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A Small Step Towards Happiness

What if I told you there was one thing you could do to increase your happiness? What if I told you it required little effort and little cost? Would you be interested?

Well there is one small change that will not only increase your happiness but also decrease your dissatisfaction. It will take some effort. You will have to lift a finger. The finger you lift will be the one you use to turn off your television.

Television is the uninvited guest that we no longer notice.  This guest sits there taking our attention with its incessant droning. If it were a child it would have long ago been sent to its room. When the television is on our conversations stop and our attention is drawn to this loud and intrusive guest.  Instead of sharing our stories we listen to this bore repeat the same tired tales he told us yesterday. Sure he is bright, flashy, and can even be entertaining but sometimes he needs to be told to give it a rest.

Television by its nature and design will tend to make us dissatisfied. The shows are filled with characters that are impossibly good looking, unusually smart or funny, and who lead improbably exciting lives. Between these dramas are messages from advertisers that are designed to make us feel like something is missing in our lives (a gap that can be filled by purchasing their product).

I have bad news for you. Purchasing that new BMW will not get you that promotion. Changing your brand of beer will not make you more attractive the opposite sex. [You should also heed Shakespeare’s warning that  “Drink provokes the desire but takes away the performance.”] That new pair of sneakers will not turn you into an athlete. The latest insta-meal may save you time, but it will not save your family. If you want to do that then turn of the television and try talking.

You do not have to heartlessly throw your old friend out on to the street, but you can let him know that sometimes he should shut up and listen. So lift a finger, hit the off switch, and send this attention-seeking child out into the garden to play. You can always allow him back in later, but only if he promises to be good.


I did not mention reality TV, but that is only because it is as fake as the drama shows.

I am not married but here is some advice for married couples. Get the TV out of the bedroom. Leno and Letterman et al. are no doubt good company, but don’t you have other things you could be doing? 😉

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