A Course in Happiness

Laurie Santos is a Yale professor who teaches the most popular course ever at the college – Psychology and the Good Life.

Salary does make for happiness – after the basics, more money is a dud.

Spending time with a friend and doing things in the moment makes us happier.

Professor Santos encourages learning without laptops even though they have been proven to aid a better outcome.  But face-to-face makes for happier people.  Fortunately, her course is pass/fail – less anxiety.

Rewirements may be necessary – meditate, get more sleep, learn to be thankful.

Students loved the gratitude journal – it’s not new, maybe today is a good time to start one in your own unique way.

Social media?  A no-no but students struggle for a way to stay connected to their generation without losing their happiness to the black hole of social connection.

If you have ten minutes, meet Laurie Santos and her students here.  Maybe forward this to a young person.

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Me Time

Of course “me time”, time spent primarily on you can be reinvigorating especially if you’re under a lot of stress.

But “you time” focused on others can also carry the benefits of “me time”.

Time you devote to others – this powerful giving of self is not to be underestimated.

Listening.

Helping.

Calling, conversing and showing person centered interest in someone who is not you.  Just staying in touch.

It has been proven that one of the best mood elevators we have available is to lose ourselves in the lives of those who mean something to us.

To a daughter or son putting your phone down first and saying “Let’s go for a walk (or a run)”.

To a friend who is alone, a call or visit.

For someone else who is also feeling a world of anxiety – “How about lunch tomorrow?”  That’s “we time”.

Time not focused on you redirected to others also relieves anxiety.

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Getting Rich

My senior year college students often asked “What does it take to make a lot of money?” shortly before graduation.

After all the student loan debt many undergraduates acquired, you can’t blame them.

They were disappointed in my answer.

Be great at doing something and get someone to pay you for what you love to do.

Targeting ” more money” is almost always a guarantee of failure.

More money is not a strategy.

Becoming an expert at something you love — that’s the first important step.

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Dreams

Dreams without a plan are fantasy.

Dreams about future accomplishments are now expectations.  They are out in public, no longer just a fire that burns inside of us.

But when we dream about possibilities, we need to have a plan to achieve them.

The plan is as important as the dream although it is often missing from the start.

What does your dream look like?

What does it mean?

How motivated are you to do whatever it takes to make it reality?

Most importantly, what is the first step – then the next step and every move thereafter to make it come true.

Nothing is sadder than seeing a dream of something you can almost taste in your future and no practical, specific way to get to it.

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Bad Bosses

Imagine a boss that doesn’t give you a day off for seven weeks.

Or one that calls you in the middle of your radio show to tell you what you’re doing wrong.

The one who critiques your work when he or she is under the influence (almost every night).

The boss who shows favoritism to others and doesn’t keep their word.

I have worked for all these people.  Perhaps you have a few challenges of your own.

Bad bosses cause good employees to quit jobs they love.

Rule one – never quit a job you love.

Rule two – outlast the bad boss who is making your life miserable (unless they are abusers or so adversely affecting your health that you are in jeopardy).  But report them.

Power, politics and ego are three of the most likely attributes of a bad boss.

Rule three – while suffering fools, never stop reminding yourself of your value.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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