Happiness and the Economy

In early December, the American Psychological Association reported that 80% of Americans feel stressed by the economy, 60% feel angry about it, and 52% are having trouble sleeping (see CNN article, here). Yikes! Sleep-deprived, angry, stressed out… these are not descriptors normally associated with happiness, are they?!  The sad thing about this reality is how many people believe they can’t …

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Be In Joy

What is Joy?  Why do we seek it?  This short essay addresses the nature of joy, the different faces of joy, and the benefits of living in in that emotional state: ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Be in Joy Joy is the elixir for all things. Bring more joy into your tasks. When you radiate a vibration of joy, however mild, there is a …

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Life Includes Death

I learned just minutes ago that a good friend died yesterday. She was over a decade younger than me, and we had little in common except for our very broad and eclectic interests, an intense interest in curiosity about how people behave and a shared sense of (very dry) humor.  And that was enough. I first met Melissa in 1996, …

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Happiness and New Beginnings

I’m not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions.  Most people fail at them within a few weeks.  So then they give up… until next year. But hold on!  Maybe there’s a better way to approach self-improvement, one goal at a time. The start of the new year, in my opinion, just one occasion for creating change.  Think about how …

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Happiness is Colored Socks

Today, I celebrate colored socks. Two months ago I offered my newsletter readers 13 ideas for changing the world, starting with themselves.  One of those ideas (and the one most often commented on) was, “Wear Colored Socks (or something that adds a splash of color, flamboyant, or “wild” to your wardrobe).  The concept is that colored socks start conversations, can …

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Money CAN Buy Happiness

I recently re-discovered a fabulous article originally published by Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge site, way back in June.  It’s a research-based report on the concept of spending and Happiness. Selected excerpts from the article: Can money buy you happiness? Yes—so long as you spend the money on someone else. According to new research, giving other people even as little …

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Happiness Changing Lives

I received a Christmas card from someone whose name I did not recognize.  Inside was one of the most poignant messages I’ve ever received from a workshop participant: “Jim, I attended your Happiness Seminar at the Cleveland VA Medical Center in October.  It could not have come at a better time for me.  I had, only the week before, finally …

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Eight Tips for Holiday Happiness

A recent Saturday Night Live skit revolved around a family of grown siblings gathered for Christmas Dinner.  Their interaction moved from the sharing of warm moments and singing carols to screaming tirades based on sibling “issues” from childhood. The humor came out of human moments.  How many of us have a similar “love ‘em/can’t stand ‘em” relationship with parts of …

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Happiness is Contagious

This just in, from the bespectacled researchers at Harvard: Happiness is contagious. OK, so we’ve known for a long time that moods and emotions spread to those around us.  What’s different about this study is that the researchers have been able to quantify the impact. And it’s not just about who you talk with daily. Neighbors whom you only see …

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People hear what they see

Many movies today have such short and limited runs that most of us never hear about them, especially if they are released in the shadow of some summer or holiday blockbuster flick.  That’s sad, because so many of those ‘little’ movies are really fabulous — they are unconventional, thoughtful, creative, and often showcase some incredible acting. I’ve learned that one …

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