These days, everyone is talking about being happy, and it's making me sad.
Google "How to be happy" and you'll find more than 2 billion citations. I read them all, or I meant to, but the whole idea made me miserable, so I stopped at the bottom of the first page. That was all I needed to find gurus with 7 steps to happiness, 8 steps to happiness, 10 steps to happiness and 11 steps to happiness. By that time, I was convinced there was only one step to happiness -- turn off the computer, turn on the TV and start binge-watching "Duck Dynasty." Again.
I can't be sure, but somewhere among those 2 billion hawkers of happiness is the website of Lynda Wallace. Ms. Wallace is a former executive at Johnson and Johnson, and one of the people we can thank for the fact that we now have Purell to douse ourselves after meeting with the IT department, as well as Band-Aids if the meeting does not go well. Changing careers to "pursue her passion," Wallace became a "certified positive psychology coach." (This is a professional designation you probably didn't know existed, so I'm glad I can bring you the news. I'd hate to see you put your fragile emotional state in the hands of an uncertified positive psychology coach or worse, a certified negativity coach. Oh wait! That's me.)
Part of Ms. Wallace's passion was to share her ideas about achieving happiness, which she has now done in her book, "A Short Course in Happiness: Practical Steps to a Happier Life." I was going to read her book, right after I finished reading the 2 billion Google hits, but I didn't do this either. Fortunately, Wallace's flack sent me a cheery press release titled, "Doing Happy -- 4 Steps for Pumping Up Your Joy in Life."
Considering that four steps is only 36.3 percent of 11 steps, I waded right in, and, lucky you, I'm happy to share.
"Focus on the Positive" is step No. 1, according to the certified positive psychology coach. Considering your total lack of focus, this may seem a challenge, but all that is required is five minutes of focus a day. You can manage that. Probably. According to the instructions, "each night, before going to bed, write down five things for which you feel grateful." Skipping over your toxic job, your ungrateful family and your tragically doomed future, it may be difficult for you to find even one thing to for which you feel grateful, so let me suggest you focus on how wonderful it is to have me in your life.
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