Bob Goldman
It used to be that you criticized people at work for being "holier than thou." Now, the most stinging criticism you can make about a co-worker is that they're "happier than thou." This raises an interesting question -- if so many people are so darn happy, how come you're still a miserable wretch?

I'm happy to tell you, I may have the answer. The reason you're not happy is because you haven't been following the latest scientific studies on how to achieve a state of ecstatic bliss 24/7. Fortunately for you, Jeremy Dean, a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog, has been keeping his nose buried deep into scientific journals and has recently published "10 Easy Activities Science Has Proven Will Make You Happier Today."

Now, I know you have your doubts about science. And I agree -- some of the so-called scientific facts they come up with today are obviously ridiculous. Like this nonsense about the earth being round, for example. Or that the universe is made up of teeny-weeny little bits of matter called atoms. (I've never seen one. Have you?) But let's be positive here. According to the law of averages -- if you believe that piece of twaddle -- scientists have to be right about something sometime, so let's see Mr. Dean says scientists say will make us happy.

"Mentally subtract something good from your life," is suggestion No. 1. "Thinking about what might not have been can be tremendously powerful if used in the right way."

I agree. Close your eyes. Imagine that you had never gotten your job and never had a boss to explain to you in detail all your shortcomings. Then mentally subtract your endless commute, your annoying co-workers, your puny paycheck. After all these subtractions, you'll be totally happy, at least, until your open your eyes and find you're still employed, still have the same boss, the same commute, the same co-workers and the same paycheck.

Then you'll be back to being miserable, but at least you can remember that wonderful moment when you were unemployed, starving and totally happy.

"Spend money on someone else" is another scientific happiness-maker. If you want to test out this so-called fact, without disrupting your reputation as a tightwad, feel free to send me a money order, made out to cash. I won't tell anyone about the money, including the IRS, and even though you'll definitely regret it, at least one of us will be happy -- me.

Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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