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Change, of course, brings uncertainty and uncertainty


can cfeate fear. Most of us have a tendency to stay with
what we know rather than choosing any form of
change and so, as a result, we continue to be unhappy.
-t
She was, at one point, a definite pessimist. She believed
that if you expected little in life then you would be able
to avoid disappointment. Fortunately, in the 1970s she
came to the realisation that if she continued thinking in
that way, then how could she ever be happy?
6i-'Janet
herseH has had to deal with those moments of
both happiness and unhappiness in her own personal
life. She admits to'not being able to actually help
people to be happy, but stresses that if you can
prevent unhappiness then you have a good chance of
.
being a contented individual.
S,"
tn thinking and worrying about what has happened in
the past and anxiously planning the future, we can
shut ourselves offfrom the possible happiness of what
is ahead. As a result, the aspect of surprise and
pleasure can be lost.
!
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In support of these findings she quotes the ancient
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Greek philosopher Epictetus who said, "It is not
things in themselves that trouble us, but our opinion
of those things." It is not what happens to us in life
but the waywe view it that actually leads to happiness
or unhappiness.
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It seems that people nowadays are more willing to try to
react differently to life's events.
Janet
is a fine example
of this and has slowly found that changing her outlook
has brought her a certain amount of happiness.
g--In
the past, people rarely discussed whether they were
happy or not and kept their feelings to themselves. Back
then, there was absolutely no advice to be had
anlrvhere, whereas nowadap magazine articles giving
advice on how to spend our time in the pursuit of total
contentment bombard us from all sides, It would
appear that unhappiness is now generally unacceptable,
especiallywhere the younger generation is concemed.
I Sne would, however, like to advise people that
happiness is not a goal but rather an emotional
response to whatever happens and that it is perfectly
natural to feel sad at times. In order to help happiness
develop and gtow, there is a need to see ourselves as
being acceptable to those around us and that we are
indeed valuable members of society.
,f'-Vhat
is more, fearing unhappiness, many people fail
'\,
to recognise that there are losses that we can never
get over completely, even though the pain might get
less with time. Unhappiness is a completely rational
response to certain losses.
ffi)
vocaUulary Practice
2 a. Exolain the words in bold in the text.
J
b. Underline all the adjectives which describe
feelings. Can you think of a synonym for each
one? What are the nouns related to them?
Adjective: happy-joyful Abstractnoun: happiness
Text Analysis
Look at the phrases taken from the text and explaln
the underlined parts in your own words.
1 ... maoazine articles ... bombard us from all sides.
(paragraph G)
2 ... allowed her to face up to the fact that ... (after
gap 2)
3 ... we then begin a
iourney
that only we can map
out ...
(after gap 3)
4 So, we create our own individual translations of
things ... (after gap 4)
Discussion
ln pairs, discuss three of the main points the writer
makes.
ln pairs, discuss the following questions.
.
What do you do to cheer yourself up?
r
Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Give examples.
yeryi
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