The path to misery, the path to joy
Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

When the month of Adar comes in, we increase in joy, and Adar comes in today. Sol Herzig, the American Jewish psychologist, wrote a penetrating article called “Six Simple Strategies for Achieving Misery”. In his words, these are the most well-tested strategies for not achieving happiness:

1. Cling to entitlement. Always feel that you deserve everything, that life owes you, that you were born to receive. Always look for the injustice in others having something that you don’t have and don’t agree to any accommodation or compromise.

2. It’s all personal. Always assume that everything unfortunate that happens to you results from an evil intention. Always seek to find malicious motives behind everything and conclude that what happens to you is final proof that you do not matter to others.

3. Focus on problems. Keep careful track of all your problems and review them constantly. Nurture the attitude that you really cannot move on to anything until everything is resolved first.

4. Magnify. Don’t keep anything in perspective. Try to nurture negative thinking in relation to every mishap and to magnify it without any attempt at regret or forgiveness.

5. Expect catastrophe. It is critical to remember that really terrible things can occur at any moment. Let your imagination run wild – diseases, disasters, terrorist attacks. Don’t let anything surprise you. Be constantly vigilant.

6. Never be grateful. Regard what you have as something that should be taken for granted, without thanking those who made it possible.

How much do we strive to live by these suggestions without even knowing it? May we have a good new month, a month of joy.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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