Category Archives: Story

A Little Happier: Airplane Kindness, and It’s Nice to Get a Gold Star.

I love this story, told to me by a friend who is truly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Even just boarding a plane, she finds ways to be kind.

She’s not kind because she wants people to give her a gold star — but I was very happy that someone did give her some very well-deserved recognition. Even when it’s not necessary, it’s gratifying when our efforts are appreciated. And I very much appreciate the fact that the man sitting next to her on the plane made the remark that he did.

Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

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A Little Happier: Good Luck, Bad Luck — How Do You Know?

As I’ve often mentioned, I love all teaching stories, koans, parables, aphorisms, maxims, epigrams, proverbs, and the like.

This story is one of my mother’s favorite teaching stories.

A farmer had a horse, and the horse ran away, and the neighbors said, “What bad luck!” And the farmer said, “How do you know?”

And then the horse returned, with a second horse, and the neighbors said, “What good luck!” And the farmer said, “How do you know?”

And so on.

This is a powerful story, because it really is true. Many times, in my life, I’ve seen that what I thought was great luck, or terrible luck, didn’t turn out that way at all.

Have you experienced this?

Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

 

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A Little Happier: My Inconvenience May Be Someone Else’s Miracle.

When we’d just graduated from college and were working at our first “real” jobs, a friend told me how her local subway train ran express all the way downtown, so she got to a crucial meeting on time. For many people, that change in service was highly annoying — but for her, it was a personal miracle!

I remember that when things go wrong: My inconvenience may be someone else’s miracle.

Listen to this mini podcase episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

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A Little Happier: Preparation Is a Key Aspect of Performance.

Did you ever give any thought to how exams were distributed and collected? Or any other aspects of preparation for a task?

I’ve long been haunted by this line: “Be sure to read all instructions carefully; turn over your test papers and begin.” In fact, in my college application essay, that was the final line.

In writing Better Than Before, I spent a lot of time thinking about how beginnings and endings can influence our ability to shape our habits — the Strategy of the Clean Slate, the Strategy of First Steps, and the Strategy of Reward are two strategies where they show up.

Beginnings and endings matter a lot. I pay much more attention to them than I used to do.

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

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A Little Happier: Accept a Gift in the Spirit in Which It’s Offered. (Easier Said Than Done.)

In my books The Happiness Project, and on my blog, I’ve written about the fact that my spiritual master is St. Therese of Lisieux, which I learned after reading her spiritual memoir Story of a Soul.

I’ve always been very struck by St. Therese’s discussion about getting gifts. She emphasizes that we should accept a gift in the spirit in which it’s offered — and also admits why, even for her (a saint!), this is difficult.

This is the line I especially love: “for the love of God and my Sisters (so charitable toward me) I take care to appear happy and especially to be so.”

If you’d like to watch a short video of me talking about the happiness resolution of “Imitate your spiritual master,” it’s here:

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

 

Happier listening!