Joy in the Midst of Misery

A Great Idea …

“Contrary to popular belief, having more than your share of misery does not mean you cannot have a lot of joy as well.” (Psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Authentic Happiness, p. 56)

In Other Words …

Many people believe that you can be either stressed OR happy. Yet many people have a boatload of misery while remaining cheery. The key is the way we think about our lives and troubles. Finding positive meaning from difficult circumstances will help us to experience joy even during difficult times.

How this Applies to You …

The next time a difficult situation arises, look for the positive meaning you can place on it. As a result of difficulties or trauma, you may change your priorities. You may set aside what is unimportant (like things) and care more about what is important(like the people in your life). You can turn your lump of coal experiences into diamonds by the way you think about them.

To Find Out More …

For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at

For more information on improving your strengths, we recommend Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman or Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson.

2 replies on “Joy in the Midst of Misery”

Thank you dr. Wally. I really enjoy reading all that you write and although I don’t often comment I want to register my appreciation for your great work.

This one, I’m sure, you could personalize for us. I have no doubt you are having some miserable moments lately, but I equally sure you are happy and full of good cheer.

Bless you Brother.

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