Brian Orend’s book “Seizure the day” as a play on words to convey “carpe diem; but with epilepsy” was quite the aptly titled read.

Orend – a UW Professor with epilepsy who was experiencing seizures for years before he was appropriately diagnosed – writes this “DIY: Happiness Guide” with a genuine want to help and educate. This is clear in the advice, analogies, logic, and scientific research he’s compiled and supported with many psychologists’ and philosophers’ insights. He provides helpful lists on often overlooked aspects of life such as choosing the right career path, maintaining relationships, and the upkeep of health, diet, nutrition to name a few topics in the book. Including in depth models and observations on happy people, achieving goals, and how this can be extended to and adapted for those with chronic illnesses.

It appears that Aristotle emphasized courage in the pursuit of happiness – and Orend especially promotes this to those with chronic conditions. The make or break lies in the lack of will to try in the face of adversity and negativity. We needn’t back down unless we take our circumstances and make the best & happiest version of ourselves. Worse comes to worst – fake it till you make it. The optimism and positive mindset can keep you afloat till you’re able to attain the happiness you’re working towards. Refer to a summary of some interesting and meaningful information in the infographic should you want a taste of “Seizure the day” but the biggest takeaway I’ve gathered was this: those with chronic illnesses should not forego their happiness and wellbeing. Happiness is an attainable goal fueled by taking matters into one’s own hands through health management, work adaptation, relationship negotiations, and other considerations.

To close, in the words of R. Neibuhr; Happiness is the ability to accept the things you can’t change, have the courage to change what you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



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