Happy, Shmappy

This entertaining illustrated post by graphic artist Matthew Inman explores happiness fascism, a subject I have addressed once or twice myself. He pillories the vague definition of “happiness,” and compares and contrasts it with meaningfulness, proposing creative flow as a variant of happiness, or at least as a modifier of unhappiness.
An enormous ugly monster chases a small, horned human, saying "I just want you to be happy"
I nodded my head all the way through this, but in the end, I don’t entirely agree. Continue reading

Turbulence

I’ve always believed Van Gogh was a depressive, probably with seasonal affective disorder (complicated by alcohol and perhaps absinthe addiction). This Upworthy post illustrates his instinctive comprehension and reproduction of a principal that still challenges scientists in one of his most famous paintings. What a stirring example of the connection between “neurotic personality” and creativity, which I wrote about recently. I was struck to learn that this painting was one of numerous works representing the view from his asylum window – a window which was barred. Talk about seeing beyond the limitations of the current moment! Don’t miss the video at the bottom of the post.
Van Gogh's painting, starry night, with clouds and stars that swirl

Do We Have to Draw You a Picture?

If you’re about ready for a laugh, I’m pretty sure you’ll find one somewhere in this set of introvert-related cartoons from artist Aaron Caycedo-Kimura.

Cartoon of solitary bird watching sunrise and thinking, "Catching the worm was great. But all this time away from the flock? Priceless."

But wait, there’s more! Here’s his INFJoe site, with more cartoons. What a coincidence – I’m an INFJ (except when I’m an INFP). And the blog theme he’s using (Dusk to Dawn) was the theme I used on my first WordPress blog. I especially like The Scope of Socializing. Also Awkward Walk. And Passing the Phone (somebody stop me before I link them all…)

The (Over)Thinker

An outdoor casting of Rodi's famous bronze statue, "The Thinker"This article proposes an adjustment to a widely used theory in psychology, shifting the definition of “neuroticism” from overly reactive to highly reactive, and concluding that such reactivity offers benefits in the form of foresight, creativity and drive, not just the costs of anxiety and depression. Do I see subtle signs that HSP and introvert advocates are making a dent?

Those who have wrestled with depression and/or anxiety will immediately recognize the references to “Self Generated Thought.” There’s actually an acronym for that, SGT. Who knew? It’s more judgmentally known as “brooding” by those who never do it.

Just because everything’s been said doesn’t mean everybody’s heard it.

I thought for most of my early life that I had very little imagination. In fact, I despaired over it in my twenties, around the same time I realized that everything profound had probably already been said. (I later realized this doesn’t really matter, since wisdom needs a constant stream of carriers across the generations to keep it alive and relevant. Just because everything’s been said doesn’t mean everybody’s heard it).

Twenty years later, when I became conscious of “negative self-talk” and other fantasies of doom that fueled the ouroboros loop of depression, I was ROFL at the notion that I had no imagination. Au, so contraire! In reality, I was constructing scenarios in my mind non-stop. Almost all of my energy went into it. Maybe the content needed a little tweaking, but it had been irrefutably established over decades that I was not only creative, I was extremely focused and prolific!