Tag Archives: Henry S. Miller

Happiness Still Matters To You

No matter how busy and crazy your life gets, you dudes need to understand that happiness still matters.

On Friday, I handed the blog over to happiness pusher Henry S. Miller, who talked about the benefits of getting happy. Benefits like achieving success more easily, having a better social life and a more fulfilling personal life.

And, still, there’s more goodies to discuss, more reasons that happiness still matters to you dudes. So, let’s turn back to Miller and let him take it away.

• Work. In addition to bringing all their positive personal attributes to Henry S. Miller is an author and motivational speaker who stopped by A Dude's Guide to talk about why happiness still matters to you dudes.work, happy people have been proven to be more likely to perform better, achieve greater productivity and deliver a higher quality work product. They tend to receive a higher income as a result. 

• Physical health. Happy people experience less pain, are often in better health, are more active with more energy and even, not surprisingly, live longer. They have lower stress levels and stronger immune systems that fight disease more effectively. By comparison, stressed and depressed people are more vulnerable to various illnesses.

 • Mental health. Happy individuals construe daily situations and major life events in relatively more positive and more adaptive ways that seem to reinforce their happiness. They are also less likely to exaggerate any criticism, however slight, that they may receive, as opposed to unhappy individuals who react to life experiences in negative ways that only reinforce their unhappiness.

 What’s at Stake

Take your pursuit of a happier and more fulfilling life seriously—it is a worthy goal especially in times of uncertainty and strife. Your success in striving to thrive is a precious gift that benefits not only yourself but also all those around you as well as the world at large—benefits that can’t be overestimated.

 Trust and believe that you are worthy enough to prioritize and focus your time and energy on living a happier life. First and foremost, you owe it to yourself to try to be as happy as you can. You also owe it to those around you: your spouse, your parents, your children, your friends and acquaintances and coworkers and colleagues.

If you question or doubt the seriousness of this pursuit or tend to trivialize the value of being happier, just ask any spouse or significant other what it’s like to live with an unhappy and unfulfilled partner. Ask a parent about the pain suffered by all if a child is unhappy. Or ask a child what it’s like to be raised by an unhappy, unfulfilled, angry, and bitter parent. Ask a supervisor what it’s like to try to work with unhappy, frustrated, and unmotivated employees. Then ask a worker about working for an unhappy manager. Or ask an unhappy and probably friendless acquaintance about the worthiness of happiness as a goal.

Think carefully about the impact of choosing to live a happier life. Realize that because happiness has been demonstrated to be contagious, your individual happiness can affect not only you and those closest to you but also those living nearby. Individual happiness matters much more—and can have a much more extensive impact—than ever realized before.

Remember that one day, you will be sitting on that proverbial rocking chair on some front porch or veranda, maybe overlooking the ocean, and a stranger will sit down beside you and politely ask: “So, what did you do in your life?”

 What will you say?

The stakes are high. The price of unhappiness is steep. And life is short.

 [Excerpted from the book The Serious Pursuit of Happiness: Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive]

 Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being.

I’ll be back tomorrow to point you somewhere else and then will return yet again on Wednesday for more fun. Until then, remember that happiness still matters.


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Happiness Matters To You

If you want to live a better life, then you need to know that happiness matters to you.

Think about it: When you’re happy, you treat others better. Which makes them happy, which makes them treat others better. Etc. etc. etc. etc.

And, yet, how much work do we actually put in on making ourselves happy? Not a whole lot, I’ll tell you. In some instances, it’s like folks think they should suffer, because suffering is good for them. While pleasure and feeling happy is bad. I don’t understand those people.

Henry S. Miller, an author and motivational speaker, is a dude I think I’m starting to understand. He’s been a guest here before and talked about happiness then as well. This time around he’s going to discuss just why, exactly, happiness matters to you dudes.

Although some would have you think otherwise, the uniquely human pursuit of happiness is not merely some frivolous idle-time activity for the fortunate few. Far from it. Instead, it is a serious pursuit—a duty and responsibility for each of us.

 As the progress—or lack thereof—of human evolution has demonstrated, being in a positive, optimistic, and happy frame of mind seems to be what allows some humans to be more successful than others in obtaining life’s essentials: food, shelter, social support, even a mate. So it has always been and so it continues today. And if you still doubt the seriousness of pursuing a happier life, consider your loved ones. Fulfilling the duty of being happy benefits not just yourself but also those closest to you.

 The Benefits

Most of the benefits of living a happier life are familiar, yet they are powerful and seemingly endless—and they far outweigh the costs and work needed to achieve this state. Nonetheless, many in our societies often try to diminish the idea of simple, lasting happiness, instead extolling the thrill of peak pleasures and magnificent accomplishments. As a rejoinder to them and a reminder to us all, here is a consensus of what researchers around the world have proven to result from simply being happy, especially when compared to unhappy, sad or depressed people:

 • Success. Overall, happiness matters because happy people are more successful across multiple major domains of life including work, social relationships, income, and health. In addition, the relationship between happiness and success seems to be reciprocal: not only can individual success—whether in love or at work—contribute to feelings of happiness, but happiness also results in more success. In this way, happiness becomes an even more worthwhile pursuit, both as a desirable end in and of itself and as a means to achieve other significant life goals.

 • Personally. Happy people more frequently exhibit characteristics such as being strikingly energetic, decisive, and flexible. They are more creative, more helpful to those in need, more self-confident, more forgiving, more charitable, more sociable, and more loving. Compared to unhappy people, happier people are more trusting, more loving, and more responsive. They have greater self-control, can tolerate frustration better, are less likely to be abusive, are more lenient, and demonstrate enhanced coping skills.

 • Socially. Happy people have more friends, richer social interactions, Henry S. Miller wrote The Serious Pursuit of Happiness and he's given A Dude's Guide to . . . Everything a not-even-close-to-exclusive excerpt from the book.correspondingly stronger social support, and experience longer and more satisfying marriages.

[Excerpted from the book The Serious Pursuit of Happiness: Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive]

Yep, that little ol’ note up there means it’s time for us to close up shop for the week. We’ll be back on Sunday with a little fun and video and then on Monday, April 18, we’ll have the second half of the guest post from the happiness matters dude.

 Henry S. Miller knows happiness matters. He is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being.

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin wasn’t exactly right about what it took.

McFerrin famously sang that the world should “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It’s a wonderful, catchy tune that will never not make me happy.

As tempting as it might be to think that only by throwing away our worries we will reach that happiness we so long to achieve, it’s a false hope. Happiness takes work.

Thanks to the good people who publicize his work, I’m back with the second half of Henry S. Miller’s month-by-month suggestions for making yourself happy. Miller, author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, can be found on the web at www.millergroup.com. For now, here he is speaking just to you dudes.

July:  A Month of Spirituality

Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.

August:  A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill

Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.

September:  A Month of Contribution

Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!

 October:  A Month of Savoring

Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.

 November:  A Month of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.

 December:  A Month of Generosity

The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.

Not exactly sure I’m all there with him on, for instance, July’s suggestion, but, you know. . . What can it hurt? Spend a little time each day doing something different, helping people, maybe reframing a problem so it seems more like a challenge.

Be happy.

Sounds like a challenge I’d like to accept.

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