I’m taking a happiness course on Coursera through Yale. It was mentioned to me in a group Happiness is sort of a strange thing to talk about when you’re talking about productivity, right? But productivity can help us be happier. That’s not really entirely the point of why I’m taking the happiness course. I’m taking the happiness course because, well it’s funny, just a side note, people have said to me, you’re so happy. Why are you taking a happiness course? So yes I am generally super happy, but I can be a class A biotch. Let me tell you, I have my moments. And if you don’t believe me, ask my family. I can be very particular. So I thought why not? We all could do with a little more happiness.

After I got cancer, I really made a focus on gratitude. I was determined to make sure that I was grateful for everything, including even having to take a cancer journey. And gratitude helps bring about happiness, which is a beautiful thing. And if you don’t really believe me, you should try it.

So one way to do that is to write down three things you’re grateful for each morning. And when you start, you’re probably going to write things like, I’m grateful for my home. I’m grateful for running water, I’m grateful for electricity. And over time it will change, because you’ll get more in tune with all the many things we can be grateful for in any given day. It’s an eye opener.

So when I was going through cancer, I was taking gratitude walks. I took one this morning 3 1/2 years later. At any rate, per the doctor, I had to start exercising. Exercising was going to be really important to my recovery. Breast cancer survivors are told that body, mass, fat, etc… is a major factor in whether or not you could get cancer again, breast cancer specifically. And so you’re encouraged to exercise and maybe lose some weight. I was in an okay sort of weight zone at the time. Due to steroids, I ended up packing on a few extra pounds and I have been in the process of losing those pounds and have a real commitment to exercising 5 days per week.

So what’s really cool that’s come out of this happiness course and what I really want to talk today about is the G.I. Joe Fallacy. So the woman who created this happiness course in Yale, Laurie Santos, says that there’s such a thing as a G.I. Joe Fallacy. So what does that mean? I don’t know if you watched G.I. Joe when you were a kid. But there would be these shows with G.I. Joe and his army men would be out there saving the day.

And at the end of each G.I. Joe show was a public service announcement and it was geared to kids. And so it was advice like look both ways before crossing the street. Back in the day, it wouldn’t have been put your helmet on before you rode your bike because none of us did, but thank God we all wear them now, including myself. So maybe now today G.I. Joe would say, put your helmet on your head, kids, so that you don’t hurt yourself when you’re riding your bike.

So the thing about the PSA was that knowing is half the battle. And the reason this gal says that the G.I. Joe knowing is half the battle is a fallacy, is because knowing is only a small portion of battle. The battle really is in changing our behavior. So it’s not enough to know we should exercise, right? We all know that we shouldn’t eat 14 Girl Scout cookies. We all know that we probably shouldn’t smoke or drink or take drugs, right? We all know these things, but human beings are funny. We are very short term and we want that cookie now and that’s that. And it’s hard to change your mind about these things to rework your mind, to rewire your mind so that you’re not grabbing that cookie.

Bottom line – If you’re focused on gratitude, you’re happier. If you’re happier, you’re more in flow. If you’re more in flow, you’re more productive.

You can hear the rest on my YouTube channel in the link below.

My most recent video GI Joe Thin Mints and Happiness is now available, click on the link, please provide your feedback and comments.  Here is the link to My YouTube Channel, I am looking to get to 100 subscribers before the end of May. Thanks in advance!


Are you ready to take the steps to up level your productivity game in the office?  Let’s get on a call to see how I can help you.

Productivity by Design™



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Catherine Avery
Productivity by Design
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Fairfield CT, 06825.

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