In late June, I attended the Happiness and its Causes conference in Melbourne. This was one of the most inspiring and useful conferences I've been to. Over four days, world renowned experts discussed their groundbreaking research alongside the likes of the Dalai Lama and the hysterical and extraordinarily motivated Father Bob Maguire, who spoke from their own experience. One of my favourites from the latter category was the legendary Australian political and philosophical cartoonist Michael Leunig.
“There's a time when you're down and you don't want to make cartoons for the world and you start to get into this appalling mess,” Leunig told the audience. “When you're able to stay with the mess and play in it, creativeness and joy comes through.”
"Disillusionment seems to precede creativity, and I've learned not to be afraid of it," he continued. “To stay in grief and loss, and to create in grief and loss, is to regenerate.”
On Wednesday I'll discuss the findings--and differing opinions-- of two internationally renowned researchers exploring an age old question: How much does happiness matter? How much emphasis should we put on achieving it?
Next week I'll include two more posts on the research of another standout speaker, psychologist Carol Dweck.
For now let me leave you with one little Leunigism:
it's terrible the way we've assigned blue to depression… it's the colour of the
sky!" [Said while searching for a blue pen to
embellish the drawing he was creating on stage.]
I totally agree!
Stay tuned for more posts from Happiness
and its Causes! Up next: Do you need to be happy to have a fulfilling life?