At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert’s trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert’s complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage, and will enthrall the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a number one bestseller.
I used to be such a starry-eyed believer of love. I thought that love conquered all – and that as long as you shared that feeling with someone, it meant that the relationship would last, In the theory of fairytales and movies, this may be the case, but in North American reality – not quite. Instead, love is only one of the many ingredients needed for a long-lasting partnership. But the concerning issue is – people put so much weight on the feeling of love, a feeling that inevitably changes, takes different forms and can get blinded easily.
Not with vices like drugs or alcohol, but rather, things that allow you to escape from the negative situation and feel fully absorbed in something else, Lyubomirsky says—like seeing a movie, working on a creative hobby, or going to your favorite restaurant. This can help us change our thinking patterns—and stop us from ruminating and imagining the worse, which is a trait that women, unfortunately, tend to display more than men, Gielan notes (aha!).
Whether you are divorced, getting married, or even happily married, you just have to love how Liz looks at Marriage from every possible angle…especially from the perspective that since she'd been unlucky at it once, she was sure she never wanted to make that mistake again! Her absolute obsession with deconstructing marriage will entertain you and make you think about it long after you've finished reading it. She gives a cross-cultural examination to how people view and feel about marriage, and still, she can't conclude why some marriages work and some don't…only that she's terrified of being unhappy. The love of her life, Felipe, whom we met in Eat, Pray, Love, is unable to enter the USA and unless she marries him the miles of red tape will keep him out of the US for ever. In the mean time, they travel the world in order to stay together while working on making a life together in the US. She seems to think that if she turns herself inside out and reveals all her shortcomings, it will be best in terms of full disclosure. It doesn't matter, when someone you love so much loves you back the way you need to be loved, and that's what Liz discovers while wearing Felipe out and finally figuring out how best to be what he needs and how to provide that for him. They are a precious couple even if they don't fit the perfect rubric of what it takes to make a perfect and lasting marriage. Nobody does, nobody ever will, and in the end, this is a love story, built on the love stories of her parents and the strong women in her life. Marriage is not for the faint of heart, and this should be required pre-Cana reading.
30Although the romance reader is obviously aware of the scene’s strong conventionality and, like the public, interprets it as another element inscribing the novel in the popular romance genre, as a member of the romance genre’s interpretative community she also has the ability to develop a different interpretation of this scene. In fact, when the romance reader reads this scene as a romance reader – that is, using the interpretative strategies particular to the genre – she is able to gain crucial new knowledge about the text and its specific, individual poetic properties. This is due to the fact that in the eyes of the experienced category romance reader the preview scene functions as a conceptual prefiguration of the creative interplay between conventionality and variation that is pivotal to the category romance’s poetic functioning. This creative dynamic goes unnoticed by the public (and most of the genre’s critics) because of their one-dimensional assessment of the genre’s strong conventionality as only creating a pervasive sense of repetition and similarity between individual romance texts. However, this interpretation of conventionality fails to recognize how the web of conventions also creates a context in which every minute variation upon the convention stands out.14 This kind of variation – the brief deviation from the norm, the minor adaptation of the convention – represents a fundamental pillar of the category romance’s poetic functioning and of the aesthetic pleasure the romance offers its readers. This particular creative dynamic is prefigured in the strongly conventional preview scene, which illustrates for the romance reader precisely how the author deals with the central creative task of the category format of fusing various sets of conventions with the appropriate amount of creative variation. Since a thorough knowledge of the genre’s (and the line’s) conventions is necessary to develop this interpretation, only generically initiated romance readers pick up on this dynamic and read the preview scene as something other than a pure reconfirmation of the novel’s clichéd generic identity.
If there’s one trait that goes hand-in-hand with happiness, it’s optimism. People who think positively are less likely to feel depressed, more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts. That said, it’s important to be both optimistic and realistic instead of just blindly positive. (In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive may do more harm than good, especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking.) People with a healthy combination of optimism and realism don’t let unhappy thoughts bring them down, but they use their realistic outlook to make smart decisions and actions. Talk about the best of both worlds.
Minimize your stress. Though it’s impossible to stop stressing out all at once, if you make an effort to minimize your stress, you’ll feel happier in no time. Start with the small stuff – clean and organize your space so you don’t get stressed out looking for something to wear every morning. Make your social calendar 25% less packed so you have more time for yourself. Avoid people and situations who cause you great stress. You’ll be surprised by how much of an impact this will have on your level of happiness.
