Monthly Archives: October 2016

Nataly Kogan’s 10 Commandments of Happier-ness

The word “happy” is an action adjective, which seems to point toward some form of action as being necessary in order to achieve this favorite of all emotions.

And action is required. But that action is as simple as this: Make a decision to be happy.

There’s no need to complicate this concept by saying happiness must be earned, or that it is a fundamental right as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.  There are no caveats, such as “I’ll be happy when I get that job, or that new car or house, or that boyfriend.”

Instead, choose to be happy — yes, choose — and all those things may follow.

You certainly do have the right to pursue happiness, but the first step might be make happiness happen yourself. Nataly Kogan knows a lot about capturing happiness. This former New York City digital media executive and investor said she founded Happier.com after discovering that success and achievement didn’t exactly fill the bill for bliss.

Nataly said she turned to science in order to understand what truly leads to happiness, and she claims that, through her company’s mobile apps and wellness courses, nearly a million people have begun to live meaningful and full lives.

At the age of 13, Nataly and her family arrived in the United States as Russian refugees, and she recalls this experience of struggle and triumph for shaping her into the woman she is today. I am sharing her “10 Commandments of Happier-ness” below. And while I can’t improve

By |2017-03-07T15:30:22+00:00October 24th, 2016|Categories: Thoughts from the Barn|0 Comments

His Pupils Perceive the Promise of Possibilities

It was 14 years ago that conductor Benjamin Zander drew upon his experiences with the Boston Philharmonic and as a teacher in order to assist his wife — psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander — to write The Art of Possibility.

In this book, the maestro recalls a time he was teaching a class at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Mass. There, Zander administered a pop quiz in which he asked his students to write about the similarities between the NASA space program and their life with music.

This all came as the result of Zander being called to NASA the following day in order to deliver a lecture about leadership. His students were familiar with these types of requests because they often talked about dreams, aspirations and possibilities in the classroom. It was a means of enabling the students to live their lives in a wider context than the daily routine of practice, classes and occasional performances.

Here’s what one16-year-old student wrote:

You are the diplomats, the representatives of the world over here. You are going into the nowhere to search and to be intrigued at the smallest inkling of discovery. You are representing us to discover, explore, and find the possibility to escape the box known as Earth, and go as far as possible. You have the responsibility to push thinking and ideas beyond limits, into the ethers, through the nothing into the something. Music is similar to space. It is

Go Ahead. Break Some Long-established Rules

I was participating in an online course a few weekends ago co-taught by Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton. If you’re not familiar with these ladies, Brown is the author of a handful of books about shame, vulnerability and imperfection, and she is well known for her June 2010 Ted Talk called The Power of Vulnerability.

Glennon is the author of Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life as well as the current NY Times best seller, Love Warrior: A Memoir.

These two women are badass. For years they have individually carved a path for themselves as thought leaders in the area of human conditioning and personal development and they recently teamed up to teach this course.

During one of the introductory videos of the course, Brown said,

By |2017-03-07T15:30:22+00:00October 5th, 2016|Categories: Belief Systems|Tags: , , , |0 Comments