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Happiness Newsletter -3

The art of being happy requires extracting happiness from common things.

Hello Happiness Fans,

It has certainly been a crazy and stressful week for many. We can all use a smile and some positive news. I thought I would focus on optimism this week. It is a wonderful viewpoint to cultivate and enhancing your optimistic view will have an incredible impact on every aspect of your life from personal to professional. Here are a few interesting facts on optimism. I hope you enjoy them

Positive Outlook Predicts Less Memory Decline

Just released from the Association for Psychological Science, a new study finds that people who feel enthusiastic and cheerful -- what psychologists call 'positive affect' -- are less likely to experience memory decline as they age. This result adds to a growing body of research on positive affect's role in healthy aging.

"Our findings showed that memory declined with age," said Claudia Haase, an associate professor at Northwestern University and senior author on the paper. "However, individuals with higher levels of positive affect had a less steep memory decline over almost a decade," added Emily Hittner, a Ph.D. graduate of Northwestern University and the paper's lead author.   

An Optimist Tries to Cheer Up His Pessimistic Friend

These two men have been best friends their whole lives and did everything together--grew up in neighboring apartments, went to the same schools, went to the same university, even got married on the same day. But one was a pessimist, and the other was an optimist. At every turn, the pessimist would say, "Look, we're probably going get screwed, so might as well accept it." While the optimist would tell him, "Don't say that! Life is great!" And of course, the optimist was always right. They both graduated with honors, got smoking hotwives and high-paying jobs, and raised loving, obedient children.

But then, disaster struck. One day, they both got laid off from their jobs, and when they came home, their apartment building had burned down, everyone inside was gone. With no wives, no kids, no homes, and no jobs, the two friends ended up living in a shared cardboard box in an alley. And when it started to rain, and their box got soggy, the pessimist turned to his friend the optimist and said, "OK, in our whole lives you've always been right; things always turned out better than I expected. But now, with all this tragedy, I have to say, things can't possibly get any worse."

Always the optimist, his best friend replied, "Of course, they can!"  - 


You Can Learn to Be Optimistic

The next book that I am writing is Optimist Power. The research was a great revelation as there have been so many positive studies on optimism versus pessimism. I have pulled them all together so the reader can understand the surprising powers of being optimistic. There is a concept known as learned optimism. It has emerged out of the relatively young psychology branch known as positive psychology. Learned optimism was introduced by psychologist Martin Seligman, who is considered the positive psychology movement's father.

According to research studies, an optimistic person is healthier, more successful in life, and longer-lived. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about optimism is that it involves skills that can be learned and practiced. Ultimately, learned optimism is about more than just improving your well-being or warding off psychological ailments such as depression or low self-esteem.

Optimism is invaluable for a meaningful life. With a firm belief in a positive future, you can throw yourself into the service of that which is larger than you are," Seligman explains.

What's your pleasure?

Happiness is a state of mind rather than a reaction to external stimuli. In contrast, pleasure is a feeling of enjoyment due to external stimuli. Happiness is internal, whereas pleasure depends on external factors. Happiness is long-lived, while pleasure is momentary.

Optimism and Pessimism and the Half Full Glass

After downing half of his glass of milk, his ten-year-old son declared, "I am an optimist. The glass is half empty!"

"Looking at the glass as half empty is a sign of pessimism, son," replied the father.

The boy smiled and said, "Not if you don't like what's in it!"

Final Note: Optimism is an overall explanatory way of thinking that positive things will occur independent of one's ability.

Let me know what you would like to learn more about so that the newsletter can be better focused. I would love to hear from you.

Well, that's all folks. Until next week, make yourself happier by thanking others. Then marvel in the results.

Yours in happiness,


Robert Gill Jr. Author
908 273-5600

18 Bank Street Suite 1, Summit
NJ 07901 United States

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