Happiness is a choice

This morning I was awakened by Flirt, our 11-pound miniature dachshund, rolling around on her back in ecstasy. Nothing new there: Flirt always wakes up in a joyful mood, squirming with bliss, her wagging tail thumping the mattress.


How happy you are depends a lot on how you look at life.

The late Gordon MacKenxie told me to awake every day expecting a miracle.

If you expect great things to happen, they often do.

So I copied Flirt. Before getting out of bed, I stretched and smiled Continue reading Happiness is a choice

The forecast for Game 1 versus the Detroit Tigers is cloudy with a 15 to 20 percent chance of rain, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Austin Cross, who adds that he expects the skies to be relatively clear for the 5 p.m. game time. For Game 2 on Thursday, he says computer models predict a clear evening with little to no chance of rain.

And there’s little chance those predictions are being overly optimistic. Cross has no horse in this race: He’s an Oakland A’s fan.

That’s Continue reading


Last night I enjoyed watching this documentary on Amazon Prime Instant Video. $3.99.

HAPPY combines cutting-edge science from the new field of “positive psychology” with real-life stories of people from around the world whose lives illustrate these findings.
  • Featuring: Ed Diener, Richard Davidson, Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Directed by: Roko Belic
  • Runtime: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Release year: 2011

The documentary introduces us to extremely happy people living in an Indian slum, a Danish Continue reading Happy

The $25 cure

I’m committed to learning about happiness and well-being. Since experience is inevitably the best teacher, I’m going to participate in a variety of exercises. I happened upon this offering when gathering information about the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky. For $25 I couldn’t pass it up. I’ll report on my lessons in the comments section as long as I keep it up.


On the web

Great, intimate professional gathering on talent management and learning

When people ask me what conferences they should attend, I tell them that small, intensive, participatory events work best for me. Most of these are invitation-only affairs. One exception, assuming you’re astute in talent management or corporate learning, is the annual Future of Talent Retreat.

This year will be the 8th Future of Talent Retreat. I’ve been to every one and will be attending this one in San Francisco, November 16-20.

Past attendees have included senior leaders and HR visionaries Continue reading Great, intimate professional gathering on talent management and learning

How happy are you at work?

Last month I asked how happy you were at work. This is what you said.

You guys who entered “1” are probably depressed. Get some advice or ask your doctor for antidepressants.

I’m going to leave this survey open. Go ahead, how happy are you?

People are good

People are basically good at heart. Sympathetic human beings are the rule; bad actors are the exception. Set high expectations and people live up to them. People enjoy accomplishing things that matter. We are social creatures. We enjoy being with others. Meaningful relationships enrich our lives.

People take pride in accomplishing worthy things that they’re responsible for. The individual gets to define “worthy,” for it’s context-specific and depends on the eye of the beholder. Slavery, Continue reading People are good

Singularity Summit 12, Day 1

Today I attended the Singularity Summit in San Francisco. The opportunity to hear Temple Grandin, Stephen Pinker, and Daniel Kahneman was irrestible. We’re halfway through and I am disappointed.

Singularity Summit 12

Temple Grandin was great but I had read and heard a much of her message before. Traditional learning styles are bunk except for autistic people who do have their own style. They are totally visual. I told Temple I had read Animals Make Us Human and that my dog thanks her for it.

Singularity Summit 12

Singularity Summit

The Singularity Summit, open to the public, is the premier event on robotics, artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfacing, and other emerging technologies including genomics and regenerative medicine. The event this October 13-14 will draw over 800 thought leaders to San Francisco for discussions on the most revolutionary technological advancements on the horizon.

Program | Reading list

It’s a weekend for learning. I’m paying $695 for enlightenment from these folks. I need their Continue reading Singularity Summit