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May 2012 (135 posts)
Just about a month before his death, Yauch spoke with Project Happiness about the true meaning of -- and way to find -- happiness. He explained how his work for the people of Tibet had contributed to his own sense of happiness and peace: "I guess one way to look at it is that if one wants to create more happiness in their life in the future, then working towards doing more altruistic things or things to benefit other people, that’s the way to get there."
The interviewer asked him what everyday, non-celebs can do to make the world a better place. I love Yauch's response: "Everything we do affects other people... Every way that we interact with other people, even if it’s like, you’re at the store and buying something, and it’s the way that you interact with the clerk at the store. EVERY action that we take has some motivation of either being selfish or altruistic. All that adds up."
To Yauch happiness was looking outward, whether that translated into making music that meant something to people or getting involved in a large-scale human rights campaign. And looking outward, as he put it, can be a part of every day, every interaction. You don't have to make a number one hit, but you can make music to entertain your friends or family or self. You don't have to save all of Tibet, but you can be polite to the clerk at the store. According to Yauch in this interview, everyday kindness was the way to long-term happiness. And if you're looking for short-term happiness, a shot of pure silly joy in the moment, you might just have to listen to some Beastie Boys.
Read the entire interview, and learn more about Project Happiness, here.
Meet Mr. Happy Man
Revelations From the Happy Movie
How to be Happy
LaPorte acknowledges that each of these personality types are "cousins in talent," and that it can be hard to distinguish between them. So take a look at her descriptions of each. Then ask yourself: Do you love to connect people? Are you a ninja at good advice? Can you dream up a plan to solve any problem in 2 seconds flat? (And if so, can you call me?) Pinpointing which role comes most naturally to you can be an immense help, whether you are trying to make a career move, establish your brand, or just think more clearly about yourself and what you do. Hint: your response to LaPorte's post is likely to offer some clues about which role you play in life...
How Your Shadow Behaviors Affect Your Career
Getting Started on a Strong Life Plan
Every Monday, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're in love with the thoughtful debut novel:
By Thad Ziolkowski
In Thad Ziolkowski's aptly named first novel, Wichita, Lewis Chopik, a recent graduate from Columbia University, leaves New York City for his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. He's escaping the pain from a recent breakup with his girlfriend, Victoria, who left him for a Rhodes scholar, and he's avoiding the Ivy League future of his professor father, Virgil. Lewis quickly settles into the home of his New Age mother, Abby, whose house functions as a sort of commune, housing his bipolar brother, Seth; Abby's two boyfriends (earnest Donald lives inside, while eccentric Bishop sleeps in a tent in the yard and operates the basement drug lab); and a bevy of drifters who float in and out. Abby's latest venture is a feminist Ponzi scheme called the Birthday Party, the cash from which funds her career of the moment—storm chasing. Her business, Grateful Gaia Storm Tours, brings tourists into the eyes of tornadoes, and when Lewis and Seth accompany their mother on her first storm tour, everything gets blown open in ways you'll never expect. What ties this book together, however, is Ziolkowski's honest and raw look at brotherhood and what it means to rediscover your family.
Read the whole article for a thoughtful analysis of eco-tourism, and for the story of how Nobile connected with a Haitian orphan. But also, what I really love here is how tucked in the middle of the article is this: "Joy is different than pleasure. Pleasure can be experienced through hedonism and unbridled consumption and is centered on personal satisfaction in the moment. Joy is more complicated, in that it is experienced in moments that are not the least bit pleasurable. (Natural childbirth springs to mind.) Joy is perhaps the most thrilling emotion we experience because it is linked to a sense of personal satisfaction of living a meaningful life."
A humanitarian-focused trip like this one offers people an experience that combines the pleasures of yoga and travel with the deeper, longer-lasting experience of joy that comes from connecting with others, helping the less fortunate. But all of us, even if any kind of travel is beyond the realm of possibility, can take something from this. In every day, we can strive to deepen our pleasure into the more complicated, more satisfying joy -- by looking outside of ourselves.
Amy Nobile on the Secrets of Motherhood
Urban Zen's Mission in Haiti
Pay-what-you-wish restaurant offers meals with a side of restoring-your-faith-in-humanity.
Sometimes you find a motto for life in the most unexpected of places.
Whether you missed the super-moon or just miss it: the best photographs from all around the world.
The most delightful, silly, strange new sport: cardboard tube battles. Yes, it's just what it sounds like.
A new interactive billboard allows you to bravely save a victim of domestic abuse. Well, virtually, but still, it's good practice.
The Life-Lifter: "Hope can change everything." A brush with death lead to this Michigan woman's discovery of her life's purpose.
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who
nourishes your body or spirit.
I'm back with Bob Greene for workouts, so he gets another shout out for helping me nourish my body with his daily truth serum of exercise.
Thank you to the "Foot Nanny" Gloria Williams who takes such good care of my feet, makes my whole body feel better.
Thank you to Donna Richardson Joyner for her gracious outreach to my girls in South Africa and to me. She nourishes my spirit with a constant supply of POTTER's HOUSE dvd's. And of course to the masterful Bishop T.D. Jakes (who's in the photo above) who can take the WORD and build a story that makes your spirit shout Amen!
Full of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants, avocados can help keep skin looking youthful by reducing inflammation, which damages tissues. They're also high in potassium, a mineral crucial to heart function. Finally, the fat helps your body better absorb vitamins A, D, and E—all key players in glowing skin.
I've always had a weird aversion to "Things to Do Before I Die" lists, I think because of my type B+ personality: part of me thinks an ambitious list of to-do's sounds exhilarating and affirming and would send me rushing to a hot air balloon/Africa/a Spanish class, but part of me is a little stressed out by this idea, and thinks, "Oy, I can barely get through my list of household chores, who needs more to do? Aren't I just going to be disappointed in myself when I don't check everything off? I think I'll go to bed early instead." But happening upon the excellent Mighty Life List of Mighty Girl blogger Maggie Mason the other day made me want to put "Make mightier life list" on my list of things to do.
Mighty Girl has compiled a truly mighty list of 100 things she wants to do before she goes (so much nicer than just calling it a bucket list, or including the word "die" in the title). What is really great about this list is the way it combines the practical—take a drawing class, buy a stock, take care of health issues—with the outrageous—go parasailing, attend a sky lantern festival in Thailand. It seems important (as I study the way she's crafted this list) to include things that can be done immediately—such as a try a new fruit—with a dose of super-charged ambitious—try 1000 new fruits. And here is what makes this list truly mighty, is that over all, the theme seems to be not acquiring Big Life Experiences like collector's items, but rather in infusing a life with a sense of possibility. Mason is not looking to do a bunch of things to impress people, although her adventures scuba-diving and zip-lining are pretty amazing. Rather, she seems to be looking to make life more gracious, to encourage herself to live generously. Get in the habit of large loving gestures, her list reminds us. Make 1,000 lovely things.
Another great thing about her list? It's not like it's the only thing she's doing. She gets distracted by other projects. She writes about lots of other stuff. And now and then she dusts off the list and does something wonderful. This was a revelation: of course! Life is long! The list can sometimes languish! How freeing!
So here is what this Mighty List has taught me about the Life List concept. It's okay if you put things on the list that you're maybe not going to get to. In fact, that's part of the whole idea. The List is not about stressing yourself out because you didn't ride in a hot air balloon before you hit 30. Rather, the List is about encouraging yourself to live a little more mightily. To try a new fruit. Try 1,000 new fruits. Even if you only get to 100, hey, that'll be 100 fruits more than you would have tried otherwise.
More Lists to Make:
Your Magic List
The Bliss List
A Done List
A Bucket List