Happiness bootcamp: I read 10,000 studies so you don’t have to

This course includes four days of video sessions and email-based course materials. We’ll meet four days in a row, Nov. 15 – Nov. 18, at 8pm Eastern. The cost of the course is $195. 

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When I first started this post, I wasn’t going to launch another course. I wondered if it was OK to follow a post titled I want to die with a post about a Happiness Bootcamp? But then I realized, wait, it’s a perfect combination. Because you don’t really know how happy a person you are until you have a really, really bad day.

It’s easy to be a happy person when you are having a good day. We are all Mary Poppins after we make a big sale, or win a big race. But for me, being happy is when I’m really sad, having the tools and support system to pull myself out of it in one piece, quickly enough to not push other parts of my life to go bad.

I am not a huge fan of happiness research, by the way. I’m more the cynic of happiness. I once loved the idea that scientific data could tell us how to be happy. I would read everything I could find. But everything I could find told me to eat less, exercise more, and get married.

At that point in my life I had just had a baby, so the taking-care-of-your-body articles sent me into a frenzy, and the getting married articles didn’t mention how kids can make any marriage go sour. (Don’t get so upset. Love for children is special: research says that love makes you blind to the fact that kids are totally ruining your life.)

I kept reading the research, though. It was fascinating. One guy quantified that you’d need to make $100K more from your job to compensate relocating away from family for the money. (Family is very important to happiness.) One person said you can’t be happy in your job if you can’t control the thermostat. (There is good data for this. If  you have an opportunity in salary negotiations, definitely trade $5K for a signed agreement that you are king of the thermostat.) I couldn’t get enough data.

I combined a year’s worth of reading on positive psychology and economic development to figure out where to live. And then I moved to Madison, WI and I hated it. And what I learned is that we can get all the right answers in the world, but if they add up to something we don’t like, we will simply disregard the data.

In Madison I hit a happiness data deadend. I knew I had read enough to get a PhD in happiness when I started scouring university reading lists for happiness courses and I had already read all the material mentioned in the syllabi. So I started reading unpublished research about happiness. (INFJs have the hardest time being happy. ENFPs are very happy as long as they are not in college.)

I realized that first of all, the big stuff that makes you happy, like going to the gym every day, takes a ton of willpower. And the little stuff that makes you happy, like kissing your spouse good morning, isn’t nearly as happiness-inducing to me compared to saving up a good argument to start the day. I feel so close when we fight.

So then I did research on willpower and found that we have an infinite amount of data about what makes us happy but an infinitesimal amount of willpower to actually do it. (Did you know the part of our brain that handles willpower is the last to develop and is not highly functional?)

I tried to figure out how I rank in the world of willpower and discovered that me seeking to be respected for willpower is a path to unhappiness. We should not seek out other peoples’ respect. So instead, I started posting pictures of artists I admire, like Jan Voorman up there on top, because giving respect makes us happy.

So this course will be a sort of Cliff’s Notes to Happiness. You would have to be crazy to read all the happiness research yourself. It takes too long and also, you can’t implement it all. Really, I should just write a book, but writing a book on happiness would be the opposite of happiness to me. That’s why there’s a webinar.

I am grouping the research into the three most useful topics:

  • Jobs that make people happy.
  • Locations that make people happy.
  • Relationships that make people happy.

If you can get these three things right in your life, you will be happy. Well, those things plus sleep—go to sleep and wake up at the same time day after day after day. Which may not be easy if you are taking this webinar from very far away. But look, happiness is a game of trade-offs, and for sure this webinar will be better for you than a good night’s sleep.

Remember, the cost of the course is $195.

Sign up now! 





I want to die

I typed that into the search box tonight. Google must have someone making this page of results very valuable. It’s the most clear-cut, useful results page I’ve ever seen. 

Working from home is not as great as it sounds

Maybe I actually do like working from home but I’m not liking it now because I’m not home. And I’m not working.

The reason we stink at solving our own problems (and how I get along with my ex-husband)

I am in the car with the Ex and the kids.  The Ex plays a Yeastie Girls CD, which was probably mine but he wanted it in the divorce. It’s a live concert and in the middle they start giving away speculums to promote women’s health.

How to be brave in your choice of career

Summertime is when all the music teachers and students disperse to various music camps, institutes, and conferences. The music teaching world is very local. The summer music world is location-independent.

Why being admired is overrated

We are driving to cello lessons in Madison. Maybe you realize that just last week I wrote about about driving to cello lessons in Madison. Maybe my drives to Madison will be like Monet’s cathedrals: I’ll just keep popping them out, each written from a different angle, and you will learn to see the nuances of our family interactions in different lights.

Online course: Unlock secrets for successful dating and marriage with personality type

This course will help you create the relationship you want. This course includes four days of on-demand video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this course for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.


Sign up now. 

Of all the ways personality type has helped me in my life,  getting along with my significant other is the most valuable benefit but also the most stunning. Romantic relationships are complicated and difficult and personality type cuts through all of that. Really. And I’m excited to share the insights with you.

Your complaints about other people tell you what you need to change in you

My husband and I are driving to cello lessons in Madison, because my son is going to a new teacher, Uri Vardi. Usually Carla would drive, because I don’t drive, and if my husband drives all the time then he will, effectively, be my driver. So I can either pay a lot of money for a driver or a lot of money for a divorce.

3 Things to take off your to do list right now

Make a list of five things you want to do that you’re not doing. Now cross out all but one. Everyone can make change in our lives, but not that much change. And you’re not making the change you really want because you haven’t realized that you can’t do everything on your list.

Everyone’s competitive. The first step is to admit it

My son’s cello teacher is dying. This is the third time she’s had cancer, so this week is my son’s last lesson with her. He has grown to love her. He cried during a lesson a few weeks ago and she said, “It’s okay. Everyone dies. Now let’s work on Saint-Saens. You need it for the master class.”