Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Classic Pamela Positive: Happiness: “Spending Time with People You Love and Who Love You”

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman: “It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

Gifts and giving.  We associate so much of that with happiness.  Yet our one true Happiness is Loving Others.  Oh that sweet presence to just be around those we cherish and feel at home with!

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate.  He is known for his work in the psychology of decision-making.  He was born in Tel Aviv, spent his childhood in France, and moved to Israel in the late 1940s.  He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began his career as a lecturer there.  Kahneman has published extensively in psychology, and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on prospect theory.  He is currently on the faculty at Princeton.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Be Clear About What Is Truly Essential”

Marine corps officer Robert J. Wicks shares with us some important lessons on life and nature.

Rather than read, he encourages us to reflect.  If we face a challenge, we can act not from anger but from joy and grounded peace.

From his book, Streams of Contentment, here are three tips on living a natural, and successful life.

* Be clear about what is truly essential.

* Appreciate everything and everyone in your life right now.

* Recognize that a little silence and solitude is no small thing.

– Robert J. Wicks

When we appreciate what is important, right now, we honor life and everyone around us.

Robert J. Wicks was a Marine corps officer in Vietnam.  He is the author of more than 40 books, urging an appreciation of nature, inspired by his family’s 78 acres of forests and open fields.

The Classic Pamela Positive: How To Attain The Big H” (Happiness) Once Again

Our culture is getting better. We are increasingly aware that money, homes, cars, jewelry, multiple choices of cereal and designer goods do not bring us happiness.  Or, it might be fleeting but not lasting happiness.

So how do we create and maintain “The Big H”?  Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s wise counsel was in one word: friendship.  It is our friendships, our sincere connections to people, which bring meaning, joy, and yes, “The Big H,” into our lives.

Said Mrs. Browning, the poet, to Charles Kingsley, the writer;
“What is the secret of your happiness? Tell me, that I may enjoy the same.”
Thinking a moment, the kindly old man replied, “I have a friend.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a popular poet of the Victorian era.  Her best-known poem opens “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways,” written to her husband, the poet Robert Browning.  Charles Kingsley was a clergyman, professor and writer, author of the children’s classic, The Water-Babies.

“Look Deeply and Recognize the Real Enemy” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“If I can say anything to you, it is to invite you to look deeply and recognize the real enemy. The enemy is not a person. That enemy is a way of thinking that has brought a lot of suffering for everyone.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Anything negative — is not from a person.

Radical thinking?  It shouldn’t be.   If we view the enemy as simply a thought and not a person, we depersonalize it.   It’s temporary, changeable.   And we allow the person to grow beyond it, rather than be it.

We can then eliminate personal offense, and work constructively towards a solution.

Look at the Why

If something seems to be negative, we can encourage ourselves to look at “the why.” Why might someone think, or take action, in this way?   This offers us an opportunity to develop empathy. Perhaps this person—let’s call her Jeanine—came from a difficult circumstance or has been hurt.

It’s not Jeanine who is “bad,” but the experiences which occurred in her life which impacted her.  It’s those events that led to the thinking and action behind negativity.

So Jeanine’s identity is not “Prejudice”, “Anger” or “Hurt”:

It’s instead:

The most beautiful thing about this is the following.

She can change.

Allow her to do so.  Wouldn’t we all wish to be forgiven for a past action?

Every day we can begin again.   We can embrace a new experience, a fresh purity, allowing us and others to live to our fullest.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and Zen master.  He is a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  A native of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War he helped found the “engaged Buddhism” movement, combining the contemplative practice of the monastery with active ministry to victims of the conflict.  He founded the School of Youth Social Service, a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a Vietnamese peace activist magazine.

During a trip to the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King subsequently nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Thich Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  He founded the Plum Village community in France, a Buddhist community in exile.   He continues to live and work at the Plum Village, and leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: Thoughts from Peter Drucker

1. Build only on your islands of health and strength.

2. Only deal with people who are receptive to what you are trying to do.

3. Only start projects that will make a significant difference if you are successful.

4. Don’t try to build a business; build an organization.

5. Don’t subsidize failure; subsidize success.

6. Don’t try to fix things that are flawed in their concept.  Replace them with a superior concept that works.

7.  The only way to perpetuate a new idea is to make it the norm.

Peter Drucker (1909-2005) was an influential writer on management theory.  He wrote 39 books, which have been translated into 30 languages.  Among his best known books are Concept of the Corporation, The Effective Executive, and Post-Capitalist Society.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Why Do Unto Others is Timeless

Do Unto Others is from ancient times.  Hearing different versions from philosophers and religious leaders make us realize the commonality of Truth.  What a wonderful way to tie the world together!

Day 8:

“Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.”

Baha’u’llah, 19th century A.D

Read yesterday’s post here and come back tomorrow for the next quote!

The Classic Pamela Positive: Why Do Unto Others is Timeless

Do Unto Others is from ancient times.  Hearing different versions from philosophers and religious leaders make us realize the commonality of Truth.  What a wonderful way to tie the world together!

Day 7:

“None of you truly have the faith if you do not desire for your brother that which you desire for yourself.”

Muhammad, 6th century A.D.

This is the seventh part of a multi-part series, sharing a quote from a new philosopher each day. Read yesterday’s post here and come back tomorrow for the next quote!