If Blueness Threatens, I Look for the Humor in Any Situation

I’ve long been an admirer of Trish McEvoy — both for her beautiful products and for her entrepreneurial acumen in establishing her cosmetics company and her brand. So I was thrilled to hear that she was a fan of my writing.

Are You a Tortoise or a Hare? About Work

I love paradoxes, parables, koans, aphorisms, fables, and teaching stories of all kinds. Lately I’ve been thinking of the Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.

I Have Two Comfort Activities

The brilliant (and gorgeous, not that it matters) Hilary Reyl has been a friend of mine since college, and I’m thrilled that her fabulous debut novel, Lessons in French, has just hit the shelves.

Do You Agree About These Motivations?

With all modesty, I do think my Four Categories of Personality may be one of my finest contributions to the study of human nature. Right up there with my abstainer/moderator split and under-buyer/over-buyer distinction.

The Things That Have Made Me Most Happy

It’s a great guide for anyone who wants to have a happy home life, by keeping things simple, calm, and in tune with family values.

Try These 6 Quick Story Exercises to Spark Your Creativity

At the recommendation of a friend, I read Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need.

Want a Simple Way To Calm Yourself?

Over the weekend, I read David Rock’s very interesting book, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long.

Don’t Wait, Start Stuff, Live Now, Be Present

I heard about Richie Norton’s new book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid when a friend told me about it — and what a great title, right? It reminds me of my resolution to Enjoy the fun of failure.

7 Tips To Fight the Deadly Feeling of Boredom

One of the patron saints of my Happier at Home project, Samuel Johnson, wrote, “It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.”

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.