth-related, as everyone looks forward t...

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Emotions

If You Want to Be Happy, Then You Have to Be Happy

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 29 2022

Yes, I know the title is a little too cute and seemingly paradoxical.  But the truth is that happiness is a choice as much as it is a response to external stimuli.  Give me a moment to explain how emotions work in humans vs. earlier organisms, and you’ll understand why the title is not a paradox nor a tautology but rather an explanation of—and a pr...

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The Meaning of Life

Happiness is NOT the Meaning of Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 6 2022

Being the most controversial assertion in The Meaning of Life: A guide to finding your life’s purpose, this blog post is probably long overdue.  There is a long-standing belief that the meaning of life is to be happy, and much of positive psychology is focused on maximizing happiness as a result.

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Growth

Money Is the Root of All Awesome

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 23 2022

"Money is the root of all evil."  Yes, it's a cliché because people will do horrible things over money: lie, cheat, steal, fight, and even kill.  It's also the source of much jealousy in this world: some people have it; some people don't; some people resent that others have more than they do (regardless of how much they have).  But most anger, jeal...

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The Meaning of Life

Life Sucks, and Then You Die (Not)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 23 2022

When you’re feeling cynical, miserable, or pessimistic, you are likely to say words to this effect: “Life sucks, and then you die.”  What causes this?  Well, all life situations are a result of nature and nurture: so some of your life outlook is built in your genetics, and some of it comes as a result of your life experiences.

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Planning

Dying Before You Are Recognized

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 29 2021

Everyone dreams of getting recognized for what they’ve done or the kind of person they are.  Many people throughout history inspire people today for all that they’ve done for humanity.  However, there is one depressing reality about many of those people who are revered for their accomplishments: so many of them never achieved even remotely the leve...

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Meaning

Is Money More Important Than Meaning?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 1 2021

Money.  Nothing in this world seems to be both sought after and demonized at the same time.  Can money buy happiness, or is it the root of all evil?  Is it more important to earn money or be happy or feel fulfilled by your career?  How you answer the question will go a long way in what your life path looks like.

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Suffering

What Is Causing Your Existential Crisis?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 11 2021

Humans have advanced cognitive abilities that allow them to think about themselves and the world around them.  That gives them greater survival capabilities, but it also allows them to wallow in despair.  The question is, what causes the latter to occur?  In other words, why are you questioning your existence?

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