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From the Podcast

A Little Happier: We Can Learn from the Monkey Who Wouldn’t Let Go of the Bananas.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: We Can Learn from the Monkey Who Wouldn’t Let Go of the Bananas.

The old teaching story of the greedy monkey and the bananas illustrates many notions, including the idea that sometimes we have to let go of a desire in order to free ourselves.
A Little Happier: It’s a Lot of Work to Make Friendly Gestures, But We All Have to Try.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: It’s a Lot of Work to Make Friendly Gestures, But We All Have to Try.

Whenever I think about the work that it takes to try to be friendly, I remember a funny story from my daughter’s childhood.
A Little Happier: An Ancient Story Is a Reminder that We Can Hurt People When We Try to Force Them to Fit into Our Model.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: An Ancient Story Is a Reminder that We Can Hurt People When We Try to Force Them to Fit into Our Model.

The famous Greek myth of the Bed of Procrustes illustrates the principle that we shouldn’t try to pressure everyone to fit into a single approach. No bed fits every traveler; we can hurt people when we try to force them to fit into our model.
A Little Happier: The Lesson I Learned from the Thumbtack in My Shoe.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: The Lesson I Learned from the Thumbtack in My Shoe.

I had a pain in my foot, and I blamed my foot—until a friend pointed out that I had a tack in my shoe. Whenever I get frustrated, I remind myself that I shouldn’t be too quick to hold myself responsible for the problem. Sometimes the problem is me. But sometimes the problem is something else.
A Little Happier: “To Succeed in Business, Plan to Publish Bestsellers Only.”
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: “To Succeed in Business, Plan to Publish Bestsellers Only.”

Book-industry people love to tell this old (probably apocryphal) story, because it illustrates the temptation, and the folly, of deciding that your plan for business success is to do only those ventures that will be highly successful.
A Little Happier: What We Can Learn from Mark Twain’s Cat Who Sat on a Hot Stove.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: What We Can Learn from Mark Twain’s Cat Who Sat on a Hot Stove.

It’s important to make sure that we don’t learn the wrong lessons from pain, frustration, criticism, or failure. Like a cat, we want to learn not to sit on a hot stove—but maybe we still want to be able to sit on a stove that’s cold.
A Little Happier: Building More Roads Won’t Relieve Traffic—Literally and Figuratively.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: Building More Roads Won’t Relieve Traffic—Literally and Figuratively.

Despite urban planner Robert Moses’s attempts to relieve congestion on New York City’s road, the traffic just got worse. The lesson of “induced travel demand” is something that can apply in our own lives.
A Little Happier: Why You Should Never Knit Your Boyfriend a Sweater.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: Why You Should Never Knit Your Boyfriend a Sweater.

A college friend advised me, “Never knit your boyfriend a sweater,” and that’s turned out to be very wise advice.
A Little Happier: When Do We Tell Other People What We Think They Should Do? Two Beautiful Examples.
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: When Do We Tell Other People What We Think They Should Do? Two Beautiful Examples.

In Mark Salzman’s memoir “The Man in the Empty Boat,” he gives not just one, but two, examples of times when one person is able thoughtfully to remind someone of painful duties, and that person recognizes the right action, and rises to the occasion to fulfill it.
A Little Happier: Trevor Noah: “We Tell People to Follow Their Dreams, But You Can Only Dream of What You Can Imagine.”
A Little Happier

A Little Happier: Trevor Noah: “We Tell People to Follow Their Dreams, But You Can Only Dream of What You Can Imagine.”

In his terrific memoir “Born a Crime,” Trevor Noah notes that “you can only dream of what you can imagine,” and tells the story of how his mother worked to give him a big imagination.
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