Sunday, December 5, 2010

Final Paper Criticism & Happiness

                     The behavior of being happy is common worldwide but some people are forced to think optimistically, because in their mind they have a fixed presumption that thinking this way would make them happier. There is an idea which says that everyone should be happy, but each person is different and not everyone has to feel elated. There are studies that show happier people have several kinds of symptoms such as sense of an irrational life and more. Also, having the idea that being happy is essential can lead people to purchasing products allowing the marketing industry to grow in profit on peoples’ negative thoughts. Humans are made up of many types of emotions and have different lifestyles that could cause them to feel sadness, angry, depress, or just content there is no reason why everyone has to be happy.
            Even happiness which is considered an ideal has some indication of abnormalities. According to a psychology's founder, Martin Seligman, "it is our negative, pessimistic, thoughts that are maladaptive and happily, as it turns out, vestigial: Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood, and famine, we have a catastrophic brain. The brain [looks at what's wrong" (Ehrenreich 74). If our brain is already looking for what is wrong not everyone can be completely happy all the time. Also, Richard P. Bentall points out that happy people have, "a lack of contact with reality" (70). In their minds they have a much more positive look at things then what people who are less happy. They may detect some of the conflicts in reality and decide that they rather be in a more pleasant environment than reality. This is the point where people start to believe they are great, superior in their achievements, and "believe that others share their unrealistic opinions about themselves" which is not reality (Bentall 70). Happier people try to hide their insecurity. Many people feel insecure sometimes in their life and it is fine to feel that way. There is no need to undergo the emotion of joy if there isn't any.  On the other hand, it may cause depressive realism, which is where depressed people are more accurate in perceptions and judgment. They see things in an overly negative illumination unlike the non-depressed or happier people (Bentall 70). Because those who are depressed may have went through painful events like having a divorce, losing a job, a love one who passed away, or just going through tough times. They see and accept the hardships out there in life, and know that not everything is ideal. 
            People may or may not have any kind of harmful symptoms, but they are always thinking or looking for something that is wrong with them.  They are always the ones who are complaining about some sort of physical or mental pain. They are also the ones who have less happier lives than their friends or co-workers. When considering these problems they would actually look up the solutions to their problems online to become happier. There could be nothing wrong with them, but once they have taken those quizzes about their problems whether they are depressed, obese, etc they could fall into a trap. As a result, they start looking up more solutions or cures and ending up buying the products that are offered. Ehrenreich states, "Google offers more than a million entries on 'positive thinking' covering almost any kind of challenges you might encounter" (72).  These entries or products may not fully perform the tasks many people may think they may do for them. It may lead people into thinking that there is really something wrong with their life or their health. "In 2000, the self-improvement industry -- including books, CDs, seminars, and coaches -- took in $3.35 billion. In 2005, it grossed $5.62 billion, with the coaching market alone growing by almost 500 percent" (Ehrenreich 72). The products the industry offered caused more and more people to start thinking and feeling negatively about themselves which indirectly persuaded them to purchasing more than what they really need. The ones benefiting are the companies who tells people there are issues with their happiness and they need to fix these problems in order to live up to the ideal. By doing this they gain a monetary profit. The companies are so persuasive that people forget they don't have to be happy all the time.
            There is nothing wrong with being a little less happy than those who are always happy. People who are always happy may think this way because they believe it will be good for their health and a better lifestyle, but in a 2002 study in the Times article it was found that "mildly depressed women living longer than nondepressed or more severely depress women" (Ehrenreich 75). Nobody has to be depressed to live longer, but it is fine to feel depress from time to time. Everybody has to go through some sort of obstacle; there are no perfect and constantly blissful lifestyles. Ehrenreich had breast cancer and she had a different life than most healthy people and she said, "I got through my boat of cancer in a state of constant rage…" (76). She cannot feel happy and joyful while having such a grave disease. Even though she had this disease she could still reach the feelings of happiness and any other emotions like other people. In addition, Anne Becker states, “[if someone] become super happy, there are forces that will bring [him/her] back to a more average level [of happiness]" also known as hedonic leveling (Becker 58). There is no way they could be happy forever, as time passes that happiness will start to diminish.
            Allowing happiness to weaken in different times in life is not a dire thing because everyone does not have to be happy; they could be experiencing other kinds of emotions. If people were force to be happy that would not be real joy. Also, there is no reason to cause people to think this way; the results of forcing others to believe they must all be happy will lead people into buying unnecessary products, and development of server symptoms. Elation is something that would be experienced at different times in people's lives, because everyone is different.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Power to Positive Thinking

                   There is power in positive thinking, without it some things might not even happen. Donald Martin states, "[all] of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious." For example, no one likes having a load of unfinished work they think it will take forever, or they think they can wait till later. This will cause them to do it later (more negative thinking). If it was more positive thinking like if they start now they will have more free time later, or they might do a better job if they start now, and this will not be put off till later. It is how people see the work load, how they feel about it, and think about it that causes different actions to happen. Thinking more positively the work will be completed faster and more accurate. In addition, many people think about what they want to be when they are a child, a teenager, and even as an adult. They may even dream about it. Most of the time, it is a positive view of what they want to become not negative. They do not think about all the tough obstacles that are ahead, but the goal at the end. By thinking like this people find ways to get to where they may want to be in life, whether it's about being wealthy, or getting their dream career. Everything we do is based on our thoughts, just like the saying think before you act. On the other hand, just imagining, picturing, or even if it is a positive though is not enough it would be  only half accomplished. The optimistic idea is only like a blueprint of a construction worker. There also has to be some kind of action involved. Without action nothing would be done, the blueprint would only be swaying in the wind. Positive thinking does have power, but combined with building and work it would be more powerful.    
Donald, Martin. "The Power of Positive Thinking," 1991. Web. 3 Dec        2010. <>.
P.S: The work cited came out without an indent on the 2nd/3rd line on the blog.
Total Word: 328