Tag Archives: A Little Happier

A Little Happier: Sometimes, You Feel Regret Either Way.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I love examples of someone knowing the right thing to say.

In this case, a doctor said the right thing to my friend — when she admitted to feeling a little let down by the news that she was going to give birth to a boy. She’d been so excited to be having a baby, boy or girl, but when she heard the news, she felt a bit sorry.

He told her, “Of course you feel this way. Before you knew if you were having a boy or a girl, you could look forward to both experiences. Now you know that you’re having a boy. It’s natural to feel regret about the future that’s not going to happen.

I thought that was such a wise observation. Sometimes in life, going down one path means abandoning another path. And it’s natural to feel regret about the path not taken. That doesn’t mean you’re unhappy with the path you’re on.

This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

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A Little Happier: You Get What You Get, and You Don’t Get Upset.

It’s funny what we remember. When handing out scarves with different patterns, or cupcakes with different colors of frosting, I would hear my daughter’s nursery school teachers admonish the children, “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.”

I remind myself of this all the time. Sometimes, I can change, control, or choose; sometimes I can’t — in which case, it doesn’t help to get upset about it.

This saying is a good example of the “fluency heuristic,” by the way: we remember ideas better, and find them more valuable, when they’re easy to remember — for instance, because the words rhyme. (For some reason, I get a big kick out of this.)

Do you have any childhood sayings that have stuck with you? Rhyming or non-rhyming.

This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

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

 

 Happier listening!

A Little Happier: A Happiness Lesson from My Daughters’ School Motto to “Go Forth Unafraid.”

I’ve mentioned many times how much I love all teaching stories, koans, parables, aphorisms, maxims, epigrams, proverbs, and the like — anything that crams a big idea into a small space.

And for that reason, I’ve always been intrigued by school mottoes.

Recently, my older daughter graduated, which was a huge moment for her — and for me too.

Her school’s motto is “Go forth unafraid.” It’s part of the school song: “We go forth unafraid/Strong with love and strong with learning…” It’s deeply embedded in the school culture.

During the graduation ceremony, that motto was projected on a giant screen above the students’ heads.

And as I sat in the audience and watched all the seniors receive their diplomas, I thought, “That’s what I want for my daughter, and it’s what I want for myself too. Go forth unafraid.

What was your school motto? Did it make a serious impression on you?

 

As I said, I think about my school motto all the time. By contrast, when I asked my husband Jamie about his school motto, he couldn’t remember it! I guess not everyone is as entranced by mottoes as I am.

This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

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

 

 Happier listening!

A Little Happier: Don’t Check Every Box.

One of my most important Secrets of Adulthood is: The opposite of a profound truth is also true.

Examples: I keep an empty shelf; I also keep a junk drawer. I try to accept myself, and also expect more from myself. If I want to keep going, I must allow myself to stop.

Last week, in “A Little Happier,” I talked about some valuable advice I got from my law-school roommate’s ex-boyfriend, to “Check every box.” That idea has helped me a lot during my career.

Many listeners wrote to remind me of another important idea: Don‘t check every box!

Don’t imagine that I have to check every box before I apply for a job or try something new.  It’s important to stretch, to challenge ourselves, not to limit our sense of possibility because we think that we just don’t have enough credentials.

We don’t have to check every box.

Excellent advice. Thank you, listeners.

This mini-episode is brought to you by The Happiness Project — my #1 New York Times bestselling book that stayed on the list for two years. Intrigued? Read a sample chapter here, on “Boost Energy.”

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A Little Happier: More Advice about How to Be Successful–Check Every Box.

Last week, I talked about some excellent advice I got very indirectly — from my law-school roommate’s ex-boyfriend. You never know where good advice will come from.

Here’s something else he told me: Try to check every box. If you want a job or a position, make yourself the easy, non-controversial, inevitable choice by meeting every criteria possible.

This advice sounds rather obvious, but I’ve been surprised by how often it has come in handy.

This mini-episode is brought to you by The Happiness Project — my #1 New York Times bestselling book that stayed on the list for two years. Intrigued? Read a sample chapter here, on “Boost Energy.”

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

 

 Happier listening!