Post image for Forget about the money, follow your bliss

A friend of mine graduated from college last year with a degree in business administration. His dream was to major in engineering and pursue a career in designing high-tech electronics. But his father, the owner of a bakery chain franchise, convinced him a business degree was a more realistic and sensible decision.

My friend now manages his father’s business. He makes good money and drives an expensive car. He made the “sensible” decision. The problem is he gets no satisfaction or any sense of fulfillment from his occupation. He confided to me that he hates the company and only does it for the money. Pleasing his father also plays a big role, I would guess. Joseph Campbell, the brilliant mythologist and author, would say that my friend failed to “follow his bliss.”

In the 1988 PBS documentary, The Power of Myth, as well as in the book of the same title, Campbell relates the following story: [click to continue…]


Post image for The concept of happiness: 5 essential books

The concept of happiness is a subject that endlessly engrosses me and is often the subject of Hipster Monk posts. Humans strive for happiness. People ask: What does it take to live a happy life? Money? Success? Sex? Family? Faith? Is there some secret that no one is telling me?

I don’t have the ultimate prescription for true happiness. I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. But what I do know is that happiness won’t be found in any of the thousands of self-help books taking up valuable space at the book store. In the history of publishing, I highly doubt anyone has found true and lasting happiness from a self-help book. Skip those time wasters. Instead, read about the concept of happiness.

Here are 5 recent and essential books that look at this elusive concept of happiness through the lenses of science, philosophy, history and even geography. [click to continue…]


Vegan? I don’t like that word

Thumbnail image for Vegan? I don’t like that word

In the cover story of the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford is asked if he identifies himself as being a Christian. Mumford’s parents are church leaders in the U.K. and his lyrics frequently reference God, prayer, and spirituality. Although never doubting the existence of God, Mumford stops short of […]

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Money can buy happiness

Thumbnail image for Money <em>can</em> buy happiness

Recent studies have shown that the phrase, “money can’t buy happiness” may not necessarily be correct. While it’s true that money in not a prerequisite for happiness, it can make life easier and promote happiness, but only if it is spent in the right way. In the animated video below, AsapSCIENCE explains that “people who […]

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Downsizing your massive book collection: A practical approach

Thumbnail image for Downsizing your massive book collection: A practical approach

A minimalistic lifestyle, however trendy that may be, has been something I have been committed to for a few years. Ridding myself of unnecessary possessions is a lot easier than I thought it would be. It’s actually quite exiting and addictive. Not a day goes by where I don’t scan my stuff and pick out […]

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Zen and the Art of Happiness

Thumbnail image for Zen and the Art of Happiness

Zen and the Art of Happiness Chris Prentiss Power Press (2006) Chris Prentiss opens Zen and the Art of Happiness by writing, “there is only one way to achieve lasting happiness. That way is simply: be happy.” It’s a great opening that made me eager to read on. Unfortunately, the rest of the slim 145 […]

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Are you getting all of your vitamins?

Thumbnail image for Are you getting all of your vitamins?

Do you ever wonder if you are getting all of the necessary vitamins from the foods you eat? It’s really not that difficult to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to run at an optimum level, provided you are eating a variety of foods. Supplements are not always necessary for […]

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New Year’s non-resolution

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New year’s resolutions don’t work. I don’t have to tell you this. You already know. So, why do you keep making them and breaking them year after year. You’re not going to lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job, eat healthier, exercise more, stick to a savings plan or anything else based on a […]

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Monk-Mix Playlist #2: Cheesy Goodness

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Since the beginning of popular music one particular sound seems to hijack the radio stations and take over popular culture to the point of deluge. It’s the type of song that gets stuck in your head so deeply that it takes a team of hypnotists to purge it from your psyche. I’m talking about cheesy […]

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MLK preaches peace on Christmas

Thumbnail image for MLK preaches peace on Christmas

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first delivered A Christmas Sermon on Peace on Christmas eve 1967, a few months before his violent death. As relevant now as it was 43 years ago, here are excerpts from the simple yet profoundly moving address. This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither […]

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Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking [Booklist]

Thumbnail image for Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking [Booklist]

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking Oliver Burkeman Faber & Faber, inc. (2012) Newsflash: life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. There are a lot of happy, joyful events that happen every day, but there is also a lot of sadness, failure and stress. Is the key to happiness focusing on […]

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Bowie and Bing: A Christmas miracle

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Of all the Christmas miracles bestowed upon mankind, perhaps none has showcased the sheer majesty of divine power more than when David Bowie and Bing Crosby came together for one fateful night to perform the best, and most unlikely, Christmas duet of the last 2000 years. The song in question is, of course, “Little Drummer […]

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Protesting Westboro Baptist Church with poetry

Thumbnail image for Protesting Westboro Baptist Church with poetry

I don’t like to talk about people or organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church. Up until now I’ve never mentioned their childish, hate-mongering antics on this website. No Fred Phelps; no “God Hates [Fags, Fag Enablers, America, Israel, Your Tears, etc]” signs. You couldn’t find it here. Seriously, I had better things to do. Phelps […]

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An alternative to buying my kids more crap for Christmas

Thumbnail image for An alternative to buying my kids more crap for Christmas

I have two kids, ages 11 and 9. I’m not buying them anything for Christmas this year. No, the reason is not because they have been bad and don’t deserve anything. On the contrary, I couldn’t be more proud of them. And I’m not trying to protest our country’s obsession with consumerism by denying them […]

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Evil Santa: My first Christmas memory

Thumbnail image for Evil Santa: My first Christmas memory

The first Christmas I celebrated was only a few short years ago, well into my twenties. I have no fond childhood memories of Christmas to share because, being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, my parents didn’t celebrate the holiday. I don’t feel slighted in any way. I had a very good childhood, simply without Christmas. […]

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More than Human: Tim Flach’s stunning portraits of animals

Thumbnail image for More than Human: Tim Flach’s stunning portraits of animals

Photographer Tim Flach’s newest book is an amazing collection of animal portraits called “More than Human.” The photos of these non-human animals showcase personalities and expressiveness rarely captured in still photography and solidifies the bond we share with all of our planet-mates.

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