Is Pay the Most Important Thing About Work to You? To Others?

Over the weekend, I re-read a fascinating book, Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes.

“When I Compare Myself With Others, My Happiness Takes a Shot in the Back”

Writer and photographer Kelle Hampton has a longtime blog, Enjoying the Small Things, where she writes about the simple things, with gorgeous photos alongside.

Do You Fall Into This Happiness Trap? The False Choice

It’s very easy to fall into the happiness trap of false choices–of thinking you can either do X or Y, and that’s the choice you have to make.

Pigeon of Discontent: “I Envy My Friends"

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

Do You Love Paradoxes? Embrace Happiness Paradoxes

I’ve always loved paradoxes and koans, and was very struck by an observation by physicist Niels Bohr: “There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.”

A Perfect Evening Involves Dorky Friends and Ridiculous Hijinks

Liza Palmer is a bestselling writer with a new novel, More Like Her. One element of the novel is our assumption that we understand the realities of other people’s lives–but really, we often don’t.

7 Tips I Use to Spark My Creativity

I've read a lot of advice about how to spark creativity. Everyone's creativity takes a different form, however, so the advice that works varies from person to person.

I Want to Make Time for Fun

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

What I Learned About Myself From Steve Martin

Last week, I read Steve Martin’s memoir of his time learning and doing stand-up comedy, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life. I loved it.

7 Tips for Good Behavior—From the 16th Century

One thing is true about happiness: there are very few new truths out there. The greatest minds in history have turned their attention to the subject...

Giving Deserved Praise

One of the most exquisite of pleasures, and one that’s too often overlooked, is the joy of giving well-deserved praise.

Do You Make Time to "Treat" Yourself? You Should

I was very interested to see the range of “treats” people identified in the comments, and I got some good ideas for myself.

Happiness Without a Good Work Ethic Is Pretty Impossible

Hugh is a cartoonist with a wildly popular blog, gapingvoid. He is the master of capturing a large idea in a single drawing, and a great deal of his work focuses on happiness

7 Tips for Giving Gold Stars (From a Gold Star Junkie)

Oh, I’m a gold star junkie. I always want to see those gold stars stuck to the top of my homework. I crave praise, appreciation, recognition.

Pigeon of Discontent: "I Say Yes; I Want To Say No"

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

Secrets Revealed: A Simple (Lazy?) Way to Solve a Difficult Problem

Over the weekend, I re-read Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness. It’s all about happiness (no surprise), but in an aside, Russell explains how he solves difficult intellectual issues.

"Happiness Shouldn't Be Associated with Guilt"

Happiness interview: Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess.

Quiz: Are You an "Abstainer" or a "Moderator"?

A piece of advice I often see is, “Be moderate. Don’t have ice cream every night, but if you try to deny yourself altogether, you’ll fall off the wagon.

Pigeon of Discontent: No One Appreciates Me

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

What Are the Small Treats You Give Yourself?

Assay: I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of small treats, small pleasures. They're fun to experience, of course, and I think they also have a very important role to play in happiness.

Proposed Resolution: Do Something Every Day

One of my Secrets of Adulthood--perhaps counter-intuitively--is "It's often easier to do something every day than to do it some days." I post to my blog six days a week. I take notes every day. I write in my one-sentence journal every day.

5 Tips for Resisting Impulse Shopping

I just finished re-reading Paco Underhill’s fascinating book, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. (Note: the book has been updated, but I read the first edition, so that’s what I’m discussing here.)

Pigeon of Discontent: "I Waste Time on Mindless Things"

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we're also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

Resolution: Cross a Finish Line

A common happiness hurdle is the arrival fallacy. We think that we'll be happy once we arrive at some destination: a new job, a new apartment, a promotion, whatever. But often, arriving doesn't make us as happy as we expect.

People Are Happier When They're Adding Positive Energy to Their Networks

Years ago, when I was just starting to blog, one of the first people I met from blogland was Ben Casnocha, who wrote a great blog about entrepreneurship, books, and ideas, and who was still in college (if I remember correctly) at the time.

What's Your Ten-Point Manifesto?

I love a good manifesto. I love Bob Sutton's manifesto about work, and Madame X's manifesto about money, and Frank Lloyd Wright's manifesto for his apprentices.

What's Your "Pigeon of Discontent"? Please Say!

Each week this year, I'm posting a video about some Pigeon of Discontent that a reader has raised in the comments. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we're also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

Today's Resolution: Feel Grateful for the Basics

It seems to be behaving itself now, and I am so happy!

When I Feel Stuck or Stumped, I Go for a Stroll

I'm a huge fan of Jonah Lehrer's work—and there's a lot of it, because he's insanely prolific—and I'm tremendously interested in the subjects he covers both in his books and in his writings for periodicals like the Wall Street Journal.

Pigeon of Discontent: I Don't Know How I Want My Home To Look

This week's Pigeon of Discontent, suggested by a reader, is: "I don't know how I want my home to look."

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