Jack Miller, Cade Humphreys, and Dustin Hansen

Rounding Up Hope

Dustin Hansen remembers the day Roundup River Ranch found him. During a fly-fishing trip on the Colorado River, the bankernoticed a shimmering stretch of ranchland at the water’s edge. His guide told him it was a camp for kids with cancer. Something stirred inside him—his father had died of cancer when Dustin was 16—and from that moment on, he was compelled to learn more, and was inspired to eventually become a volunteer counselor at the camp.A special campPhilanthropist Alison Knapp, inspired by Paul Newman’s camps for children with serious medical issues, founded the ranch in 2006 in Avon, Colorado. Roundup River Ranch gives kids, as Paul once said, a place to “kick back and raise a little hell,” with horseback riding, canoeing, archery and other summer camp diversions.The ranch is now part of the late actor’s SeriousFun Children’s Network and includes a complete 24-hour medical component. Dustin says the ranch has an amazing atmosphere—like “Disney World on steroids.” “Most of these kids are hospitalized; most do not go to school,” he says.It gives them hope“The ranch lets them play and experience joy. The nurses say that it’s as important as their medical treatments….It gives them hope.” Dustin sees the transformation in the children and in his own outlook. He watched an 8-year-old boy with a brain tumor and a leg amputation tackle a climbing wall hand over hand, foothold by foothold, making it to the top by himself.“I’ve never cried like I did that day,” Dustin says. “They were tears of joy. He had so much will and perseverance. These kids are teaching me about life.“They taught me how to play and celebrate more—how to laugh. They taught me that life is short, that you need to count your blessings each and every day, and that there is joy even in bad situations.”Marie Speed is the editor of a number of South Florida-based magazines.
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How do you 'share your happy'?

How Do You Live Happy?

Happiness is contagious, and if your goal is to create a world with more compassion, less strife and a greater sense of purpose and meaning—you need to get your message out there!Here are just a few ideas to share your joy with family, friends and your community.Chalk the walksChalk the Walks is one of many projects spearheaded by The Joy Team. Started in 2011 by Michele McKeag Larsen, the Joy Team has spread positive messages far and wide, beginning with a series of signs and billboards all over her native Pacific Northwest.“We had been doing the billboards for about a year,” says Michele, “But I wanted something more people could engage with. All you have to do is buy chalk. It’s accessible to everyone, and you can do it anywhere.”People around the country have come up with similar ideas for spreading positivity. There is an annual Chalk the Walk in Cleveland, Chalk the Block in El Paso, and a group called Chalk for Thought posts new messages frequently on Instagram and Twitter.Post your happyIn the 21st century, we face a near-constant bombardment of negative messages. Some groups have launched a counter-movement by posting DIY inspirational messages on sticky notes in public places. These handwritten happy hits have been popping up around the country: in buses, on the subway, painted on billboards ... it has become a positively contagious meme.Live Happy has its own Happy Notes (sticky notes printed with positive messages), and the folks at a small organization calledOperation Beautiful came up with a similar idea.There are so many acts of kindness, large and small, that we do on an everyday basis. How will you spread your happiness? So get out there: Do some good and notice when someone does something nice for you. One small step at a time, we will make the world a happier place.Post your messages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag#livehappy and tag us @livehappy, and your positivity will spread even further!
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Two Women Hugging

