Episode 224: Practical Happiness – Interview with Pamela Gail Johnson
Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast. Let me start with a story:
A Native American story tells about how god gathered his animal advisers together to help him decide where to hide the Secret to a Happy Life from humans.
He first asked the Eagle, “Where shall I put it?”
The Eagle answered, “I shall hide it at the top of the highest mountain. Man will never find it there.”
God considered this but decided against it. “One day, Man will go there,” he said.
Next, he asked the Clam, “Where shall I put it, little Clam?” “I will hide it at the bottom of the deepest ocean,” the Clam answered.
This seemed like a better idea, but the Lord hesitated again.
“Man will go there someday,” he said after some thought. Then the wise Owl stepped forward. “Though I regretfully cannot take it there myself,” he intoned, “perhaps you ought to hide the secret on the moon.”
After considering this, God finally came to the same conclu- sion as before: “No. There, too, Man shall go.”
After some period of reflection, the humble Opossum came forward. “Perhaps,” he said, so softly that he could barely be heard, “the secret should be hidden in the heart of Man.” There was an awed silence among the animals.
Finally, the Lord spoke: “Yes, cunning Opossum, that will be the last place Man will look.”
This story reminds us of something that we already know but are often reluctant to embrace: Our happiness is inside us. The challenge is knowing how to find it.
This story is shared from the introduction of the book, Practical Happiness, by Pamela Gail Johnson who is here today with me on the show.
Tune into the audio program where we are talking about personal happiness. The individual nature of it all, and what makes YOU happy.
Today on the show I have the founder of the Society of Happy People, and the author of Practical Happiness here to support us in intentionally creating our own happy spaces.
Pamela Gail Johnson has helped people understand, expand, and rethink their happiness mindset since 1998, when she found the Society of Happy People. As a mostly happy person, she asked herself, where are all the happy people? She decided they needed their own tribe. Are you one of her tribe, or would you like to be? Yes, of course, who doesn’t want to be part of the happiness people tribe.
She has started 3 happiness holidays and her new book “Practical Happiness: Four principles to Improve Your Life.”
Tune in to the audio program to hear my conversation with Pamela.
As I’ve considered happiness in my own life – I have my own 4 ingredients to happiness: I have determined that happiness is comprised of 1. purpose – without purpose most people are unhappy and unmoored. And, 2. people – we need healthy personal relationships. 3. Gratitude, where we don’t ignore all the great blessings in our lives. Gratitude makes you feel like the universe has your back. 4. Fun – whatever is fun for you.
Our brains are hardwired to quickly recognize and help us get away from things that can hurt us. This goes back to our caveman days, when we had to protect ourselves from gigantic, hairy, scary creatures and such. Our brains evolved to help us recognize danger and keep us safe. That’s why it’s always easier, and maybe even more natural, for us to see what’s wrong before we can see what’s right. Having a positive outlook usually requires a conscious effort until it becomes a habit or our go-to mindset. Practice this mindset. Look for what is going right.
Your challenge for this week is to look for what is going right in your life right now. Take 5 minutes, sometime this week, and write a list of the things that make you smile. Then, I want you to put the list someplace where you can see it regularly, and make sure that you’re including those happy things in your days. Look for the good, acknowledge the good, celebrate the good, enjoy the good. Roll around in the good!
Please share this podcast with all the people in your life that could use a happy thought this morning. It’s easy to hit share on your podcast app and just text them a copy. Do a little good in the world by sharing the good.
See you in two weeks for our next episode.