Money can buy happiness…

Happiness can be bought…

…if you are buying something for someone else. “Spending on other people has a bigger return for you than spending on yourself.” So says Harvard Business School professor Michael I. Norton.

The Greater Good Society outlined 5 ways giving is good for you. 

1. Giving makes us feel happy. 

2. Giving is good for our health. 

3. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. 

4. Giving evokes gratitude.  

5. Giving is contagious. 

Strengths Mined: Gratitude, Kindess

How generous are you? You can take an online survey at Give and Take (registration required, but free) that will analyze your responses and give you a rating in three domains: Giving, Taking and Matching.


How do people give?




It is still not too late to give this season; join the crowd:

University of Washington  (via How Can I Be Happy Blog) has published a study about five parentng programs that work to help raise healthy and happy teenagers:

Nurse-Family Partnership sends registered nurses to visit young, first-time, single mothers at least once every two weeks during their first pregnancy and until their child is 2 years old. Nurses help expecting moms reduce smoking, drinking and drug use. After the child is born, nurses help mothers create safe environments for their children and develop strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors.

Positive Parenting Program is a flexible system of programs that focuses on five main goals: promoting safe and engaging environments, creating positive learning environments, using effective discipline, creating clear and reasonable expectations, and self-care for parents.

The Incredible Years teaches children ages 3-6, their parents and teachers skills and strategies for handling difficult situations. Parents participate in group sessions; children take part in therapist-led group sessions, which help children develop skills such as problem solving, making friends, and cooperating with others. (This program was developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, now director of UW’s Parenting Research Clinic.)

In Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, parents learn about risk factors for substance use, parent-child bonding, consequences for not following parental guidelines, and how to manage anger and family conflict. Their children learn effective communication, problem solving, and how to resist peer pressure.

Staying Connected with Your Teen helps children 12-17 years old avoid risky sexual activity, drug use, and violent behavior. The program helps parents set strong norms with their teen against antisocial behavior by increasing parental monitoring, reducing harsh parenting, and rewarding teens to promote family bonding.

A bit of linguistic fun for the holiday season

Making its way around the social networks is a lingustic exam that tests your accent. 

I wish there was a word for that…

An absolutely fabulous set of words that have no exact equivalent in English.

Gotta a minute for meditation?

Thanks for the tip Brian:

Brian shared the video during our workshop on strengths based counseling in Ho Chi Min Today. This video is based on Martin Boroson’s book, One-Minute Meditation. 

What does it mean to be curious?

A fascinating article over at the Chronicle of higher education explores Curiosity:
Curiosity, Dillon proposes, is a way of knowing that looks askance. It draws attention to the unexplained or overlooked fragment, to invite us, if possible, to look sideways and look closely at the same time. As such, its promise of knowledge is ambiguous. Does curiosity seek to unmask the strangeness that absorbs its attention, or is it an invitation to luxuriate in that strangeness? Does it carry an inherent Baconian injunction to go further and illuminate, or does it recommend the alternative pleasures of not knowing? “Enigma lies at the core of the curious experience,” Marina Warner comments in a short essay included in Curiosity, “epiphany should not reveal all.” So is curiosity a wake-up call or a waking dream?
You can tour the exhibition for yourself:
Posted in VIA

Mindful: This day…and every day

Who can make the sunrise? The candyman can! In this video he shows you what your life (if you are a typical American) looks like if measured in jely beans. How would you spend it if you were down to just one?

teaching mindfulness

Goldie Hawn, best know for her ability to make us laugh, has been instrumental in bringing social and emotional training to schools around the world. Her Mind-Up Program is now utalised in over 80 schools in the USA, 140 in Canada, 7 in the UK, 2 in Australia and even one in Venezuela. NPR dedicated almost an entire hour to the idea:

She elaborates further at this TedMed talk: