Can we honestly say to ourselves, “I’m happy today?”
If we can it’s important to understand why? What is happening or has happened where we feel this moment, right now, is a moment of happiness? We can’t repeat it exactly but we can work to replicate it again and again.
The same holds true if the answer is “No”. Why aren’t we happy? What are the contributing factors to unhappiness?
Recognizing these puts us in a position to learn what isn’t serving us and navigate away from it.
Happiness is a feeling, a moment, a benchmark in a time of stress-free living.
Are we willing to do the work to understand how we can create more of this?
Clear And Present HappinessBrian Ondrako2023-01-19T20:29:38-04:00
Episode 269 features Monique Rhodes, a Happiness Strategist who teaches students and corporations around the world how to master their lives. She has spent the last 25 years studying the mind and its relationship to happiness and suffering.
Monique Rhodes is a Happiness Strategist who teaches students and corporations around the world how to master their lives. She has spent the last 25 years studying the mind and its relationship to happiness and suffering.
Over 70 universities and colleges use her program The 10 Minute Mind®. Her 8-week online course, The Happiness Baseline, has a 100% success rate in raising the mental wellness for every student who has completed it.
Monique hosts the daily IN YOUR RIGHT MIND podcast, where she discusses how a series of small habits determine our well-being. Monique collaborated with prominent spiritual teachers Thich Naht Hahn, Ekhart Tolle, and Pema Chödrön on the Heartbeats album. She then completed a similar project with the Dalai Lama.
In 2010 Monique received a nomination for the prestigious New Zealander of the Year Award. An insatiable world traveler, Monique spends her time between Los Angeles and her homeland, New Zealand.
We can either control the tempo of the game or always be back-peddling on our heels and retreating.
So, It’s important to play offense as much as possible (be optimistic, think positively, show gratitude) versus playing defense (putting up walls, negative self-talk, and letting others control what we do).
The only way to live a happier life is to do it on our own terms, pursuing the things that brighten our day and expose us to new growth opportunities.
To do this effectively, we must have the ball in our hands as much as possible. We must be in control of our thoughts and actions.
Dr. Mike Rucker is an organizational psychologist, behavioral scientist, and charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association. He has been academically published in publications like the International Journal of Workplace Health Management. His ideas about fun and health have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, Vox, Thrive Global, Mindful, mindbodygreen, and more. He currently serves as a senior leader at Active Wellness and is the author of the upcoming book The Fun Habit, available January 2023.
We lost the great John Madden at the end of 2021 and it made me reflect on the impact we can all make, not by being an “influencer” or by showing off but just by living life to the fullest and respecting those around us.
John Madden, from what it appeared, was beloved by many because of how gracious he was with his time, how much passion he put into his work and the people he was around, and how he enjoyed it all.
Life can get overcomplicated and we can overwhelm ourselves with things that don’t end up mattering at all. We add unnecessary stress and anxiety where it’s not needed.
Do what John Madden might have done.
Go to the chalkboard.
Go back to the Xs and Os and the foundation of it all.
Keep it simple.
Be kind to people.
Make the most of each moment and each encounter.
Create a positive outlook on life as things could be much worse than they are.
Push yourself to try new things and tackle new obstacles.
Live your happiness, not anyone else’s.
It takes us until we become adults to realize just how hard it is to be a kid.
Kids rarely have free choice.
They have to go to school.
They have a specific bedtime.
They may have to eat their veggies.
They may have to play a sport they don’t like.
Rarely can they buy things that make them happy without approval.
The list goes on.
It should make us wonder then, why we complain so much as adults.
We can choose where we work and what we do
We can determine who we want to be around
We can choose the activities that excite us
We can choose what we eat and when we eat it.
We can choose a lot of things. We can choose to complain or choose to be happy.
It doesn’t switch overnight but we can make decisions to lead us in either direction.
The significant part about being an adult is that we have the choice.
As we think back about our best memories, they are always simple and we are normally surrounded by others.
