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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“Meaningless” Sex and “Senseless” Violence

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 22 2022

I find it very strange that I get two main responses to my book: “That’s obvious,” and “That’s definitely not it.” I get that people can either agree with you or disagree with you and that it’d be pretty contentious being on a topic like this, but what surprises me is how people treat the answer to what many people believe is life’s biggest questio...

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Own Your Choices

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 15 2022

Depending on how you count what a “choice” is, you’ll make hundreds of thousands to billions and billions of choices in your lifetime.  Choices include the big ones like which school to go to, which jobs to apply for, and whether or not you marry or reproduce as well as the little ones like where you focus your attention at any given time or whethe...

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Why People Argue So Vehemently Over Politics

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 8 2022

Everyone knows the sensitive topics in the presence of polite company: religion, politics, and money. Money makes sense, as it breeds jealousy, and religion can spark deep debates about the meaning of the universe.  So why is politics such a hot topic?  Let’s discuss. You might think that this is obvious: politics is tribal; people align to a trib...

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If Your Beliefs Don’t Benefit You, Change Them

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 1 2022

A belief is anything that you assume to be true.  A subset of beliefs is knowledge, which are things that you know to be true because you have proven them in your reality.  Ideally, people want to bring their beliefs in line with reality to prevent harm, pain, and disappointment.  However, all beliefs that something is not possible when it actually...

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No One Cares (and That’s a Good Thing)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 25 2022

Humans are a social species.  As such, they are naturally drawn to human interaction.  Small talk, for example, is the ultimate example of picking inconsequential topics to discuss to begin conversations and develop relationships with others.  As people get to know each other, they can then move into more sensitive or in-depth topics with a greater...

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Don't Wait for Conditions to Improve to Begin Your Journey

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 18 2022

In my blog post a few weeks ago, “If You Want to Be Happy, Then You Have to Be Happy”, I spoke about how if you wait for things to be better before you’re happy, then you are making yourself miserable now for a future that either will come (and you’ll have been miserable for no reason up until then) or will never come (and you’ll always be miserabl...

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“Your Feelings Never Lie to You” vs. “Your Feelings Are Always Right”

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 11 2022

Roger Ebert is famously quoted as saying, “Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”  This is an important point about feelings because your emotions are giving you critical feedback about three things: your experiences (e.g., “AHHHH!!!  I’m on fire!”), your desires (e.g., “I really could go for a cheeseburger right...

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Addressing Pushback on the Growth-Centric View of Meaning

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 4 2022

As discussed in The Meaning of Life: A guide to finding your life’s purpose, growth underlies humans’ sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.  Whether it’s helping others grow, growing themselves, or developing relationships through fun and excitement, growth is key to meaning.

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You Can Raise Your Emotional State at Will

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 27 2022

Many people think that their emotional state is almost exclusively due to the reality that they are experiencing.  After all, basic biology and psychology teach the classic “stimulus-response” model in living organisms where a change in the environment will trigger a response in the affected creature.  This is mostly true, as life forms that did no...

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