Saturday, February 27, 2010


So, this will be a bit of a deviation from my normal light-hearted posts, but I think it is worth it.

I was reading on this morning and came across a couple of articles about on the subject of happiness.

The first was "5 Things That Will Make You Happier". None of them were a surprise to me, but I found it interesting that it came out of a study of 51 studies. I really liked this quote: "recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices."

People do need to TAKE CHARGE of happiness in their lives. Life is not just about things that happen to us, it is about how we react to those things. It is interesting that they state "life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do".

In summary, the 5 things are:

1. Be Grateful
2. Be Optimistic
3. Count Your Blessings
4. Use Your Strengths
5. Commit Acts of Kindness

Like I said, no shockers - in fact, it is funny that this study reinforces what the Bible and scriptures have been saying, well, FOREVER.

The next article I found interesting because it was about what States people were happiest in. Honestly, I did not expect Utah to be very high because so many people (in Utah) talk about how people here are unhappy because of the pressures placed on them by the prominent religion (I made that argument many times as a teenager). However, I have since changed my thinking and feel that it is not as bad as I once thought it was. I think a lot of those pressures are more perceived than actual.

Interesting side note, while putting this together, I was talking with CLR and posed the question "where do you think Utah ranked in a study analyzing what states had the happiest people?" He said he didn't think that Utah would be very high (citing a high rate of people treated for depression).

Without further ado, Utah is number two. I guess people who think otherwise are giving into the stigma (Like CLR and me).

Top 5:
Hawaii: 70.2
Utah: 68.3
Montana: 68.3
Minnesota: 67.8
Iowa: 67.6

The final feature was "7 Thoughts that are Bad for You". I don't think they are as much thoughts, per se, as they are states-of-mind or attitudes, but relevant in any case.

7. Cynicism
6. Lack of Meaning
5. Fretting
4. Lack of Self-Control
3. Anxiety
2. Gloom and Doom
1. Stress

Like I said, interesting.

The main take-away I got was the reinforced belief that a person can have a large effect on their own happiness.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Name is...

Some of you may remember a post I did back in September about people getting my last name wrong. I followed that up with this post when Google spited me with suggesting my name be spelled differently. Well, Apple never wants to out done by Google and tonight my iPhone stuck to me in a similar but different way.

When your last name is Rawlins, one thing you have to be prepared for is being called "Rawlings". A LOT. Even as an LDS missionary where I was wearing a name tag 100% of the time, it seemed I got Rawlings as much as Rawlins. Well, thanks for keeping the trend alive iPhone.

However, I can't be too hard on people as I recently butchered one of my professor's name. A few weeks ago I had a question about a test, so I stopped by the instructor's office.
(Door is open)
Me: *knock-knock* Mr. Wilberg?
Professor: Wiberg
Me: Excuse me?
Professor: It's Wiberg. There is no "L" in my name.
(I look at his name plate on the door)
Me: Well, I'll be... you're right.
Professor: I know.

On another note, I never know what to call my professors... Mr./Mrs. So-and-so? Prof. So-and-so? Dr. So-and-so? Just by their first name?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

13 Socks?!?!

Dear Jerzees socks people,
I recently bought a few packages of socks from Walmart (my friend Ernie doesn't really like Walmart, but the prices are good and - after seeing the other people there - I feel better about everything that is "me") and it just so happens that the best prices were for Jerzee Brand socks.

As everyone is, I was delighted to get home and open my new socks... that excitement quickly faded when I discovered 13 socks in my package of white, low-cut, men’s, size 12 socks. Allegedly, the package contained 6 pairs; now, I may be a High School drop out, but a dummy I'm not. After consulting my calculator, I learned that 6 times 2 is 12. Imagine my dismay!

Some may be pleased to receive an extra sock (although, these are the same people who believe that dryers eat socks, so I don't know that we should give much credit to their opinion). What you don’t understand is I have a long and storied history with matching socks. Legend has it my Grandmother has repeatedly said, "if there are socks in heaven, I'm not going!" I will have you know that my Grandmother is a saintly woman and there better not be any socks in heaven.

Furthermore, do you know what it was like finding clean and matching socks in my house as a young man? Finding water in the Sahara would have been easier. Because of this history, having socks correctly paired is important to me. I recently went 2 years without losing a sock. In fact, if I do laundry and a sock is missing, the lone sock gets burned and buried 6 feet under.

I do not mess around with solo socks.

Do you know how hard it is going to be for me to match 13 socks? Nearly impossible. I stayed up for 2 nights trying to figure it out. Given this predicament I have no choice to send back this sock. I shudder to think that someone may have only gotten 11. Please ensure that this will never happen again; the world is messed up enough as it is.


**While some elements of this tale may be exaggerated, the 13 socks part - true; Grandma part - true