I think about the moment I found out we were having a baby.
I think about the first moment I held him.
I think about playing golf with my son.
I think about falling in love.
I think about pick-up football games with my friends.
I think about sitting in my grandmother’s dining area and having a conversation with her.
I think about playing video games with my brother.
I think about my first CrossFit competition and being around my team.
I think about all of these memories and so many more and what they might have in common.
We need to go back to 1st Principles thinking. Break down our finest memories and happiest moments. What are the simple building blocks that made them what they are?
These are some things that come to mind.
If we can do things that hit one or more of these buckets then we are going to have the opportunity to create many happy memories and build an unbelievable life for ourselves and the people around us.
Seek to do more of those things and happiness will inevitably follow.
The Happiest Place On EarthBrian Ondrako2022-07-17T09:09:34-04:00
I wasn’t able to attend our 20-year high school reunion this past weekend but as I sat and reflected on the last 20 years I was inclined to write some things down. Things I wish I wrote a long time ago.
Here are a few observations, and hopefully, we can use these ourselves, pass them down to our kids, or maybe the class of 2021/22 can gain insight into areas that were unknown to us at the time.
Taking action is the key ingredient to achieving anything. Worrying is useless. Nothing good happens when you worry. Creating action and doing things is what moves the needle. You don’t know until you know. Don’t conjure up reasons why you can’t do something. Go out and try and see what happens. You don’t fail, you learn. And then you move forward. Progress can only happen through action.
Grades don’t matter. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to get “good grades” but you shouldn’t hinge your entire adult life on how many A’s you received. Grades are generally about memorization for tests, life is about your experiences, adventures, character, community, and courage. Those things matter more than any grade could ever give you.
High school doesn’t have to be your best time. It’s a short season in the grand scheme of your life. It can be awkward and lonely. It can be hard. But, it’s your choice on how you want to spend it. Will you educate yourself with new ideas, learn a new skill, or practice something you enjoy or will you binge every Netflix series, watch TikTok videos for hours, or sit around making excuses for why you can’t do it? When you realize it’s your choice, the game changes.
Create lasting friendships. Understand why you are friends with certain people and why they are friends with you. Find your “tribe” that has similar values and is willing to challenge you to be the best version of yourself. It’s not about popularity or getting invited to the best parties. It’s about having deep, meaningful relationships with people who support you. You’ll need those friendships when life gets hard.
You can create anything you want. Despite what we were taught, you don’t have to go to college, get an entry-level job, and work your way up. You don’t have to live for retirement before you can enjoy your life. You don’t have to do any of it. Carve your own path, find what makes you happy and gives you purpose, and then explore how you live a life around that. That’s where a great life begins.
Reflecting back, 20 years appeared as it evaporated like that. Where did the time go, we are asking ourselves? It seemed like just yesterday we were walking through the halls, going to football games, and messing around, thinking we had it all in front of us. A lifetime ahead of us that we could do whatever we wanted with.
And in a flash, 20 years have passed.
There’s been tragedy and triumph, highs and lows, and many more lucky breaks than we can count.
But we’re here. Wherever we are. We are here.
Whatever has happened is in the past. Those are decisions we’ve made, good or bad. Those are opportunities we’ve pursued or missed. Those are tragedies averted or endured.
But we are still here.
So now we have a choice. We have a choice, today, to decide if we are happy or not. We have a choice to make changes in our lives to pursue happiness each and every day.
We have to believe we have a choice.
That’s the first step. There’s no more complaining. There are no more pointing fingers. There are no more excuses. Now is the time to act.
What if we knew that high school, although 20 years ago, was just the end of the first quarter. Well, then that means we are just at halftime.
It means we can change. If the playbook didn’t work, then throw it out. Start fresh and create something new and different than you ever thought possible. You can create the life you’ve always wanted, even if the first half didn’t go as planned.
Get in the locker room. Regroup. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Why can’t it be you?” Why can’t you become happier than you ever imagined?
