My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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Happiness doesn’t always make you FEEL happy.

DrawingOne of my “Secrets of Adulthood” (see left column) is that “Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.”

Yesterday, although the drawing class was very tough, I left feeling exhilarated.

This morning, I felt completely different. I dreaded the thought of showing up. I remembered how much my back hurt, how worried I’d been that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and in particular, how tremendously frustrated (almost panicky) I’d felt when starting my chair drawing.

I had to remind myself that sometimes, happiness is painful. The activities that contribute to long-term happiness don’t always make me feel good in the short-term. I don’t always look forward to those activities. I may find them actually upsetting.

I had to be in my seat by 9:30 a.m., so it wasn’t long before my dread of going to class had turned into a reality. And once I was there with a sketchbook in front of me, I felt fine.

But I realized that it was an advantage to be taking the intensive class, five days in a row. If I’d been taking the course over a semester, I would’ve been dreading the class for a week. Maybe I would have talked myself out of coming back.

Today was tough, too. The more I learn to see, the more I learn to see what I’ve done wrong. But whenever I got discouraged, I’d just take in my entire drawing and gloat, “I DREW this corner! And it actually looks like a corner!” After three days of instruction. Amazing.