Category Archives: Story

A Little Happier: An Old Joke is a Reminder that to Find Something, We Must Look in the Right Place

As I was working on Better Than Before, my book about habit change, I was often reminded of this old joke, about the guy looking for his wallet under the street light.

Because the fact is, if we want to find something (like a new future for ourselves), we have to look in the right place.

Even if the light is better under the streetlight, it’s no use looking there if you dropped your wallet on the dark corner.

And if you want to change your life, you need to pay attention to the habits that will help to bring about that change.

In writing Better Than Before, I discovered that it’s actually not that hard to change our habits — when we know how to do it in the way that right for us.

Have you ever talked to someone who was really looking for his or her keys in utterly the wrong place? Or have you ever found yourself doing it? It’s surprisingly easy to fall into this trap.

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: 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.

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

 

Happier listening!

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:

 

Happier listening!

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.

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

 

Happier listening!

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.

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

 

Happier listening!