Novelty And Challenge Bring Happiness—Right?

It’s very true that novelty and challenge bring happiness. It’s also very true that novelty and challenge often bring feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger, boredom, and insecurity. Learning to do new things, or to face new situations, isn’t always fun.

It’s one of my favorite paradoxes of happiness: Happiness doesn’t always make me feel happy.

For the past week, I’ve been trying to learn to do something new and challenging. I want to make some of my favorite one-sentence aphorisms, Secrets of Adulthood, paradoxes, and the like into nicely designed jpegs. It’s harder than I expected! But I’ve learned a lot.

Here’s one of my experiments.

A question for you, readers. My handwriting isn’t very attractive; is it a nice, homey touch, or would this kind of image be more pleasing if it had a less DIY look? Be honest.

Of all the things I’ve written about happiness, I think this line—”The days are long, but the years are short”—and the one-minute video I did with the accompanying story, has resonated most with people.

* If you enjoy reading about the latest research, check out Science Daily. Lots of interesting information, well organized.

* Want a happiness quotation in your email inbox every morning? Sign up for the Moment of Happiness. Subscribe here or email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com.

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  • Linda Royster

    When you sign your name to a quote, make sure it is yours! This. One for a fact is not.

    • gretchenrubin

      Someone else may have said it also, but I made it up myself!

      The paradox of this feeling – which is quite widespread – is probably the kind of thing that has struck many people, like me, through the years. So it wouldn’t surprise me if other people had expressed a similar view. But this particular wording of it took me a long time to create.