In this terrific video, Gretchen Rubin explains that self-knowledge, not power or health or positive thinking, is the key to happiness. The problem? To know ourselves requires a bit of daring.
It may call on us to give something up.
There is, as she says, "a sadness" to self-knowledge because it is also the simultaneous acknowledgement of what we are not. But once we overcome the idea of what happiness should mean and focus on what it does mean for each of us as individuals, life begins.
She offers this advice: "we should always pay very special attention to anything we try to hide."
At IdeaFestival 2013, you will hear Oliver Burkeman, author of "Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking," talk about the unusual route some people have taken to their respective happy places. The festival recently interviewed Burkeman for its Five Questions series, where he touches on the danger of positive thinking. Give it a watch.
I suspect that at IdeaFestival 2013 he will similarly emphasis that self-knowledge can be uncomfortable. But as with the related state of awe, the irony is that it adds by subtraction, by showing us what we are not.
I hope to see you at IdeaFestival 2013! Please remember that beginning September 2 prices for Festival Pass will increase.