Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Man Attempts to Live an Entire Year Without Unhappiness

From Twitter.
Today the Wall Street Journal reports on a man named Cathal Morrow who is trying to live an entire year without feeling unhappy. According to his website, he started this project because of his belief that happiness is a permanent state underpinning all other feelings, so if we can remind ourselves to be happy, we will be. He uses techniques like jumping up and down to stave off unhappiness.

This project comes hot on the heels of his last one:  living a whole year without lying. Morrow's honesty experiment was sponsored by Ten Large Capital, a private equity firm, and he will probably release a book about it. He is currently looking for someone to sponsor his happiness project. Unfortunately, his website apparently hasn't been updated since July, so we can't check in on his progress, but he still tweets regularly.

What do YOU think about projects like this? Would you be able to chase away unhappiness for a whole year? Is that even desirable? Drop us a line in the comments section.


  1. Like I said in my comment on this on the Facebook post, I think such thing is impossible... And that is okay. I can tell from my personal thanksgiving experience that it is possible to think happy thoughts every day for a year, but there are times when you'd have to think them together with your less happy thoughts, which doesn't mean that you're an unhappy person. Of all things, this was the single most valuable lesson I learnt from my project. Hey, if someone's willing to sponsor my thankfulness I'm totally willing to do another thankful year. So yeah, drop me a line if you're interested ;-) :p

  2. I think the post project outcome will be really interesting, if happiness is a state of mind, and he retrains his mind for twelve months intensively will he end up being a much happier human being in the years to follow? I would hope so. .. Kerin

  3. Julia: Yes, trying to block all unhappy thoughts all the time is probably impossible. Not only that, but constantly fighting your own thoughts might even turn into a source of misery!

    To Kerin: I agree that reading about this man's life in a few years would be interesting. Have you ever seen the "Up" documentary series (not related to the Pixar film)? While it wouldn't have to be that extensive, it is always interesting to watch people over time and see how their choices affect their lives--especially if they're doing experiments on themselves.