6 Reasons Why You Need More Hugs

Hugging can be described as a handshake from the heart. The simple action of embracing creates feel-good energy for both the giver and recipient. Science has been looking into its positive effects, and numerous studies related to hugging, cuddling and touching have been reaching the same conclusion: Hugging is a crucial part of human development. 1. Hugging is good for your heart Embracing activates the hormone oxytocin, which makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. In an experiment at the University of North Carolina, participants who didn't have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of10 beats per minute, compared to the five beats per minute among those who got to hug their partners during the experiment. (The slower resting heart rate is healthier, representing a person who is more relaxed and at ease.) 2. Hugging is a natural stress-reducer If you are feeling a bit drained or pressured, find someone you care about and give them a all-enveloping hug.Research has found that embracing reduces the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in our bodies, releasing tension and sending calming messages to the brain. 3.Hugging helps babies' and children's development Touch is critical to infants, especially in their early stages of life as it helps them bond with others as they get older. A study was conducted that compared a group of adopted children whose first years were spent in Romanian and Russian orphanages where they didn’t receive physical contact, to kids who were raised by an affectionate family. Research found that the kids raised in the low-touch orphanages had significantly lower levels of vasopressin—a hormone that plays a role in familial recognition and bonding—compared to their peers. 4. Hugging is good for adults, too Physical touch and hugging can combat feelings of loneliness that arise as people get older. A retirement home in New York conducted a study in which they implemented a program called ‘Embraceable You.’ The idea was to encourage cross-generational contact and touch between residents and staff members in order to improve the residents’ well being. The results were conclusive, with residents who were touched or hugged three or more times a day having more energy, feeling less depressed, better able to concentrate and more restful sleep than their less-hugged counterparts. 5. Hugging can make you more mindful Zen MasterThichNhatHanhhas created ahugging meditation, which can be used to bring more awareness, presence and togetherness into people’s lives. The meditation aims to connect people to each other and to the present moment, with a focus on mindfulness and a powerful awareness of gratitude and love. 6. Hugging can help minimize fears A study by VU University in Amsterdam looked into the connection betweenhuman touch and reducing the fear of mortalityin some people. Researchers found that participants were more likely to have less anxiety about death when being lightly touched or hugging an inanimate object like a teddy bear.
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Joy Team billboard

Happy Acts Heroes

You are rushing to work. Your To-Do list is weighing on your mind, and you feel a little stressed. As you drive along, you glance up at a bright yellow billboard and read: Every 10 seconds, someone is awesome. It’s you. Then you smile.Spreading the joyMaking you smile is the goal of The Joy Team as they set out to boost the nation’s happiness level by posting positive messages on billboards as part of International Day of Happiness, March 20. Now that is one major Happy Act.The Joy Team started out by posting positive messages on billboards in the Pacific Northwest, and later branched out to other regions, including Phoenix, Arizona, where they put up three billboards for the Super Bowl. This is the first year the billboards will share positivity coast-to-coast. To date, 44 billboards will share happiness messages in the shape of a smile in 19 cities.One woman who has made a differenceBased in Vancouver, Washington, The Joy Team is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by Michele Larsen and her daughter Taryn. “My billboard goal for this year is to have a continuous presence of positive message billboards in at least three cities,” says Michele.One positive message can make a huge difference in someone’s day. The Joy Team has a list of more than 30 positive messages that can be shared on billboards across the United States. Some of those messages include:One kind word can change the world.Best. Day. Ever. And it’s yours.You look fabulous. Wowzers.Life loves you. Just the way you are.Happiness is contagious, start an epidemic.Building community; spreading positivityWith a mission to build community by spreading joy, optimism and inspiration, The Joy Team’s initiatives grow every year. The team leads a national Chalk the Walks day on the third Tuesday in August, when they spread similar positive messages with bright chalk. They have also started the Junior Joy Team, a group of kids who share joy with those around them.In the four weeks a billboard is up, it will reach hundreds of thousands of people. With enough billboards, millions of people can be inspired, Michele says. “Ultimately, I’d love to have one up year round in every city in the United States because these billboards make a difference in the lives of people who see them. The billboards infuse people with a boost of inspiration and optimism.” For more information on Joy Team activities, visit Joyteam.org.What #HappyActs will you be doing for the International Day of Happiness?
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Girl scouts in Cincinnati

