Happiness Project brunch, no. 3

As far the Happiness Project is concerned, if you'd rather see delicately filtered photos of friends eating brunch awash in sunlight, ignore my previous post and keep scrolling...

The topic for March: Work. Our collective tangent: Manifesting our destinies. No big deal. 

Never under estimate a good scrambled egg. Or two dozen of them. 

I was just getting back into town right before this brunch (which was true in February and will be true in April as well...because "just coming or going" seems to be most all the time for me), so the menu was simple. Scrambled eggs may be quick, but they don't have to be boring. The night before I cooked a lot of extra crispy bacon and crumbled it in preparation for the morning. I also cut up a lot bell peppers and set them in the fridge on a paper towel to dry, otherwise they give the eggs a troublesome consistency. Beyond the peppers and bacon, add to two dozen eggs a few splashes of Half and Half, generous heaps of course sea salt and ground pepper, and you're set. Oh, and lots of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Lots. Again, always remember, dieting is not allowed at brunch. 

@heathengoddess handling the fruit and cheese course, as it were. 

@psychopetals is responsible for this deliciousness. 

I already spun off into a monologue about this month's chapter, but here are a few points highlighted by the group as a whole. These were moments in the chapter that inspired people for one reason or another. I'd love to hear what you think about all this, whether you're reading the book or not. Feel free to comment below. 

Rubin writes: "My research had revealed that challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness. the brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. If you do new things - visit a museum for the first time, learn a new game, travel to a new place, meet new people - you're more apt to feel happy than people who stick to more familiar activities. Because novelty requires more work from the brain, dealing with novel situations evokes more intense emotional responses and makes the passage of time seem slower and richer." 
"We tend to overestimate how much we can accomplish in an hour or a week and underestimate how much we can accomplish in a month or a year, by doing just a little bit each day."  
"One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to expand your self-definition. You become larger. Suddenly you can do yoga or make homemade beer or speak a decent amount of Spanish. Research shows that the more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened." 
"To counteract fear, I told myself, 'I enjoy the fun of failure.' It's fun to fail, I kept repeating. It's part of being ambitious; it's part of being creative. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly." Side note: I always tell my staff that if you don't fail at one thing every day, you're probably not working hard enough. 

Our favorite paradox of the day was the arrival fallacy, the belief that once you get *there* you'll be happy. I say "paradox" because we've all set happiness-related goals, which certainly imply some sense of destination. This tension was something we discussed at length. When you overlay that tension on the topic of work and career, it was a rich discussion.

Rubin quotes Nietzsche: "The end of a melody is not its goal; but nonetheless, if the melody had not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable." Creating goals and moving forward with intention must be balanced with an ideal of living in The Now. I'm not sure anyone can ever really master that, but our little troupe of happiness project-ers is trying.

HELP! Crowdsourcing a bit of inspiration...

My tangential, self-absorbed post about Happiness Project brunch, no. 3