If you’ve been having a feeling of weltschmerz lately, who can blame you? Weltscmerz is a German word meaning weariness and melancholy, usually related to the current state of the world. Perhaps a small dose of je ne sais quoi (French for “a little something good—an indefinable attractive quality or thing”) would help.

Tim Lomas, a lecturer in applied positive psychology at the University of East London, attended a conference at Walt Disney World where he heard  a lecture on the Finnish concept of sisu, a word for the psychological strength that allows a person to overcome extraordinary challenges. The word has no real equivalent in English; it refers both to determination and bravery, a willingness to act even when the reward seems out of reach. The presenter, Emilia Lahti, proposed that sisu is not a uniquely Finnish trait, but…

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