Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘happiness

An overlooked secret to effectiveness (and happiness)

Knowing where ‘enough’ is.

More might be better for awhile, but sooner or later, it can’t always be better.

Diminishing returns are the law, not an exception.

If we look to advertisers, marketers, bosses, doctors, partners and suppliers to tell us when we’ve reached ‘enough’, we’re almost certainly going to get it wrong.

It’s okay to stop when you’re happy.

Is more always better? Sometimes, only better is better…

[Chip asked a friend, a professional, how does he know when to stop making things better. His answer, “when my budget runs out,” is a sad commentary on how some of us think about ‘enough’.

It might let you off the hook, but as a professional, isn’t the hook where you want to be?]

“Happiness is Not my job” April 27, 2010

Am I a redundant citizen?

So far, I was not killed in wars,

Civil wars, earthquakes, or road kill.

What now? What am I to do with my life?


Years ahead of me undulating

Unlimited sea to the pelican;

Is my future already traced

A duck drawn on a class board?


Am I to express my dreams in whisper

And groping around

Or am I to let my dreams run down

Rubber liquid, glue seeping off equatorial trees?


I am a crackling wall, I am crumbling

Masons, builders fetch a stone

Prop me up quick

Glacier warming up, cliffing;

Let in virgin forest fresh air

My chest is compressed, poisoned in filth and despair;


I wish badly my many motherlands

Turnover as fast as nude dancers;

Crows swooping away

A pair of wings for a kingdom

I want to visit the dying

I want to turn time around

A child carelessly putting fire to his world


Years passed by

Didn’t play with a toy

Didn’t grab a blanket

Didn’t cry for a shattered land.

Note:  A few images borrowed from the late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

Mid-30s females who hate being told in lack of happiness

“Mid-30s, female, single, no children and living in the western world:

I’ll tell you what I’m really missing. What I’m really missing is a society that stops telling me what I lack in happiness.”

It was a glorious day. In fact, it was so glorious that I couldn’t help but wonder whether I’d accidentally gate-crashed a film set.

The warm spring sun was shining, the flower arrangements were delicately fitting. And my friend simply looked stunning. In her wedding gown. She seemed so happy. And I was so happy for her.

Just before the ceremony was about to start, I lined up with my friends at the bar to get some bubbly. I started chatting to another guest. We talked about how we got to know the bride, and how beautiful the venue was. Then suddenly she asked: “So where did you get married?”

I said: “I’m not married.”

You know that split second when someone hesitates in responding to something you said? As if you just told them you kill kittens for a living? Yeah, that. She gave me that.

And then she just went: “Oh.” And wandered off.

And I was left standing there, prosecco in hand, stunned.

Then I realized I had a problem. A huge problem. I’m in my mid-30s. But I’m not married. And I don’t have kids. So far I haven’t felt so bad about that… But maybe I was wrong.

I realize I should probably sound more apologetic when I tell people I’m not married.

Perhaps I should try a bit harder to make those around me less embarrassed when they meet me. I’m a disgrace. I’m a single lady. I was about to get drunk on lots of prosecco. I’m always the wedding guest — not the bride. And I don’t even own a cat.

What is the world to do with me? What shall I do with myself?

At the time, I just shrugged and went back over to my friends. I told them about the “oh” incident, and we laughed about it.

But the next day, with the wedding over and the world appearing without that romantic filter again, I got angry.

Because that “oh” wasn’t just the careless “oh” of some thoughtless person. No. It was a little more. It was not the first time I — or some of my girlfriends — had come across that “oh.” We’ve all heard it plenty of times. That slightly muted expression of pity, of concern: She’s not married? What is wrong with her?

Let’s see. I’m happy. Some days more than others. But I’m generally happy.

Never before in my life have I so truthfully felt that way. What a gift. Also: I’m healthy. And I feel loved. My family is there for me. Always. I have good friends who would do anything for me, as I would for them.

I like my job. I enjoy what I do every day. Some days more than others. And I meet men. I go on dates.

I enjoy this. Some days more than others. I’m in sync with my age. I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had — good and bad. I feel like a stronger woman because of them.

(Not many married females can boast a couple of these privileges)

Dare I say it? There’s probably nothing seriously wrong with me.

But thinking this through, I’m realizing I might actually have a problem after all — albeit a different one than people think.

I do in fact have a problem with people assuming that there is something wrong with me. Because these are mostly people who blatantly do not live up to their own standards.

Many of us like to see ourselves as very liberal people.

We accept sexual relationships before marriage; we admire independent and successful women. We know that you can have kids well beyond the age of 40. We fought for same-sex marriage.

We know that monogamous relationships are not the be-all and end-all of a life filled with love.

We know that “forever and ever” should maybe not be taken too literally in a country that has high divorce rates.

We are accepting — and in fact, encouraging — of so many different lifestyles, like never before. Which is great. Would anyone wish to live in another decade? Didn’t think so.

Yet we still have a problem with unmarried women. (And worse with unmarried man)

Because a society in which an unmarried woman in her 30s seems worthy of an astonished “oh” suddenly doesn’t seem so liberal after all. Which makes me wonder how liberal we really are towards all these different lifestyles.

When that wedding guest gave me that pitiful look, I could almost sense her scanning me for some fault. What’s wrong with her, she seemed to be checking.

