Happiness Project Interview

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Gretchen Rubin put a really gorgeous interview up on The Happiness Project with Tina Roth Eisenberg. Tina is a designer and blogger on SwissMiss, which is a cool compendium of sleek new products, furniture, and websites. Tina quotes Goethe in the interview, and for some reason it particularly struck me today:

Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Spend out.”) Or a happiness quotation that has struck you as particularly insightful?
I have this Goethe quote I find myself going back to:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”[I love that passage too, and in fact, quoted it in The Happiness Project.]

I try to remind myself that I am the decisive element. I try hard not to be a complainer but a problem solver. If I don’t like something in my life, or think something is missing, I try to create it, actively go after it.

It’s good to remind myself that while I can’t control a lot of what happens in life, and even can’t control my feelings about it, I do control my response to the situation and that can make all the difference.

Read the interview HERE

Tina’s blog is pretty cool too. SwissMiss

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One thought on “Happiness Project Interview

  1. Beautiful and timeless post: it reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s dictum that you can’t help how you feel, but you can help how you act. It’s a good thought to remember that despite the chaos of daily life, choice gives one a decisive influence on creating the art of the good life. And our strength lies in who we choose to be, and how we choose to give, rather than on being buffetted by the vagaries of arbitrary circumstance, especially when it is much easier to externalize responsibility, and give in to the immediate feeling of the moment, or simply abate thinking and withdraw from active reflection and participation.

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