Tag 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.

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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.

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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: Flannery O’Connor Writes About What Some Folks Would Do.

How I love the work of Flannery O’Connor. Her novel Wise Blood is one of my favorite books, and I also love O’Connor’s non-fiction. I’ve read The Habit of Being, her collection of letters, many times.

The passage I read is from her O’Connor’s essay “Writing Short Stories,” in Mystery and Manners:

I lent some stories to a country lady who lives down the road from me, and when she returned them, she said, “Well, them stories just gone and shown you how some folks would do,” and I thought to myself that that was right; when you write stories, you have to be content to start exactly there—showing how some specific folks will do, will do in spite of everything.

I don’t understand why these lines have haunted me for so long — but I think of them often — what some folks will do, will do, in spite of everything.

For instance, I thought about them a lot when I was trying to identify my Four Tendencies framework. It does explain what some folks will do.

If you’d like to hear O’Connor read her famous short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” 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.

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A Little Happier: If Others Think I Can Do a Job, I Can Probably Do It.

I love it when people know just the right thing to say in a situation. Here’s one of my favorite examples — when a friend found the right thing to say to me, when I was nervous before a job interview with Justice O’Connor.

(Spoiler alert: I did get the job.)

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