Nothing’s wrong with us single ladies. We are fabulous — that much Sex and the City has taught us. And being fabulous has nothing to do with being in a relationship or not.

A relationship, a marriage even, is not the ne plus ultra of all lifestyles. On the contrary: I’ve never been as unhappy as I’ve been in an unhappy relationship. Loneliness in pairs is the worst kind of loneliness.

Mid-30s, female, single. I’ll tell you what I’m really missing. What I’m really missing is a society that stops telling me what I lack in happiness. This, it seems to me, is the true problem.

A Message to Humanity: Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech, Remixed

From the same remix artist who brought us yesterday’s Alan Watts meditation on the meaningful life comes “A Message for all of Humanity”

A mash up of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator and scenes of humanity’s most tragic and most hopeful moments in recent history, spanning everything from space exploration to the Occupy protests, with an appropriately epic score by Hans Zimmer.

 posted this Nov. 30, 2013

“We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone.

I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another.

Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.

We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone.

And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little.

More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aero-plane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.” The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel!

Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!

You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you!

You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness!

You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves and they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!

Let us fight to free the world!

To do away with national barriers!

To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Many rooms for Happiness (January 29, 2009)

1.      Happiness is: good health short on memory (Ingrid Bergman)

2.      There are pieces always missing in happiness (Bossuet)

3.      It is difficult to find happiness within us; it is impossible elsewhere. (Buddha)

4.      Happiness requires talent; misfortune none (Cocteau)

5.      When you swim in happiness don’t forget keeping a toe on firm ground (Escayrol)

6.      Happiness is not acquiring nor enjoying; it is not desiring to be free (Epictetus)

7.      Happiness is the blues at rest (Leo Ferre)

8.      Happiness is kid’s dream realized in adulthood (Sigmund Freud)

9.      Happiness is rarely current (Gusdorf)

10.  Happiness is attention to details (Liu Hiang)

11.  Happiness is not of reason but of imagination. (Emmanuel Kant)

12.  Happiness is to resume desiring what we already have.(Saint Augustine)

13.  Two serve happiness: faith and love (Charles Nodier)

14.  The largest room in the House of Happiness is the waiting room (Jules Renard)

15.  Happiness doubles every time we share it. (Albert Schweitzer)

16.  Do not proclaim a person happy before he dies (Sophocles)

17.  I have decided to be happy: it is great for health (Voltaire)

18.  Happiness is learning to enjoy solitude (Adonis49)

19.  If you can’t be happy then scrap Heaven: we enjoy what we know. (Adonis49)

20.  Cultivate your garden: happiness is sprouting (Adonis49)

21.  Are you a survivor? Stop searching: you are wrapped with Happiness (Adonis49)

22.  Give me fairness; I’ll be happy for both of us (Adonis49)

You want happiness? Manage your nerves. (November, 10, 2008)


There are three ways to burn energy; on your nerves, your muscles and your brain cells.  I knew subconsciously that the first way is my nemesis which siphoned every drop of energy from me.  Almost 60 years later or until last year I realized that my decisions were guiding me to be relieved of jobs and activities that were nerve consuming.  I focus now on works that require physical and mental activities.  Yes, I hate regular money earning jobs; the thought of a regular job repulse me.  I am working 16 hours a day and do not feel that tired.  I work my garden, I read, write, review books, and publish on  I drive within a couple of miles from home, no traffic jams, no time wasted on the roads, no hard looks, no internal jockeying politics, no orders to receive from redundant bosses, and no forced meetings.  I pay visits three mornings a week a nearby public library; it is very quiet; I am the only fool to patronize libraries; I read all kinds of new manuscripts and magazines and borrow books too.  The library has a nice almost wild garden and Rita or Mary offer me Nescafe with cookies. 

The general impression around me is that I am useless and that I have wasted my life and didn’t make good use of my professional learning or potentials within the paradigm of the fast pace dictum.  I certainly ended up without money, I didn’t build a house and I didn’t marry but finally I have happiness in my heart. So far, I am inclined to believe that I will get my daily bread. One day, I was totally broke and then I won $1000 in the lotto; I paid my yearly fees to the library and my dues to the Order of Engineers and thus secured my health insurance. Once, I needed to submit to a surgery and I asked wealthy contractor money to cover the extra expenses; I didn’t even say it would be a loan or promised to return the money; I just needed the money and I got it.

I wake up early happy, I work in the tiny garden happy, I read happy and I write happy.  I take naps and enjoy my night sleep.  I realized that what I read I didn’t know, what I knew made sense, what made sense are now part of me and I write about all that and disseminate it.  I am no recluse by choice: when I am invited for a hiking trip or an almost free night out then I am ready; I do enjoy a change in the environment and mingling and observing people.

The saddest part is that I feel sad about the people surrounding me who think that I am miserable and might not be a pleasant company to be around because I don’t care for a regular job and cannot afford to go out.  All this is happening when I feel much more open minded and that sharing my joy with a knowing companion or a friend with free time to spend then it would triple my joy!  The problem is that the process of finding a companion should be a nerve wracking endeavor and the odds of her sharing my “lethargic” happy state are pretty slim.  Heck, if I was in the tripling business in the first place I would have committed suicide after the latest Wall Street crash!




July 2020

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