Random Thoughts on Happiness

Exerpts from Michael Pentalons interview on the Happiness Project Blog of Gretchen Rueben.

I just finished reading Michael Pantalon’s very helpful book, Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone To Do Anything–Fast. He argues that one of the most important things you can do to influence people is to…remind them that in the end, your influence doesn’t matter. That is, to re-affirm their sense of autonomy. The more that people find their own reasons for action, and feel themselves to be acting in accordance with their own desires, the more likely they are to make positive changes. So the challenge is to help them do so.

There’s a lot of interesting material in the book; for instance, here’s one fact that fascinated me:

“Numerous studies have shown that people having any level of motivation are capable of making dramatic changes. When people have rated their motivation on a scale of 1 to 10, for example, you might think that the 10s would be more likely to take action than the 2s. No so! In fact, several of my own studies found that people who made significant changes in their behavior appeared all along the motivational continuum, not just at the high end.”

In other words, just because you think, “Wow, this is it! This time I’m really going to make a change!” you’re not actually more likely to make a change than someone who is feeling lukewarm about making a change–but who  approaches making that change in a more strategic way.

Making change is often very important to happiness, so I was interested to hear what Mike had to say.

Gretchen: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?

Mike: Finding new music.  I love music.  It always lifts my mood.  I like to try to discover at least 1-2 new artists or bands a week.  It helps that I love a number of genres from jazz funk, jazz-rock, experimental and post-bop jazz, alternative, rock, blues and even progressive heavy metal.  Most recent finds: Surfer Blood and Gotye.

Read on the full interview here 

As I read the blog the question on my mind was what were the things that made me happy ?  Infact there were a lot of similarities with what Michael had to say.

Family Time. We catch up as a family in the evening and during dinner my wife and two children 13 and 8 years old. It is a period of day which I look forward to – enquiring about their days and sharing with them mine. Well not fully – just the interesting parts. 🙂

Playing the Guitar.


Spending time with my wife alone planning, buying provisions or just chatting.

Time with friends , siblings – mailing , chatting.

And yes work that I do – does make me happy . Sometime. 🙂




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s