Scouting for Happiness

When it was time for the Girl Scouts of Troop 41645 in Cincinnati to choose their Bronze Award project, they came up with a simple but ambitious goal: To make the world a better place. And, after brainstorming ideas, they decided the best way to do that was simply to make people happier. “Once we decided to do that, we started talking about reasons why people weren’t happy,” says Carrie Wagner, co-leader for the Troop. “We talked about war, depression, loneliness—we talked about all the reasons people were sad, and why it was important for them to smile more and how we could make them do that.” The girls came up with the idea of a “smile campaign,” called “Smile, the World Needs It,” which launches June 1 and will run for 30 days. Each troop member created a card designed to make someone smile, then the troop voted on their four favorite designs. Those cards were then printed up and the girls are given 30 cards at a time to hand out to people they see. They can hand them to strangers at the mall, to people who buy cookies or just to anyone who looks like they need a reason to smile. The Bronze Award is the highest honor that a Girl Scout can achieve, and it requires that the entire team develop an idea, create initiatives and then put that plan in motion. The girls in the Troop range from age 9 to 13. The goal of the project, as outlined by the Troop, is to “educate friends, neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances and make new friends promoting happiness and smiling to all.” They also are researching reasons why people are not happy and will use their discoveries to “work to change the way people think about happiness.” Cards of happiness Karen Strasser, co-leader, says they have already printed 700 cards, but hope to hand out at least 5,000 cards during the month-long campaign. Each girl is asked to personalize the cards she hands out by writing her own message about smiling or happiness on the back. As part of the project, each girl must also submit four random acts of kindness that she participated in and must submit four reasons to “smile and be happy.” The troop leaders will post those acts and reasons on the campaign’s Facebook page during the month of June. Troop members will encourage everyone they meet to follow them on Facebook, and to “look in the mirror and work on being a more positive person.” Kylie, who designed one of the cards being used, says the movement could help curb sadness in the community. “There are so many people who are rude or not happy,” she says. “It makes the people who are happy kind of sad, so we want to make everybody happy.” And Troop member London says that she has noticed recently that so many people seem unhappy. She hopes this campaign will make a difference. “I’ve noticed from watching the news that there are a lot of bad things happening,” she says, “and this is one way to change that.” Although the campaign has not yet started, the girls say they already feel happier just by working on the project.
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Women on grass laughing

30 Days of Laughter

We continue our Year of Happiness with 30 days of Laughter. Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list of things to do, watch, read, contemplate… and share! 1. “We don’t laugh because we’re happy; we’re happy because we laugh.” — William James 2. ReadBossypantsby Tina Fey. 3. Attend a laughter yoga class. 4. Watch Airplane! 5."The first thing that you lose on a diet is brain mass." —Margaret Cho 6. “If you’re too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”—Proverb 7. "When I’m sad, I can usually cheer myself up by singing because my voice is worse than my problems." —Anonymous 8. Go to a comedy club and support up-and-coming comics. 9. Watch Modern Family. 10. Read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denimby David Sedaris—out loud. 11. Listen to a comedy album by Maria Bamford. 12. The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza parlor and says, “Make me one with everything.” 13. Ask a child to tell you a joke. 14. Watch old episodes of Friends. 15. Read the “Banana” poem by Melissa Balmain: Bananas are clannish, bananas are true— an interdependent and unified crew. One day they're all greenish and hard as bamboo; the next, they conspire to rot through and through. So if a well-ripened banana’s for you, then keep the thing lonely, whatever you do. — from Walking in on People (available in June) 16.Try to get your dog to smile. 17. Teach your kids “The Song that Never Ends.” 18. "I spilled spot remover on my dog and now he's gone.​" — Stephen Wright 19. “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain 20. Watch George Lopez's HBO special. 21. Read This Time Together: Laughter and Reflectionby Carol Burnett. 22. Watch Black-ish. 23. The past, present and future walk into a bar. It was tense. 24. Listen to a comedy record by George Carlin. 25. Watch National Lampoon’s Vacation. 26. ReadFunnyboneby Pearce W. Hammond. 27. “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” —Charlie Chaplin 28.Watch anything with Bill Murray and/or Gilda Radner. 29. Blow bubbles with your kids. 30. “Laughter is an instant vacation.” —Milton Berle
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Father and daughter look at phone smiling and happy

