Hitchcock's Secret to Happiness

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The secret of happiness and purpose endures as our highest aspiration. From its science and psychology to its geography to its empirical application, we go after it with ceaseless zeal.

In this brilliantly wise and articulate short excerpt from an archival interview, the great Alfred Hitchcock shares his definition of happiness -- a definition that makes my own heart sing, and harks back to this meditation on kindness and the lack thereof.

A clear horizon -- nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive.... I can't bear quarreling, I can't bear feelings between people -- I think hatred is wasted energy, and it's all non-productive. I'm very sensitive -- a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they're close for me, haunts me for days. I know we're only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you're going to create something -- I think that's as happy as I'll ever want to be.

Beautifully said, with a blend of personal vulnerability and firm conviction worthy of profound respect.

Via Open Culture.

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This post also appears on Brain Pickings, an Atlantic partner site.

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Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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