Photo Credit: Jewish Press

When Adar begins, we’re supposed to become more joyous. Since there are two Adars this year, that means an especially joyful 60 days.

Dr. Sol Herzig, an American psychologist, wrote a poignant article a decade ago titled “Six Simple Strategies for Achieving Misery.” Here they are – the most successful strategies for not achieving joy:

  1. Cling to Entitlement: Always feel entitled, that life owes you, that you were born to receive. Always look for the injustice in others having something that you do not, and do not agree to any concession or compromise.
  2. It’s all Personal: Always assume that everything was done with evil intentions. Always try to find malicious intent and seize every opportunity to see it as conclusive proof that you do not matter to others.
  3. Focus on Problems: Keep careful track of all your problems and constantly review them. Nurture the attitude that you can’t really move on to anything unless everything is resolved first.
  4. Magnify Everything: Do not cheat yourself out of misery by maintaining perspective. Try to cultivate negative thinking in respect to every mistake or mishap and magnify it, without allowing for regret or forgiveness.
  5. Expect Catastrophe: It’s important to remember that terrible, horrible things might happen any minute, and to let your imagination run wild. Diseases, disasters, terror attacks – don’t let anything surprise you. Be alert.
  6. Just say “No thanks” to gratitude: Take everything you’ve received in life as a given, without thanking those who caused it. Try to focus on what you don’t have rather than what you do have.

And after you adopt – or, rather, don’t adopt – these six pieces of advice, you may have a joyful, two months of Adar!