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The Happy Teacher Podcast

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Episode twenty two - Happy places

The take away 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.

Duration: 00:14:33

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.

Duration: 00:12:27

Episode 20 - 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...

Duration: 00:14:07

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.

Duration: 00:10:34

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...

Duration: 00:08:40

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....

Duration: 00:13:06

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...

Duration: 00:11:01

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...

Duration: 00:14:02

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...

Duration: 00:12:42

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...

Duration: 00:24:49

Episode eleven - The beauty of being older

My mum died when she was just 49 - she'd had breast cancer and she'd first been diagnosed with it just over five years earlier. We spent a lot of time talking about living, about being ill, about dying - particularly after she knew that she was terminally ill. It goes without saying that it made a profound impression on me, so much so that it took me a long time, a very long time to come to terms with the enormity of ageing, and of our eventual death. But this is not a sad episode. In this...

Duration: 00:16:26

Episode ten - Ten things we can all do to be happier

It's episode ten of The Happy Teacher Podcast! In this week's podcast I explore ten different things that we can all implement in our lives in order to increase the level of fulfilment, contentment, and joy that we experience. Some of this is a recap; some of it is new. My hope is that as a seasoned listener to the podcast it will serve as a reminder that the responsibility for improving the quality of our own happiness lies within our own hands. If you're new to the podcast it will help...

Duration: 00:20:45

Episode nine - Volunteering

The 'hedonic treadmill' is a theory that people return to a relatively stationary level of happiness, sometimes considered a happiness 'set point'. Although efforts or interventions to improve happiness have a transient effect, individuals inevitably return to their original happiness set point after a short period of time. However, in this week's podcast I outline a way to shift our focus way from what we think will bring us happiness (such as greater possessions), towards what will bring...

Duration: 00:17:56

Episode eight - Happy New Year

The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote, 'If you want to be happy, be' As it's the start of a new year I want to go back to some basics. If this podcast is about becoming happier, then at the start of this year it might be helpful for us to look at a couple of examples of what is meant by happiness. So, in episode eight I talk about the different forms of happiness we should be aware of in our lives. Knowing what these are can help us to make better decisions, and in turn these...

Duration: 00:19:16

Episode seven - Faith

Martin Luther King JR said: 'Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.' In this podcast I recall how learning to have a little faith helped my friend to clear her home from a lifetime's accumulation of clutter, free her mind, and become a little happier. When we learn to let go of some of the questions that we desperately seek answers for, we can grow to become more fulfilled, and happier, than we thought possible. Together we can all learn to #BeHappier.

Duration: 00:14:04

Episode six - The audacity of small

'It's the accumulative effect of the little actions which, over time, can change the world.’ In this week’s podcast I turn my attention to what I like to call the audacity of small. Happiness and fulfilment lie in being able to complete tiny, unremarkable, often boring steps without being distracted by the large goal we have set for ourselves. This episode of the podcast is a plea for us to fall in love with taking the small, seemingly pointless steps that have the capacity within them to...

Duration: 00:22:56

Episode four - The problem with positive thinking

We are led to believe that positive thinking is the 'go-to' first step in becoming happier or for when we are simply trying to get stuff done. It's not always helpful though, and this week's episode is about why this is the case. As always, I discuss a useful strategy for helping us all to be's much simpler than we might think.

Duration: 00:16:43

Episode three - Nothing to fear here

In this week’s podcast I don't clown around, but I do talk about what we can learn about anxiety, fear and happiness, and we all remind ourselves to take a step back from what appears to be, in order so focus on what is.

Duration: 00:15:08

Episode two - The Pygmalion Effect

In this week's podcast I outline some of the science behind why smiling is so effective at raising your level of happiness; I remember a piece of advice that I was once given (spoiler alert, it wasn't very good); and we all discover why we'll want to feel what is called 'The Pygmalion effect' at work in our lives.

Duration: 00:13:30

Episode one - In which I give myself permission to #BeHappier

In this week's podcast I explain what the Happy Teacher Podcast is; we learn some valuable lessons about life from people who are approaching the end of theirs; and we all make use of a practical way to improve the level of happiness that we feel in our own lives.

Duration: 00:16:40