Are You Happy Now?


I attended the Stanford roundtable discussion about the new science of happiness and well being. Katie Couric was the moderator along with a panel of experts in the fields of psychology, business, neuroscience, and design. I wanted to be up there answering the prompts too! I felt like I had a lot to share and have been living this path for awhile now. Aren’t we all? I wanted to add my two cents and validate the points that were shared, even though I don’t have the credentials (unless you count learning by doing!) My favorite panelist was Jennifer Aaker. I related to almost everything she shared. She is so articulate, beautiful, poised, and intelligent and I just admire the way she communicates and connects her research with reality with a sense of humor. I love her!!

Here is the YouTube webcast of the discussion: happiness roundtable

There were several fascinating points and here are my top 25 favorites.

1. We must always have a goal and an action plan.

2. We have to focus on those things that give our life meaning.

3. We have to be giving and practice kindness.

4. Authenticity is important to our happiness. We have to be true to ourselves.

5. Be present. Live in the current moment.

6. Find harmony in your life between what you think, say and do. Seek balance.

7. Be interested in what you do or change.

8. Life is good. Practice positive thinking and train your brain to focus on the good and your gifts and accomplishments.

9. Good stress is ok.we don’t have to be happy all the time.

10. Have no fear. Fear is the dark side that leads to negativity.

11. Sleep. You must sleep. This should be numbers 1-10 and is critically important. There was an article in the paper about the importance of sleep today too! We need more sleep!!

12. When you’re happy, you’re more creative. Insecurity leads to a lack of creativity. Be happy.

13. Money is important. Once your basic needs are met, focus on spending on experiences and not on stuff. Give. Help others. It makes you happy and makes others happy. It makes you popular too. And if you’re happy you’re more creative.

14. We need genuine social support to feel happy. We need at least two or three sincere social contacts that we can count on. We don’t need 600.

15. Children need to learn to be unhappy and know that it’s ok to not have everything they want. Teach them how to be resilient.

16. The meaning of happiness changes as we age. Adapt. Be aware of the change and redefine yourself. Always.

17. Don’t be so busy. Choose how you want to fill your calendar. Being busy is not a badge of honor. Maintain a sense of control and autonomy over your life.

18. Personal growth is important to lifelong learning and happiness.

19. Appreciate what you have. Be humble. Take help. Give help. Gratitude is important to happiness.

20. Live like you’re dying. Give yourself a life sentence to fully live. Choose how to spend your days as if they were your last.

And if I were able to add my own ideas to the discussion, they would include:

21. Make sure your expectations are in alignment with reality. Don’t expect things and then be disappointed when they don’t go the way you expected. This one is my favorite!

22. Do the work. Do your work. Happiness doesn’t come from being lazy and wishing and wanting. You have to do the work to achieve your goals. You need an action plan.

23. Do the right thing. Choose the harder right. Don’t just do what’s easy.

24. You are important. Love yourself. Your story makes a difference.

25. Let go. Flow with what is. Continue to adapt. Life doesn’t stay static. Be like a river.

Are you happy now? Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you’ve been inspired.

20131018-220739.jpgBeauty surrounds us… You just have to see(k) it!


Katie Couric after the show – a bit blurry but up close! :-). She is so cute.

6 thoughts on “Are You Happy Now?

  1. Thank you very much for this post. I agree with all the points you’ve listed! I would love to reblog it on my site adding some comments to the different points. I can imagine how empowering this discussion was.

  2. Very well said. I like to think about happiness vs. joy. Some people expect to be happy all the time every day but that is unrealistic. Most days are hard work which leads to joy. Happiness to me is small things like getting dinner on the table on time or having an hour to read a book. Joy is the peek of happiness and lasts a moment or two. The residual trail of joy, if you even want to call it that, however, can last all day or weeks or month. I get joy from live events or milestones. Things like my kids graduation from high school or finishing a half marathon. Thanks for the Katie photo! Do you watch her talk show?

    • I love your insights on joy, Lenka. Joy seems like the receipt you get from enjoying the moments. I agree that we can’t be happy all the time and even when we’re unhappy, we don’t have to feel unhappy about that. It just is another state of being and we are aware that we’re not fully feeling joyful at that moment. Knowing that the feeling will change and not expecting to be unhappy forever can help us through the moments when we’re feeling less fulfilled and hopefully we’re motivated and able to change to make our lives better. I am definitely not happy all the time and for awhile this was confusing until I gave myself permission to feel those feelings too and to acknowledge them and to be patient with myself. I actively want to be happy and seek ways to create the feeling daily. As for the Katie show, I don’t watch much tv, but have been recording the it and not watching it. Is it good? p.s. thank you for sharing this post with your friends. love, adriana

  3. Aaahhhh, I’m just soaking it all in. Thanks for sharing your take-aways, and also adding your personal thoughts and observations. Wish I could have been there with you–but thanks for the YouTube link. I will check it out ASAP! I had a weekend full of happiness–visiting my “baby” in college. She is happy and thriving and loving her new life. I’m so happy for her. Yay! I am also a fan of Katie Couric and Jennifer Aaker. How cool to see them in person. Many thanks for sharing!

    • Can’t wait to hear about your parents’ weekend. I bet you had a blast and it must feel great knowing that your baby is settled and happy in this new stage of her life. Glad you enjoyed the blog post. 😉 xo

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