“Art is necessary in order that man should be able to recognize and change the world. But art is also necessary by virtue of the magic inherent in it.” — Ernst Fischer

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Do you want your life to be better over time?

Well, duh!

We all want to progress. No one wants their gravestone’s inscription to be, “This person existed for a while without making any changes, made no connections, and nobody noticed their absence.” We all want to grow, to overcome the obstacles we face, to touch others’ lives, to be significant.

We all want to make a difference.

We all want the stories of our lives to be meaningful stories. …

“Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.” — Douglas Adams

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Do you, too, feel down when the world turns gray?

Or maybe you feel more than a little down, more like, say, wishing to wrap yourself up with your comforter and not come out until Apollo brings back a big hot sun?

For most of us, the darkening world takes the sting out of living, let alone doing anything. The iciness doesn’t help, either. Winter sucks every year, and this year, when things are unbearable anyway, winter feels like too much, really.

I, for one, have spent the last many weeks feeling increasingly depressed. At some point, it came to my mind that last year, and the one before and possibly always, my mood drops at this time of the year. (Naming the season “fall” suggests I’m probably not alone.) I realized that every autumn, I feel that I need an urgent vacation in some sunny place, I get pissed at my one-and-only for not taking me away from my life at once, and even the illuminated holidays of this seasons can’t bring me back to my senses. …

“Success is whatever humiliation everyone has agreed to compete for.” -James Richardson

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Do you want to be a winner?

We all do, unoriginally. We believe that the other option is to be a loser, and no one, under any circumstances, would want that, god forbid. As Pascal Mercier puts it,

“It’s not the pain and the wounds that are the worst…The worst is the humiliation.”

Most of us see the world as a battlefield where we can either win or lose. Under these conditions, we must fight, and we must always win. …

“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell, Animal Farm.

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We all want to live happily and lovingly with everyone around us. Still, annoyingly, some people achieve this noble goal better than others. People in some countries, as it turns out, are far happier than us.

But we don’t have to hate them for that.

Instead, we can adopt their cheery path, starting with figuring out what the hell they’re doing better.

The Jolly Countries

While every unhappy country is unhappy in its own way, probably, happy countries are apparently all alike.

The countries starring in the world happiness reports at all times are mostly the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland) as well as New-Zealand, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. What do all of these lucky countries have in common? …

“Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.” -Galileo

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How many times have you watched abuse and injustice in the news, and felt frustrated for not being able to make things right?

We all felt that way. And then came 2020.

Over the last months, the vast distress we are all enduring, that comes with enormous inequality, has exposed the heroes who fight the injustice. Because that’s what heroes do.

We see them in front of our very eyes. (Though often, as humans are used to, we don’t comprehend what we see.)

Not one hero. Not a bunch of them. Not a thousand. …

“Don’t believe every thing you think.” ― Byron Katie

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Are you realistic?

We all want to be objective, to comprehend life accurately, make the most out of it, and always be composed, profound and enlightened. Yet, our emotions and misperceptions constantly attempt to get in our way and mess everything up. Our affection for our loved ones pleasantly blinds us, while our dislike of the people in the groups we despise blinds us much more. We keep ourselves from being as blind as other people, obviously, but we’re still not as unprejudiced as we wish ourselves to be.

We can’t help being emotional every now and then, though we know our irrationality damages our society and our lives. Yet, we can find out how our biases work, and how to avoid our idiocy as much as we can. …

“I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks.” — Joe E. Louis

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Want to eat whenever you’re hungry and stay fit?

We all want to eat the cake and keep it out, too. We want to enjoy our food full-heartedly, and we also want to be in shape, healthy and happy forever. We could have it both ways, too, if it wasn’t for these nasty hunger-imposters. These cunning delusions that make us eat too much, and eat the wrong food. …

“We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so.” — Bertrand Russell

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Are you objective?

We all want to be fair, to judge every person impartially, and to live in a just, equal, heavenly world. Yet, we all feel scared when we find ourselves in a dark alley alone with one of the people we learned to fear. If you’re a woman, for example, that group can generally be men. …

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” Carl Gustav Jung

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Do you have an addiction?

We all want to be the best version of ourselves, have full control of our behavior, and eating, at all times, and be peaceful and joyful under any circumstances. Yet, most of us tend to lose our temper every now and then and do things we regret, like insulting our obnoxious families or buying unplaceable stuff.

We all promise ourselves we won’t do it again, and then find ourselves doing just that, as if we are possessed by a demon with a lousy sense of humor. …

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

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All we wanted was to keep minding our own businesses. Being left alone is surely not too much to ask, isn’t it?

Yet history, as usual, ignored this humble wish of ours, and we were condemned to the Chinese curse of ‘living in interesting times.’ (Though the Chinese people, who are locked down for very long weeks by now, probably feel that ‘mind-numbing times’ is more like it.)

However, as terrifying as this worldwide crisis is, not to mention how inconvenient it is, it may bring upon us gifts as well. …


Estee Horn

Author, explorer and witch, who uses her word-craft, as well as her MA in Eco-Psychology, to help people simplify life and be happier. Follow her how2bhappy.com

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