"Videos: Happiness Challenge"



Story: Am I Wasting My Youth?

This week’s video story:  Am I wasting my youth?

 

Of course, as an Upholder, I wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving the library to go to Toad’s Place. Plus, as I now acknowledge (though I didn’t then), I’m not very interested in music.

Still, it was a memorable moment. I think that we too rarely ask ourselves these kinds of big questions. In the tumult of everyday life, it can be hard to remember what really matters.

How about you? Have you ever had a moment of doubt or recognition like this?

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Story: Do What You Love, and Then Your Friends Hire You.

This week’s video story:  Do what you love, and then your friends hire you.

 

Perhaps I didn’t quite complete my thought on the video. When you do what you love, even in a non-job context, you make friends with other people who share your interests;  as they move forward in the world, they help you move forward. (Of course, it’s not always easy to cultivate your passions.)

In a related observation, my sister the sage once told me, “People succeed in groups.” Agree, disagree?

Have you found this to be true?

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Story: I Must Do the Work That I Am Best Suited For.

This week’s video story: I must do the work that I am best suited for.

As I mention, that story appears in Edward Weston’s Daybooks.

I can’t resist adding a bit of what he wrote about photographing peppers:

“It is a classic, completely satisfying,–a pepper—but more than a pepper: abstract, in that it is completely outside subject matter. It has no psychological attributes, no human emotions are aroused: this new pepper takes on beyond the world we know in the conscious mind.

To be sure, much of my work has this quality,–many of my last year’s peppers, but this one, and in fact all the new ones, take one into an inner reality,–the absolute,–with a clear understanding, a mystic revealment.” — Daybooks, August 8, 1931

Sidenote: It’s surprising to me how many great visual artists are also great writers.

How about you? Do you have to remind yourself to “Be Gretchen” (substitute your own name) and to do what you’re best suited for? Self-knowledge! Always, it comes back to self-knowledge.

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Story: My Inconvenience May Be Someone Else’s Miracle.

This week’s video story: Something that’s inconvenient for me may be someone else’s miracle.

 

Has this ever happened to you? Something that you know is probably an inconvenience for most people is actually extremely helpful for you? Unfortunately, it’s so easy to notice when the opposite happens, and a change is super-inconvenient; I remind myself of this story to help boost my attitude.

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Story: What Some Folks Would Do (From Flannery O’Connor).

This week’s video story: “Well, them stories just gone and shown you how some folks would do.”

 

This is the quotation I’m talking about, from Flannery O’Connor’s essay “Writing Short Stories,” in Mystery and Manners:

I lent some stories to a country lady who lives down the road from me, and when she returned them, she said, “Well, them stories just gone and shown you how some folks would do,” and I thought to myself that that was right; when you write stories, you have to be content to start exactly there—showing how some specific folks will do, will do in spite of everything.

I’ve tried to explain why this passage has such power for me, but I’m not confident that I actually understand why these lines have haunted me for so long.

Do you have a quotation that sticks with you? That runs through your head, over and over?

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