Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

A Mysterious Observation about Happiness from Oscar Wilde.

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”  — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

This has always struck me as an eerie and mysterious observation; I’ve been surprised by its truth.

Taking a job, dating a person, accepting a position, a great bargain…how often do we pursue a certain course because we know that if we don’t take advantage of something, someone else will?

Do You Hesitate to Throw Something Away, for Fear that Others Might Pick It Up?

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.” 

–Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Have you faced this problem — for instance, deciding to pursue some opportunity, even though you weren’t really interested, because you knew you’d be annoyed if someone else got the chance to do it?

I remind myself of this observation all the time.

True or False? “When We Are Happy We Are Always Good.”

The relationship between virtue and happiness is one of the most complicated issues within the larger subject of happiness. I often think about what Oscar Wilde wrote: “When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.”

Do you think it’s generally true that “When we are happy we are always good”? Of course, this is a Wildean generalization, and very few things are always true, but I think there’s some truth to this saying. One of the main reasons I started a happiness project in the first place was that I wanted to behave myself better. And I have found that when I’m happier, I find it easier to be good.

What do you think?

* If you love a good study as much as I do, you’ll love to cruise around Science Daily.

* Volunteer as a Super-Fan, and from time to time, I’ll ask for your help. Nothing too onerous, I promise. Sign up here or email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com. If you’re already a Super-Fan, thanks! I so appreciate your help.

“Nature, Which Makes Nothing Durable, Always Repeats Itself So That Nothing Which It Makes May Be Lost.”

“Nature, which makes nothing durable, always repeats itself so that nothing which it makes may be lost.”
— Oscar Wilde

* A great way to start the new year is to help someone, and if you want to take a step in the next five minutes to help someone, sign up to be an organ donor. And tell your family, too.

* If your book group is reading The Happiness Project — or considering it — I’ve prepared a one-page discussion guide for book groups. If you’d like a copy, email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com.( Don’t forget the “1.”)

“Nature, Which Makes Nothing Durable, Always Repeats Itself So That Nothing Which It Makes May Be Lost.”

“Nature, which makes nothing durable, always repeats itself so that nothing which it makes may be lost.”
–Oscar Wilde

* Back at home! I loved being away, but I’m so happy to be back.

* Are you reading The Happiness Project with a group? I’ve prepared a one-page discussion guide for book groups, as well as a guide tailored for church groups, spirituality book group, and the like. If you’d like either discussion guide (or both!), email me at grubin at gretchenrubin dot com.