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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Why it's Unproductive to be Happy

This week has started on a high note for me and I hope it continues to last. I received two high ratings and reviews on, all in the space of twenty four hours. As many writers will know, reviews can be hard to come by, so I was understandably delighted when two turned up at once. And as you can imagine, I had so much buzz inside of me I was absolutely sure I could keep the entire city of London powered up for the next week.

So, what has this got to do with the title of my post? How can someone question whether happiness is as positive as most of us think it is? Surely happiness can't be a negative emotion, can it? Well, umm, maybe... sometimes.
Now before you read on any further, I just want to reinstate that I am absolutely overjoyed with my two new reviews, and I don't think they are negative in any sense of the word. But the point I'm trying to make here is they inspired this post. Sometimes when people experience such feelings of complete happiness, they become complacent, lazy, and fall into a unstable mindset. They start to think that because they have received so much praise, they do not need to work any harder. They see their work as perfect and flawless and woe betide anyone who doesn't share this view. So for their next project they fall into a false sense of security, thinking this work is going to be just as good as the last piece.

I am hoping this doesn't happen to me. I don't think it will because I am aware of the potential problem, and have always been a bit of a perfectionist. I always seem to worry whether I'll let people down by the standard of work I produce, thus ensuring my work is always the best it can be at the current time. I hope each book I write it will be better than its predecessor.

I read a newspaper article the other week where one news presenter shares my view on this subject. She said she didn't want her children to have a happy, contented childhood because she is worried that if they do, they'll grow up without ambition. Now this on the surface sounds like the most terrible thing in the world to say. How could any parent say this and expect it to be met with a round of applause? But when you delve a little deeper, I do think she makes a fair and valid point. If you are contented and happy, you do not want things to change. But if you're unhappy with your current situation, surely you should be doing everything in your power to change that? You want to live the best life you can possibly achieve, and that takes work no matter what your situation.
It's a tough nut to crack. Should you be happy if you're contented, or is there always room for improvement? Do people take the persuit of happiness too far? What are your opinions?

For me, it's the cliched saying: onwards and upwards.


  1. Positive thoughts bring positive things. It's so much easier to smile and be happy than to frown. I have four teenage boys, and "BOY" do they try me, but happiness makes them want to achieve bigger and better things. Positive happy words of encouragement from me keeps them on the up and up in everything they do. Each of them taking a college entrance examine in the 8th grade reinforces to me that living happy drives you more than being unhappy, depressed, and unmotivated.

  2. Hi Tonya,

    Sounds like you're doing a great job being a mother to them. Constant criticism can really bring someone down so I think it's important to be encouraging, especially at such a difficult age!

    Have a great week and thanks for commenting.

  3. This was a most interesting blog post.And the idea concerning the children really caught my thinking. I am thinking that we should have that same outlook on ourselves as humans, as well as writers. If we get comfortable where we're at, we'll grow stale, and not continue to grow, and to nurture our gifts, and our desires to make improvements on our lives and our careers. Thanks for your insight!

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. I am glad it inspired you.

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  6. I believe we can still be productive even if we are happy. Laziness can't be equate to emotion but to attitude.