February 02, 2014

How To Be Happy: Don’t Ask The Internet

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 15.02.05

Number one search term after typing “how to be”

Recently, I’ve noticed on Twitter, on blogs, online generally that there is a LOT of articles claiming to “help you be happy” (whatever that means). It’s becoming the new annoying tag line that once was “Be a Happier Healthier You!” that would be on at least one women’s magazine each month.

Whether these articles are doing the rounds online are called “10 steps to Happiness” or “How to be a Happier You” or “Happiness is Right Around the Corner”; there is one thing they all have in common (in my opinion)- they are equally as ANNOYING.

Here’s why: 1) They don’t know you. 2) Happiness is different for every one 3) OMG! Are you telling me that one page of writing in a fluffy women’s magazine is the secret ALL my happiness. Why didn’t I read this sooner??

This year, I’ve decided to only read articles or read books that describe themselves as “self-help” books if they are written by someone with an interesting story (the Richard Branson’s of the world I.e. people with a proven track record) or one that is about physical things “how to learn more about technology” for example written by the founders of Google. You know what I mean. Facts and figures and stuff. Useful things I can actually implement if I need to, in daily life. That, to me, is more helpful that a few online writers pretending that they have the meaning of life hidden in their broken biro.

It’s happening all over Amazon too, these phonies think they can help you for £5.99. If you do a simple search on Amazon you’ll see 20 full pages of books that will promise to make you happy. Some of them aren’t cheap either.

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 15.07.48

Then there’s the articles that you’ll find circulating the Internet with a headline you can’t refuse to click on:

“12 Secrets of Being Happy” – Daily Mail
The Habits of Supremely Happy People – Huffington Post
“Want to be Happy? Start Doing These Things Now” – Life Hacker
“10 Scientifically Proven Ways to be incredibly Happy” – Inc 

Who is writing this rubbish? Really really super happy people? Are they really happy or just trying to give some advice they once heard on an episode of Friends? It’s a nice idea but I don’t buy it. I like the idea of everyone writing what makes them happy – but not the idea of charging people money to read something that clearly won’t do what it says on the tin. I’m lookin’ at YOU, Paul McKenna.

Anyway, if you want to take my advice, don’t take anyone’s advice. You’ll have to figure it out yourself; after all, no one knows you as well as you do.

 Ooooh.. #DEEPANDMEANINGFUL #SUNDAYMOMENT 

  • SO TRUE! I was just telling someone about this the other day…how there are all these blog posts and things going around the internet about how to feel better about yourself and how to be happy, but they are just written by regular people with absolutely no qualifications and yet we all say that’s so true, if I could just feel like that….it is kind of sad that we NEED that many books and articles and posts to tell us how to be happy anyway!

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic