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The Happy Teacher Podcast

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Episode thirty one - Anything but

Success is about keeping the main thing that main thing and not allowing ourselves to become distracted by supplementary activities that don't sufficiently develop our core purpose, our core mission. If you really do want to get better at something, do that thing.


Episode thirty - What I learned when I stopped podcasting (and why I'm continuing)

At the end of 2018 I decided to take a break from podcasting. This is what I learned. My hope is that it will help you to work out why taking a break from things can help you to gain clarity and peace of mind. I'm very much continuing with the podcast series. Thank you for all of your support and for listening. Together we can all #behappier.


Episode twenty nine - Why it helps to be stoic

One of the philosophies that I am interested in is Stoicism. As far as I can see it offers a practical strategy that we can all make use of if we are to increase the levels of happiness, fulfilment, and joy in our own lives. Now Stoicism has a bit of a reputation for being the philosophical stiff upper lip. It has a reputation for emotionlessness. But I think that this is not really true. At its heart it is a philosophy for lessening all of the negative emotions that we feel and for...


Episode twenty eight - Why I stop and pause and why you should too (if you want to be happier)

In this podcast episode I talk about how stopping and pausing when we feel frustrated can have a positive impact on the levels of fulfilment, contentment and joy that we experience. It’s a simple strategy and one that, if implemented, can help us to grow through what we go through. So, before stopping and pausing, press play and take another step towards a life in which you can be happier.


Episode twenty seven - Is there a different way?

"Here’s the thing that I’ve been struggling with and slowly accepting: following the rules will only get you so far. If you want to go further, you’ve got to write your own. If you want to truly express yourself creatively, you have to take that leap of faith and you have to ask yourself that most difficult of questions for yourself and by yourself." --------------- It's the first of July, a halfway point in the year. It's a good time to review things and to take stock of where we are in our...


Episode twenty six - Being optimistic (part two)

I believe that we can all learn to live happier lives; lives are are more fulfilled, content, and joyous. Most of us instinctively know that being optimistic about our lives is probably a good idea for it helps us to see a more positive future. In part two of a two part mini series, I outline some strategies that we can all use to help us to be more optimistic. These aren't answers, and they are not guarantees. They are steps in the direction of a more optimistic outlook, and as I explained...


Episode twenty five - Being optimistic (part one)

I believe that we can all learn to live happier lives; lives are are more fulfilled, content, and joyous. Most of us instinctively know that being optimistic about our lives is probably a good idea for it helps us to see a more positive future. In part one of a two part mini series, I outline some research that indicates just how powerful being optimistic can be (part two will outline some of the practical ways that we can adopt a more optimistic approach in our lives). My hope is that this...


Episode twenty four - Stop asking for permission

One of the biggest mistakes that we can make on our quest to experience greater happiness is believing that we need to ask the permission of others in order to do so. In this podcast episode I argue for why we should stop asking for permission to be happier.


Episode twenty three - Going round and round

Part of being happier is simply about learning to accept the fact that we can't continue improving at anything indefinitely. There are always periods of time when improvement stalls and falters. Knowing why this is, and knowing what to do when it happens, can help us to be happier when the virtuous circle of improvement temporarily breaks.


Episode twenty two - Happy places

The takeaway lesson from this podcast episode is this: spending time in a meaningful place is probably more beneficial for our happiness levels that scouring the internet for yet another thing that we don't really need.


Episode twenty one - Minimalism

In this podcast episode I discuss 'minimalism'. Sounds fancy; but it's simple. Minimalism is about thinking carefully about the objects that we own, getting rid of the stuff that we don't need and creating physical and mental space in which happiness can flourish.


Episode twenty - How to get better at anything

Happiness can be hard work. Being content and fulfilled often relies on learning new things, new skills. This can be difficult. Where do we start? What are the steps we need to take so that we can focus on getting better at something? How do we get better better at anything? In this episode I look at how the process. What does getting better at something look like? It’s a worthwhile thing to do because I believe that fulfilment lies at the heart of a life lived well. Fulfilling our potential...


Episode nineteen - Traffic

Yesterday I got stuck in a traffic jam. Nothing unusual about that. It happens to most of us countless times. What is unusual is learning to use the experience as an opportunity to be happier. Here's how.


Episode eighteen - I know nothing

I've said it before on the podcast, and I'll doubtless say it again: I'm not an expert when it comes to being happier. I'm just a man who once had a moment of clarity and honesty; in that moment I knew that I couldn't carry on living the way that I had been. I write these words not out of any sense of false modesty, but simply as a reminder to myself that even though I've been attempting to live a happier life for the past five years, I still have much to learn. I don't get it right anywhere...


Episode seventeen - Why we buy more stuff than we need

There are countless reasons we buy more stuff than we need. Some motivations are pushed upon us by society. I saw this really clearly a few years ago while training for Ironman UK. For those that don't know, Ironman is a long triathlon: 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles on the bike, followed by 26.2 miles of running. It's a crazy event. It's tough, difficult, a worthwhile challenge if you are into that sort of thing. I loved it. I loved the training and I loved the whole experience of the day. I'll...


Episode sixteen - Stop making plans, start cultivating opportunities

Most of us would agree that life is messy. Nobody can predict the future; ironically, that much is certain. And yet so many of us draw up our plans and schedules do so under the illusion (or maybe the delusion) that we can predict aspects of the future. We plan as if we know that life will obey our particular set of rules. When things don't quite work out we can become angry. Like last week, we turn our attention to another Chinese philosopher, Mencius, who argued that we should cultivate...


Episode fifteen - The habits of Confucius

In this week's podcast we all learn something about what some ancient Chinese philosophy can tell us about how we view ourselves and how we can all learn to be happier. Confucius is one of our go-to Chinese philosophers. He's now famous for some big picture aphorisms: one of my favourites being 'life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated'. But he was so much more than simply making large statements about the big picture. His classic book, The Analects, often posits the...


Episode fourteen - Getting your groove back

In this week's podcast we all learn something about getting our groove back from my friend and street photographer Keith Vaughton. It's something that we can all relate to: at some point we lose our groove, things don't quite flow as they should, we run out of steam. Talent won't insulate us from loss of groove, as street photographer Keith Vaughton writes. The question he poses is How do I get myself back into the groove? Whatever our version of losing our groove is, if we listen carefully...


Episode thirteen - The benefits of doing the thing that you really want to...

It's episode thirteen of the podcast! In this episode I talk about the benefits of exploring the thing that you really want to do, while having to do the thing that you'd rather not. Confused? Don't be. Have a listen.


Episode twelve - Why we should all fail

One of the most important lessons that I want my children to learn is that failure is ok, failure is good, and that from failure success can be brought into the light. Through my own quest to be happier I've learned that it is utterly futile to try and insulate ourselves from negative feelings that stem from our perceived failures. We experience happiness not through the absence of such emotions but through the experiencing of them fully, and the subsequent dealing with them in positive...