How to be happy?(快乐的秘诀)

How To Be Happy

By Matt

FarrAt the airport bookstore, there are only about a dozen freestanding shelves of books. It’s Darwinian selection at its most brutal: only the most popular authors, the newest novels, and the most recognizable classics survive. You won’t find the lesser known works of Oscar Wilde or Voltaire or even Hemingway ― there isn’t space for them. Jane Austen makes only the briefest appearance, and Edgar Allen Poe shows his face only at Halloween. There are no collections of poetry beyond Dr. Seuss.

There is, however, a whole rack of self help books.

Americans are obsessed with making ourselves better. Smarter. Thinner. You can buy books to improve your vocabulary. You can devour a stack of books that will teach you to work more efficiently, more ruthlessly, and claw your way to the top ― and then you can read books on how to stop and smell the roses and enjoy your life more fully. There are even books that will teach you how to organize your closets.

All of these things dance around the essential truth: we want to be happy. We want to be loved. We want to find meaning in our lives and feel that our contributions make a difference.

This, then, is the Rusty Brain Guide: How To Be Happy.

Eat more cookies. Abstaining from a single cookie isn’t going to make you look svelte and toned. Go on, eat some cookies. I recommend the double chocolate ones with chocolate chips inside.

Sing. In your car. In elevators. At the mall, especially at Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. In hospital corridors. Before important client meetings. When people give you that patronizing look, wink at ’em.

Make Popsicles.

Stay home on the weekend and disconnect your phone.

Bring a plastic straw to a fancy restaurant. Make loud gurgling sounds when you get to the bottom as you attempt to drink every last molecule of diet Coke.

Order the stuff on the menu that you’ve never heard of ― like Gkaeng Cheud Bplah Meuk Yad Sai (Stuffed Squid Soup with Napa Cabbage or Squash).

Talk to strangers.

Collect something weird that isn’t expensive but is relatively hard-to-find.

Wear odd hats in public places.

Amass a jar of coins. Bury them in your back yard. Draw a treasure map and give it to a friend.

Walk to the park near your house. Do some somersaults. When was the last time you did a somersault, anyway?

Eat pickles out of the jar.

Build a Web site and write your own Rusty Brain column (Matt only).

Spend a day by yourself. Leave your cell phone at home. Wander the streets, muttering to yourself and occasionally disagreeing with what you’ve just muttered.

Buy a puppy. Name it Charo.

Get your teeth capped. Move to Hollywood. Become a star. (Isn’t that what you’ve been dreaming about anyway?)

Wear thong panties under your habit (nuns only).

Throw a surprise birthday party for a friend. Invite lots of people. Make sure that your friend’s actual birthday is nowhere near the date of the party.

Belch in public. Then sigh contently.

Suntan naked on a public beach. Adopt a European accent for the day to explain your complete lack of modesty.

Quit your worthless job and dedicate your life to the study of the Moroccan flute.

Fly a kite.

Stop wasting your life with the Moroccan flute and get a real job.

Volunteer at your library, or church, or your local soup kitchen, or Habitat for Humanity. Wear clothes so ratty that you are often mistaken for one of the “needy.”

Use the word “Jonesing” as often as possible. As in, “Man, I’m Jonesin’ for some homemade Popsicles.” Studies have shown this will make you happy.

Join a bowling league. Buy a large red bowling ball. Name it “Gorbachev.”

Drive to the nearest national forest. Hike a mile with a backpack full of cold fried chicken and biscuits. Find a clearing where you will not meet a single human and have a picnic.

Stare at the clouds for a full afternoon and dream.

Think about the things you love to do. Now go do those things more often.

Meet someone, fall in love, live happily ever after.


文 / 马特・法尔







●无论是在汽车里、电梯间、超市、特别在Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn这样的商店里,都要哼哼歌。在医院的走廊上,在会见重要客户的会议上,也要哼歌。当人们注目你的时候,朝他们眨眨眼睛。




●只点菜单上你从来没听说过的东西–类似名叫Gkaeng Cheud Bplah Meuk Yad Sai (鱿鱼汤加纳帕甘蓝或南瓜) 之类的。




●存一大罐硬币并埋在你家后面的院子里。然后画一张藏宝图,交给你的一个朋友。 (让他找去吧!)



●自己建立一个网站,写自己的”方脑袋专栏” (仅适用于马特) 。




●在法衣下穿的是系皮带的衬裤 (仅适用于修女 ) 。












●遇见某人, 堕入情网, 然后幸福地生活。

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