52 Tips for (Yech!) Happiness

D on’t be confused by the title of this post. I’m all in favor of happiness. But when someone offers tips on how to be happy I feel the urge to strangle that person. My inner A.D.D. child screams, “WAKE UP! THERE’S A WORLD OF PROBLEMS THAT NEED TO BE SOLVED.” This inner scream is often accompanied by the memory of a trip to Manhattan when, on a cold and windy winter day, a group of Hare Krishnas wearing nothing more than some dirty rags, were jumping up and down in the freezing cold while chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare” and playing finger cymbals. I’d look at their shaved heads, their flowing rags, their incessant jumping and their tiny cymbals and think, “Sure they are happy. They’re nuts!” So for much of my life I’ve associated “happiness” with self-delusion and these freezing, jumping lunatics who are oblivious to their surroundings. With this in mind, I now present to you the Handbook for Life: 52 Tips for Happiness and Productivity. The most important tip in this “handbook” is not even a part of the handbook but is part of the introduction to the handbook.

Pick and choose the tips that will be most useful to you. There are 52 tips here – not every single one will be useful to every person. I hope you’ll find 10 that are useful, or that are reminders of something you’ve been wanting to do.

As an A.D.D.er, this is one that really jumped out at me.

No. 35: Be present. Time can go by extremely quickly. Before you know it, your life has passed you by. Your kids are grown and your youth is gone. Don’t let your life slip by – enjoy it while it’s here. Instead of dwelling in the past or thinking about the future, practice being in the here and now.

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  • Crimson

    That’s it exactly! I try to help my husband be present, in the here and now… years have gone by and he tells me it’s like days to him, a week away from home flies by so quickly for him that he doesn’t realize he hasn’t called me at all.
    It will be 17 years this May, half our lives….
    it’s been more than moments LOL
    Happiness is relative, but finding things that make you truly happy is a pretty daunting task.
    There may be a world of problems, but they all didn’t build up in a day.

  • Jeff

    The loss of time is probably the most devastating aspect of Adult ADD. Whole chunks of life are gone. It all becomes quite maddening. Sometimes I look at photos of myself from years past and wonder, where is that person in the picture? I know it is me yet I don’t feel that person being inside me…I only know on an intellectual level that it is me. (Wow! Don’t ya just love A.D.D.?)

  • Crimson

    That’s wild – I can remember too much, Time counts by and I can feel it passing, it’s like my heartbeat. I can generally guess close to the time of day even without a clock. Losing time would be devastating – you can’t regain it back, and that is the maddening on both sides! Being conscious of Time and it’s passage and how you feel and the things that happen along the way can be quite maddening in it’s own way, I can look at a picture of myself at 12 and remember what I was feeling/thinking at the time. But all of it is part of who I am.
    I think the part that bothers me is that (I see?) it gets worse with stress. I don’t know how to compensate for that, how to deal with it myself. It is funny how it is all wrapped around Time, and how many crossed wires different perceptions of Time can cause!

  • Jeff

    There are rare moments where I can sense the passage of time. Most of the time…I’m continually amazed how it flies right by and I don’t notice it.

  • Scott Hutson

    I can relate to these things….I am 48, yesterday, I was 18. I have changed, as most ppl do, being responsible, more aware of what it takes to survive..etc. But the mind still races, and the need for something that I cannot identify.

    Realizing why I have felt this way all my life, may be the answer. I will try to find this happiness that eludes me, by believing I will. The alternative is not an an option, as this point of the journey.

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