I like Parade magazine! While my husband grabs the sports section, the section with the police beat, and the Best Buy circular I grab the funny’s (my favorites are “For Better or For Worse” and Family Circus) and Parade. Walter Scott’s Personality Parade, Parade Picks, Ask Marilyn, you know you love it too! Anyway this summer they had a Happiness Quiz (I am also a sucker for quizzes). If you haven’t taken the quiz and would like to, click on this link and then come back for my wisdom… Parade’s Happiness Quiz How did you do? I got 7 out of 10, pretty good but with room for improvement. This quiz was a revelation and a reminder to me on why I am a generally a content person. In my 20’s I had bouts of depression that were deeper than anything I could “talk myself out of”. By my 30’s I was better but operating something like the-opposite-of-a-cheerleader. A mentor at work encouraged me to take The Dale Carnegie Course. I really didn’t want to (in fact if I had known it was mostly public speaking I would have turned and run the other way!) but I felt I needed to be agreeable or else I would get fired. I don’t know what it is about me but a lot of my motivation at work came from fear of getting fired. It never happened and that fear only slightly diminished over my 15 year career. During that 3 month course I completely change a lot of my habits and nearly 10 years later it ‘s still working and NOT a major effort at all. I suppose I would have had the same experience with typing had I not decided to return to pecking after my high-school typing class because typing the correct way was just too uncomfortable. One of the big principles that stuck with me from The Dale Carnegie Course was to be positive (do not criticize, condemn, or complain). Even if you don’t feel it inside – fake it. Resist the urge to gripe and your insides will eventually match your outsides. It takes a little upfront energy but you will save energy later when you would have been using it to break-down all those negative feelings. I really don’t want to sound like an infomercial for a 12-CD-program but it really works! What really stuck with me from the quiz was how people with low expectations are happier because they have less disappointment. Its not about being pessimistic. I think it’s about being HAPPY with your glass half-full and not postponing happiness on the chance one day it will be. Did you ever notice you enjoy a movie more when you’re not expecting much?