The only way this time is different is if you put in the work. The grind. Make the tough choices. The knowledge that you’ve gained over the years is that it’s not going to be easier. In fact, it might be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, to commit to the change.
But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
You’re worth it.
So let’s start the 2nd half off strong. When you get tired, feel defeated, or start to panic, go back and read #1 above. Progress is only created through action. Sometimes taking action is hard because it is against the grain of what others around you are doing.
But this isn’t about them.
It’s about you.
It’s about what makes you happy.
Are you ready to take the field and fight for every inch of your happiness?
The clock is starting on the 2nd half and the ball is now in your hands.
What’s the first play you are calling?
A Message To The Class of 2001, 20-Years In The MakingBrian Ondrako2021-11-28T21:58:18-04:00
Will is a serial entrepreneur, gamification, habits, and happiness expert. After exiting his delivery startup for $321 mil in 2019, he’s made it his mission to help others become an entrepreneur of the most important business they’ll ever run, THEIR LIFE.
He gamifies the process of improving your habits via the 5 main areas, or CORES, of your life by using the latest in science and technology to reduce the friction of taking the actions that will truly make you happy.
Are you ready to figure out WHO you are, WHAT you want, and HOW to get it on your way to firing on all cylinders?
Deborah Olatunji is a writer, award-winning poet, activist, public speaker, and the author of Unleashing Your Innovative Genius: High School Redesigned. Deborah, a seventeen-year-old rising college freshman from New Castle, Delaware, is intensely passionate about being an igniter and catalytic force in the education system. As the founder of the Student Leadership Initiative Program (SLIP), she and her peers help other high school students to navigate their interests and passions through this mentorship-fueled social venture. It is a space where students can gather to share ideas, encourage and support one another, and tackle projects they believe will help and improve their communities. Deborah is also one of nine board members nationwide for a youth-driven, New York-based non-profit organization called GripTape; its mission is to provide youth decision-making control over what and how they learn and the resources to do so.
Episode 115 welcomes in Vitality Coach and Author, Chana Mason, to share more about her journey and how she is helping people overcome their mental blocks to move forward and live a more happy and fulfilling life.
After a long journey of healing from physical and emotional trauma, I’ve dedicated my efforts to helping others not just heal, but thrive. As a Vitality Coach, I guide others to clarify an exciting vision for their lives, shift the beliefs getting in their way, creating a plan of action for manifesting their dreams, and learn the tools to get there. I offer one-on-one coaching, workshops, and retreats both in English and Spanish in Israel and the Americas. Through yoga, meditation, dance, laughter, and practical hands-on lessons, I help clients and event participants be honest about their beliefs and actions, take the courage to be vulnerable, connect more deeply to themselves and others, and ignite massive transformation in their lives!
Episode 56 is on fire with Neil Pasricha, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, etc. I heard Neil speak at an event early in 2019 and made a point to reach out to him to get him on the Podcast. Was so appreciate for him taking some time out to share his story. I don’t think conversations around happiness and fulfillment in life happen as much and it is just assumed that you’ll be happy if you continue on some set path society puts you on at an early age. I’m glad Neil is touring the world to share a different message and help people rethink what happiness really should be.
See below on a lot of random notes and links about Neil and from the show…
My name is Neil Pasricha and I think, write, and speak about living intentionally.
All of my current work focuses under the themes of gratitude, happiness, failure, resilience, and trust.
I’m the the author of six books including: The Book of Awesome, a spinning rolodex of simple pleasures based on my 100-million-hit, award-winning blog 1000 Awesome Things, The Happiness Equation, originally written as a 300-page love letter to my unborn son on how to live a happy life, Awesome Is Everywhere, an interactive introduction to guided meditation for children, and How To Get Back Up, a memoir of failure and resilience released as an Audible Original. My books are New York Times and #1 international bestsellers and have sold millions of copies across dozens of languages.