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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “December 29, 2012”

How to Make a Good List of New Year’s Resolutions, Part III

Among the really idiotic New Year’s resolutions are things like “Quit smoking / drinking / over-eating / lose weight / eat healthy / drink less coffee / play less video games.” Of course, these are all good goals but do you really believe that you will achieve them by barking commands at yourself?

People don’t smoke / drink / over-eat / eat junk / gulp down insane amounts of coffee / spend 20 hours straight playing video games because they forgot to make a New Year’s resolution about it. You realize that, right? They do all these things because these are their coping strategies. The more you stress yourself out, the higher your need of all these coping strategies will be. By putting these things on your list of resolutions you effectively guarantee that you will do more of them, not less.

Don’t let your list of New Year’s resolutions reflect your dislike of yourself. Stop creating a yearly manifesto of self-hatred already. If you can’t love and take good care of yourself, who will?

Make a list of all the things that are completely and utterly useless but that give you intense pleasure and make a list of New Year’s resolutions aimed at making these things a regular part of your life.

Happy New Year, my friend!

P.S. Here is an example of somebody going about creating the list of resolutions in a really healthy, happy, productive way. I can guarantee to you that after this blogger reaches his goal, he will discover that it will come in very useful in a variety of ways he never even planned for. This is what always happens when you dedicate yourself to having fun.

P.P.S. Here is another phenomenal list that includes sleeping, facials, eye-lash tints, dream vacations, reading for fun, and other great things.

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1,000,000 Hits!!!

If you never were a kid who spends every break staring out of the window because nobody would play with you. . .

If you never were a kid who avoids going to the cafeteria because it’s better to skip lunch than to let everybody see that you have nobody to sit with. . .

If you never were a kid who is always left out when other kids choose teams and who has to be foisted on one of the teams by a teacher. . .

If you didn’t spend your childhood to the accompaniment of “Why are you sitting here all alone? Can’t you find anybody to play with?”

. . . you will not understand my joy over having

1,000,000 HITS

on the blog.

Of course, these are just the hits we got on this platform. That is, since May 2011. Altogether there are 1,310,000 hits. This means that I’m finally popular. You have to agree that 1 million in just a year and a half is very good.

Thank you, my dear readers, who have made this possible!!!

How to Make a Good List of New Year’s Resolutions, Part II

When people create all those self-punishing lists of resolutions that sound like a list of prison rules, their ultimate goal is to improve the quality of their lives and become happier. My suggestion is that we take a short-cut and aim directly for happiness without all this self-inflicted torture.

People seem to believe that in order to be successful in life and achieve their professional, intellectual, personal, financial, etc. goals, they need to force themselves to suffer and limit enjoyment to the bare minimum. Such people are making a tragic mistake.

Of all the people I know, I’m the person who is most capable of guilt-free enjoyment of life. Not a day goes by without me organizing some sort of a relaxing, enjoyable, pleasant activity for myself. Many years ago, I decided (after observing the lives of perennially miserable, overworked, overscheduled, exhausted Soviet women) that my life would be about doing exactly what I want to do and not doing what I don’t want to do at any given time.

For years, I have been hearing that my philosophy of life as a constant process of enjoyment will make me a failure. However, precisely because of this philosophy I have achieved a lot more than every single advocate of endless self-torture than I know. At the age of 36, I live the kind of live I dreamed about living ten, fifteen, twenty years ago down to the minutest detail. The only thing that I’m not completely happy about is the climate of the area where I live, but you have to agree that as existential grievances go, this one is pretty minor.

Contrary to popular opinion, spending a lot of time on “useless” highly enjoyable activities makes you more, rather than less, productive and efficient. This is why putting something like “snoozing on the couch to the sound of relaxing music at least three times a week” is a good New Year’s resolution.

[To be continued. . .]

How to Make a Good List of New Year’s Resolutions, Part I

The reason why most people never complete anything on their list of New Year’s resolutions is that they go about creating it in the wrong way.

Please look at your own list of resolutions and underline with a red-ink pen every resolution that will involve forcing yourself to do something unpleasant. Now use a blue-ink pen to underline every resolution that will involve doing something highly enjoyable. If most of the items on your list are underlined with red ink, your list is crap and you are wasting your time creating it.

People mistakenly believe that a good life is the kind of life where you cause pain and suffering to yourself. Every January 1 they plan to start leading a much better, worthier existence. For them, that invariably entails doing even more things that they dislike doing and removing the last few enjoyments from their lives. This is patently ridiculous. Life is supposed to be happy, joyous, blissful and full of profound pleasure.

Ask yourself how many times a day you have experienced an acute feeling of happiness in the past year. If your answer is, “How many times a day? You, silly Clarissa. I maybe experienced it once a month, if that”, then you need to start changing this sorry state of affairs right now. Let your list of New Year’s resolutions be about making your life happier instead of forcing yourself to do even more stuff that you detest. Just think about it. Wouldn’t it be a really enormous achievement if you manage to make yourself significantly happier next year?

[To be continued. . .]

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