Lucy Vickery

Get a life | 5 October 2017

In Competition No. 3018 you were invited to take your lead from Meik Wiking — CEO at the Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke — and provide an extract from your own Little Book of….

When I set this challenge, I had in mind the words of the Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor Frankl (he was speaking of American culture): ‘…again and again, one is commanded and ordered to “be happy”. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.’

You probably don’t need to tell that to Svend Brinkmann, whose book Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze is a robust response to our relentless, self-help-manual-propelled quest to create a better, happier self. Brinkmann suggests that we resist the prevailing pressure to move forwards and be ever more agile and innovative, and learn instead to stand still, suppress our feelings and focus on the negative.

Jennifer Moore was unlucky to miss out on a place in the winning line-up. Those that made the final cut, a satisfyingly varied bunch, are rewarded with £30 each. Paul Carpenter scoops the extra fiver. 

Ever felt the warm cosy feeling of having written a book that states the obvious but sells in huge quantities? Then you are experiencing flogge.
 
Flogge has become fashionable recently but at heart it reflects the basic human desire to exploit the foolishness of others. It is hard to define with precision but you will know your life is floggelig (full of flogge) when you are sitting in a snug, prestigious bookshop with a queue of glowing readers snaking down a luminous high street, waiting to share flogge with you.

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