The habits you cultivate can enable you to feel happy, even in overwhelming times
“I love Ralph Waldo Emerson. And he said, the reason why the world lacks unity and lies broken and in heaps, is because man is disunited with himself. And so these seven pieces are all about reconnecting with yourself and the things that are important in your life, including including the nourishment of relationship. And nourishment of yourself.”
Happiness, according to David Paul Kirkpatrick, is all about connection: connection to yourself, to the Earth, to other people, to rituals and myths. It is an endless cycle we can nurture, break, and mend.
Having spent more than 40 years as a Hollywood studio executive, David has read over 80,000 screenplays and worked as president of Paramount Pictures and production chief at Walt Disney Studios. Throughout this experience, he intentionally developed a core of stability and joy that has buoyed him through many a storm.
In this episode, David chats with Matt East, host of the Better Humans Podcast, about the seven keys to happiness he details in his article, “This is How to Be Happy in Overwhelming Times”.
Matt: What inspired you to write this piece?
David: Well, I’m of a certain age and a lot of people around me are having problems with this concept of what we call creative destruction. That’s an economic term, but essentially it means that all the things that we used to know have suddenly disappeared with the rise of new and more, perhaps, effective things.
For instance, in the old days, it was credit cards and taxis and movie theaters and landlines and Kodachrome film. Now we’re living in basically a cashless economy. Uber has taken hold, streaming, and a lot of people are just having a real problem connecting, right?
A couple of people just broke down in my kitchen crying. So I figured, I can write something about this to really help people with a very, very busy life. Everybody has a very busy life—whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the way it is.
I was in the movie business for about 40 years and managing lots and lots of movies at once. And so I thought I’d just write down and put together my practices that have really helped make me feel complete and also centered and calm in the wildest of storms.