Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
— Abraham Lincoln
Dennis Prager is a conservative talk show host who is unique in my view for his intellectual heft. I first heard him talking about this subject several years ago and after considering it for a bit I realized that he is right. He has written a book on the topic, but his basic premise is summed up in his article Happiness Is a Moral Obligation:
Consider the effects of an unhappy parent on a child. Ask people raised by an unhappy parent if that unhappiness hurt them.
Consider the effects of an unhappy spouse on a marriage.
Consider the effects of unhappy children on their parents. I know a couple that has four middle-aged children of whom three are truly extraordinary people, inordinately well adjusted and decent. The fourth child has been unhappy most of his life and has been a never-ending source of pain to the parents. That one child’s unhappiness has always overshadowed the joy that the parents experience from the other three children. Hence the saying that one is no happier than one’s least happy child.
Consider the effects of a brooding co-worker on your and your fellow workers’ morale — not to mention the huge difference between working for a happy or a moody employer.
We should regard bad moods as we do offensive body odor. Just as we shower each day so as not to inflict our body odors on others, so we should monitor our bad moods so as not to inflict them on others. We shower partly for ourselves and partly out of obligation to others.
He makes the same basic point in the following youtube video:
Note: I went to his web site and noticed that one of his main topics is male/female relations, and he has a CD set out on Men’s Sexual Nature. I sent him a quick email to see if he has heard or read anything about game. I heard him speaking on the basic topic a few months ago while in the car. He is a solid thinker so his advice struck me as generally pretty good, but I think he is missing the pieces which game could provide. I’ll follow up in the comments section if I hear back from him.