Culver City Observer -

Smart and Spicy

Does Health=Happiness?


January 7, 2016

"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

I didn't get it the first time I saw this quotation by Abraham Lincoln.

I thought it made no sense.

It makes sense to me now. I've discovered that deciding to feel happy is like Captain Jean-Luc Picard's saying, "Make it so."

It's like channeling Oscar Hammerstein's lyrics:

Make believe you're brave

And the trick will take you far.

You may be as brave

As you make believe you are

The result of this deception

Is very strange to tell

For when I fool the people

I fear I fool myself as well!

How else to explain Viktor Frankl's mindset as he determined to survive the Holocaust by choosing his attitude. Or Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful?

Health does not always equal happiness. Look at all the glowingly healthy people in L.A. who seem to have everything, yet are miserable. Think of the people you've seen who are of good cheer even while coping with illness.

Are there things we can do to make ourselves happier, whatever might be going on with our health?

* * *

I went to an dazzling concert Sunday at LACMA's Bing Theater. It was Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in 2 in C minor Opus 18 and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue played on two pianos side-by-side (not facing each other) by Inna Faliks and Daniel Schlosberg. Watching Faliks' hands is like watching a ballet. This was music luscious and romantic. Faliks gave new meaning to the concept of tickling the keys. There was so much teasing by the two pianos it was like sex: playful, provocative, satisfying.

Who doesn't like Rhapsody in Blue? They made it comforting and exciting, both. It was like sex with an old lover; you knew every note, but still, it surprised you because you forgot how gorgeous it is.

I felt happy being there.

* * *

Ask yourself:

"Am I doing fun things?"

"Am I taking care of me?"

Whatever your state of health, you can make up your mind to be happier. What do you get pure joy out of doing? Make sure you schedule that in.

Try this:

1. Twice a day, when you wake up, and when you go to sleep, think of what you're grateful for.

2. Try to do one kind thing for someone every day.

Will this make you feel happier on the threshold of this shiny new year? I believe it will.

Let me know. I wish you a sensuous weekend.


©Carole Bell 2016 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything.

You can write to her at:


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