Endorphin is also stimulated when you stretch. Everyone can add stretching to their daily routine, because you can do it while you’re watching TV, waiting in line, or talking on the phone. Mild stretching brings circulation into constricted areas. Stop before you feel pain. Just because a little is good doesn’t mean a lot is better, nor is it needed to start feeling happier. If you stretch every day for forty-five days, you will not only feel good but also come to enjoy it so much that you will look forward to doing it every day.
Shooting the breeze may be fun and completely effortless, but small talk won’t lead you to a happier life. In one study, people who engaged in the least amount of meaningless chit-chat were also the happiest. Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-being is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations. Mehl, M.R. and Vazire, S. Psychological Science, Apr 1 2010;21(4):539-541 And speaking of conversation skills, being a good listener may also lead to a greater sense of well-being, stronger relationships, and all-around better experiences.
And Moore doesn't need an insecure Wi-Fi connection to suck up private data. For a while he had a script running on MySpace, another social network. Whenever anyone looked at his profile, a dialog box would pop up on their computer and say you are now my friend, and "forcibly add me as a friend to whoever was looking." As someone's "friend," Moore gains access to personal information from his target.
Indeed, Mai was from Vietnam, but I realized later she would never have called herself Vietnamese. She was Hmong—a member of a small, proud, isolated ethnic minority (what anthropologists call “an original people”) who inhabit the highest mountain peaks of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and China. Kurdish-like, the Hmong have never really belonged to any of the countries in which they live. They remain some of the world’s most spectacularly independent people—nomads, storytellers, warriors, natural-born anticonformists, and a terrible bane to any nation that has ever tried to control them.
33These exemplary analyses of three aspects of the category romance’s material packaging indicate the systematic manner in which a double codification of this materiality is created. The potential for a double interpretation is a semiotic pattern that is present in nearly every aspect of these material conditions and that is implemented in a coherent and coordinated way. This suggests that far from being a random or coincidental effect, this semiotic pattern is a deliberate strategy on the part of the category romance novel’s producers, who seek to influence the reception and interpretation of the text.
He redeems us. He lifts us up and crowns us! But the other thing that word “crowned” can mean is sometimes translated “to encircle,” kind of like a crown, but “to surround,” which also makes sense in the context because if he’s exalting us from the pit, surrounding us, encircling us. Then he mentions two different Hebrew words for love, both a kind of love.
This is the type of love that is the stuff of countless poems, songs, films, and fantasies. The all-consuming, heart-skips-a-beat, shooting stars in the sky during a kiss, can’t wait until he/she calls, crazy kind of love. Most committed partnerships start here (romantic love usually doesn’t last more than a year), in the phase of intensity, “connection”, longing, focus, and feeling that is hard to describe and feels special. What a ride this can be! This is the stage where people generally describe being “in love” or “falling in love”, and is the stage of courting and being in a state of “fusion”.
Neil Pasricha is the New York Times–bestselling author of the Book of Awesome series, which has been published in ten countries, spent more than five years on various bestsellers lists, and sold more than a million copies. Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, one of the most popular TED speakers of all time, and the director of the Institute for Global Happiness. He has dedicated the past fifteen years of his life to developing leaders—creating global programs inside the world’s largest companies and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Pasricha lives in Toronto with his family.
Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happierimmediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.
16The category romance’s front cover is visually dominated by an image that takes up a focal point in the cover composition (see figure 2). In the majority of cases this is an image of a (scantily clad) man and woman locked in a passionate embrace.9 This image, known in the romance jargon as the “clinch”, graces the front cover of an endless series of category romance novels in always changing but essentially similar variations. It appears to be a very apt visual representation of what the romance genre is all about. Depicting a man and a woman in an intimate and often explicitly passionate clinching embrace (hence the name), the image is made up of visual renderings of the nuclear elements of the conventional romance narrative : the hero, the heroine and their romantic (sexualized) interactions with each other. In a way it also offers a visual representation of what is arguably the core fantasy offered by the genre, namely that of an overwhelming and passionate romantic love focused absolutely on one other.
Too often, we’re our own worst enemies. While it’s good to be aware of mistakes you’ve made and improvements you can make, beating yourself up on the regular is a surefire way to wind up singing the blues. In fact, experts believe that self-criticism can just make us more miserable. So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on how and why you value yourself. This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and, yes, happier.