"People are at their happiest if they are true to themselves. I think that applies to their chosen profession, friends and relationships...If you are true to yourself, it seems to me everything should work out pretty well."
- Bebe Neuwirth
- Bebe Neuwirth
I realize that this quote isn't by a happiness scholar or a famous philosopher, but there's no reason that an actress couldn't come up with a truly profound statement about happiness. Honesty is difficult in a world where little white lies are used constantly. Honesty to oneself can be even more difficult. The phase "Ignorance is bliss" is frequently used, but this quote seems to go against it.
How can you be honest to yourself about your profession? First of all, it's important to know if what you're doing is your calling in life or something you're doing to pay the bills. Those who are happiest tend to understand the difference between the two and they spend ample time on doing what they love in the world. You also need to be honest with yourself about how much stress is a necessary evil at your job and how much you're creating for yourself. Those who can keep their negative emotions out of their jobs are frequently more full of joy.
Do you have an honest relationship with your friends? I think that happiness can be majorly enhanced by having several close, caring and honest relationships. Some people try to collect friendships like Pokémon, thinking that if they get more than everybody else they've somehow won. Since many of these friendships have the chance of being superficial, you risk the possibility that these relationships won't have a lot of honesty. They'll be used for drinking and partying as opposed to having a person you can actually talk to about life. It doesn't matter if you have a lot of friends if the ones you have are awesome.
Are your relationships with your significant other and your family honest? The best relationships at fostering happiness are the ones in which you and your partner are on the same page. This doesn't mean that you have to have the same exact goals or the same movie preferences. It just means that each of you know what your goals are and you're both supportive of each other achieving them. The same goes for family. If your family is supportive of what you want in life and you give your family the support they need back, you can't help but have a happier life. Honesty is scary sometimes with your partner or your family, because you might worry that saying certain things might push them away. In the end though, honesty with them and with yourself will lead to a happiness that lasts.
Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated.
Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page.