Do You Make Excuses For Yourself?

I love paradoxes, parables, koans, aphorisms, fables, Secrets of Adulthood, and teaching stories of all kinds.

72 Proverbs From Hell (Not the Usual Hell)

Blake’s “Hell,” by the way, is not the traditional Hell, but a place of “unrepressed, somewhat Dionysian energy” (at least that’s what Wikipedia says).

Do You Agree With These Four Levels of Mental Energy?

What do you think of these four levels–did I get it right?

Embrace Good Smells—In a Museum

One of my very favorite resolutions is my resolution to Cultivate good smells. I’m obsessed with the delights of the sense of smell.

What Are Your “Broken Windows?" Here’s a List of Mine

The “broken windows theory” of policing holds that when a community tolerates minor examples of disorder and petty crime, such as broken windows, graffiti, turnstile-jumping, or drinking in public, people are more likely to commit more serious crimes.

Are You Oblivious to Clutter, Or Know Someone Who Is?

One of the things that surprises me most about happiness is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should.

I Think It’s Important to Say ‘No’ a Lot More Often

This is a subject with a lot of relevance for happiness, so I was interested to hear what Mike had to say.

7 Tips For Bringing the Pleasure of Art Into Everyday Life

An appreciation for art is one of the transcendent values of life, and a great source of happiness, but like many transcendent values, it can sometimes be hard to wedge into your ordinary day.

Have You Ever Been Stuck Between Two Options?

I love teaching stories–parables from the Bible, Zen stories, paradoxes, Aesop’s fables, koans. That’s one reason that I now use my weekly video to tell a story.

I Have Faith That I’m Not So Different From Everyone Else

I first heard about journalist and author Pamela Druckerman when her book Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting came out–it really struck a chord with many parents.

Do You Find Yourself Falling For These 12 Familiar Myths?

One of my Secrets of Adulthood (and a point oddly under-emphasized by positive psychologists) is: Outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should. Why does making your bed make such a difference?

Do You Have the Most Vivid Memories from Your Life?

I don’t have much time to write, because I’m leaving for L.A. in an hour–I’m going to be on The Talk on Tuesday, which will be a lot of fun. Tune in! I’ll also get to see my sister and her family, which will be a real treat.

Want an Exercise Routine You’ll Stick To?

When I ask people what they’d like to do for their own happiness projects, they often say something like, “Exercise more regularly.” Exercise is very important for health and mood, and everyone knows this–and yet it’s often tough for people to stick to an exercise routine.

Want to Be Free From French Fries?

I’ve written a lot about abstainers vs. moderators. In a nutshell, the difference is: abstainers find it easier to resist temptation by giving up something altogether, while moderators find it easier to indulge in moderation.

Why a Mirror Can Make You Behave Better

Have you found ways to monitor yourself better–or to have better self-control, generally?

Almost Any Types of Acts of Kindness Boost Happiness

I frequently witness people reiterating one of the primary happiness “myths” – namely, that they’re not happy now, but they’ll be happy when the right partner or job comes along, when they have a baby, when they make more money, or move to that city they’ve always wanted to live in.

7 Reasons Why Photographs Can Boost Your Happiness

Photographs are such a joy, and I don’t know about you, but I’m much more focused on taking photographs now that cameras and phones have evolved to make taking photos so much easier. I used to begrudge the time that I spent on photos, but now I realize the role they can play in happiness.

The 21 Day Relationship Challenge Has Started!

Yesterday was Day #1 of the 21 Day Relationship Challenge–but don’t worry, if you sign up after this “official” start day, you’ll get the full 21 days worth of daily emails starting from whenever you sign up.

It Probably Won’t Make You Happy

Now, she has a terrific book coming out in a few days, on a subject of tremendous importance to happiness: friendship. Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree: a key to happiness, and probably the key to happiness, is strong bonds with other people.

A Mysterious Division of Animals

Time for something completely different. This is a list that appears in an essay by Jorge Luis Borges, “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins,” in Borges: Selected Non-Fictions.

Four Personality Types: Which One Are You?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how different people respond to rules–and I use “rules” broadly (see below for examples) to mean any kind of instruction to do or not do something.

6 Simple Strategies to Pitch Your Ideas

One thing that causes a lot of consternation, at least in my life, is the need to present ideas in a short, catchy way–in what’s called an “elevator pitch,” because you’re supposed to be able to explain your entire big idea to someone while the two of you are in an elevator.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s fun to think about New Year’s resolutions, and I always make them (in fact, I make resolutions throughout the year). If my happiness project has convinced me of anything, it has convinced me that resolutions—made right—can make a huge difference in boosting happiness.

Announcement! Join the 21 Day Relationship Challenge

For many people, I’ve noticed, the element of Happier at Home that resonates most is the discussion of relationships.

The Best Way to Get a Lift Is To Help Someone

She has so many interesting things to say, especially about the relationship between happiness and work.

Why I’m Adding Holiday Smells to My Holiday Decorations

For "Happier at Home" I adopted a resolution that has become one of my very favorite: Cultivate good smells. I’ve become enchanted with the power and pleasure of the sense of smell.

Trying To Resist Holiday Temptations? 7 Tips for Abstainers

Everywhere you go, you face cookies, candy, booze, and snacks and treats of every kind. While this creates a festive atmosphere, it can also lead to a lot of anxiety and/or guilt in those of us trying to resist temptation.

Revealed! The Happiness Project Book Club Picks for December

Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, I’ve started a book club (of sorts).

14 Writing Tips from Anne Lamott

What strategies for writing have you found to be helpful? Or for getting yourself to sit down and work on any big project?

A Very Big Question. What’s Your Answer?

If, by the end of 2013, you could magically change one aspect of your life, what would you change?

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