To Get Happier, Focus on What Makes You Miserable

Focus on the bad

Interesting article which references Randy Paterson’s book  How to Be Miserable:  40 Strategies You Already Use.  This book offers an interesting counterpoint to our national happiness obsession:  Focus on the bad.

“If we can accept distressing feelings for what they are — part of the normal flow of human emotion —then, paradoxically, we will be less distressed. Our distress comes not from experiencing those emotions, but from our reaction to them as being unacceptable or abnormal.”


Happiness Goggles



So, if you haven’t noticed, one of the obsessions of the Elle of Eight team is obviously happiness. And imagine the joy when stumbling upon this homeopathic potion at the local market! I have NEVER heard of flower remedies for ingestion, but was more than willing to give this Beech remedy a whirl. In case you cannot read the fine print the description on the label states…and I quote, “helps you to be more tolerant and see the positive in others despite their imperfections.” HA! How nice to be able to remain in a “happy state” despite being in the presence of imperfection (a.k.a. mean people, negative nellies, self-absorbed snobs…)

Whether for yourself or a loved one, this little potion could be a good a stocking stuffer. Or, perhaps you can slip it inot your cranky co-worker’s coffee– with permission, of course! Even if it’s a placebo effect, I suppose if the act of using it is still effective, why not. What say you?


CONSENSES – Art that connects


I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to visit the Consenses exhibition on Martha’s Vineyard and meet it’s amazing founder, Sally Taylor (daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon).

Consenses is a collaborative, multidisciplinary game of “Telephone” featuring the work of 130 artists from all over the world who have never met.  22 Photographs of Martha’s Vineyard were selected.  The photos were sent to song writers, the songs were sent to dancers, the dances were sent to painters, the paintings were sent to perfume artists, the perfumes were sent to designers, and so on.

Sally was inspired by the ancient fable “The blind men and the Elephant” in which 5 Blind men come to their own concept of “Elephant” based on limited interactions with one.  It is her wish, through ConSenses that we explore what happens when we listen to one another without words, share our perceptions without judgment, take a look through each other’s eyes and let go of everything we thought we knew.




Check out her fantastic TED Talk!

The Art of Branding – Set yourself apart

There is a line that comes up in my household. It can be harsh and yet we laugh about it because it’s true…”what’s so great about you?” Why do we like this line? Because 1) it grounds us 2) it encourages us to dig deep and embrace our uniqueness and 3) it pushes us to maximize our potential. In business, these are words to live by. When competitors are abundant and capturing marketshare becomes a challenge– know how to set your company apart.

Danielle Guenther of Danielle Guenther Photography does a fabulous job of branding her service.  In the world of photography where competition is fierce, Ms. Guenther differentiates by portrayal.  Where most photographers encourage poses of perfection, Ms. Guenther captures the essence of real family life.  Perfect imperfection:  chaotic, exhausting, comical, distressing, silly, beautiful, and most of all– real.

To read more about branding, here is a great article to help inspire you to maximize your company’s potential.


Credit: Danielle Guenther Photography 

While this article was written to inspire you to properly brand your product and/or service. We also felt that Danielle Guenther is a genius photographer and wanted to showcase her work as “stuff we love.”