31 Days of Sharing

We continue our Year of Happiness with 31 days of sharing. Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list of things to do, watch, read, contemplate… and share! 1. “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” ―Dalai Lama 2. Read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. 3. Listen and watch the "Sharing Song" by Jack Johnson. 4. Share your favorite recipe with Foodily. 5. Donate. 6. “We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.” ―Billy Graham 7. Share a parable. 8. Watch Rachel Botsman’s TED Talk on the case for collaborative consumption. 9. How does a penguin build a house? Igloos it together! 10. Read Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems. 11. Listen to "Let’s Share" by Renee & Jeremy. 12. Watch Pay it Forward. 13. Teach someone to fish. 14. Share you knowledge with the world through the iTunes U app. 15. “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” ―W. Clement Stone 16. Read Mine! by Shutta Crum. 17. Watch Freedom Writers. 18. “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ―Brian Tracy 19. Share your skills in your community. 20. Download MyFitnessPal and share your goals. 21. Read Snow in Jerusalem by Albert Whitman. 22. “Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” ―Bernard Meltzer 23. What kind of shoes does a panda wear? None! He has bear feet! 24. Host a neighborhood potluck. 25. Two muffins are sitting in an oven. One turns to the other and says, “Is it getting hot in here?” The other says, “Holy smoke! A talking muffin!” 26. “In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” ―Khalil Gibran 27. Watch The Blind Side. 28. Read The Power of Giving by Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon. 29. “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” ―Charlotte Brontë 30. Read Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess. 31. Read more ideas on sharing and come back in April for our 30 ideas of laughter.
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Gingerbread cookie man in a hot cup of cappuccino

The Happiness Holidays

In every issue ofLive Happy, you’ll find fun and topical answers to our survey question. This month, we asked, “How will you make others happy during the holidays?” The top three answers are:Be present.Make, bring or share food!Do something unexpected.Be Present:“Being present instead of giving presents.” –Doris A.“It’s about taking time to be with family and friends. My Dad always said ‘Be kind.’ I try to remember that even more at this time of year.” –Shelby K.“By making others’ wishes come true.” –IvetteO.“By simply being present. I lost my father this year. But my family and I were with him at his bedside, so I know the power and importance of being there.” –Matt S.“Tell them you love them!” –Laurie K.Make, bring or share food:“Have everyone bring comfort food to a gathering. Something that has been made since before we were born. How else do you explain the gelatin stuff?” –Jeanette M.“Feed them!” –KristyeH.“Friends, books and food.” –Chantal G.“Cookies, brownies and anything sweet!” –Richard S.Do something unexpected:“Haul the kids to the grandparents, then leave them there." –Robert C.“I let my grandkids decorate my Christmas tree with whatever they want. Two years ago it was full of hair ribbons, last year it was sports items. They’re talking aboutLegosthis year.” –Jean E.“My kids, nieces and nephews dress up in vintage Christmas attire and go caroling. Where they sing and to whom they sing to is random. Everyone loves it.” –Irene S.“Greeting—or at least smiling at—people I pass on the street.” –Cathy B.“Random acts of Santa each day will keep me focused on others.” –Ellen H.Here are some of your answers that didn’t make it into our Premiere Issue.Making yourself happy is a good start. –Kyle K. Exude positivity and enthusiasm! Having the right people at your holiday party or dinner can make or break the mood of the entire event! – Sandra B. Cook a big meal - actually a couple! Make new traditions with your own family. Invest in good decorations and add to them every year. – Heather C.Sing Christmas songs! It makes me happy--the kids may not agree with me... –Heather H.S.Booze and presents. – Stephanie V.Holidays end up being about the only time our whole extended family gets together. I am lucky to have a family that will laugh until they snort out their nose, hug you until you pass out. We all listen, we all care, we all make happiness together. –Jeanette M.
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Significance: What Creates Happiness

Last fall, I attended a gathering of entrepreneurs, artists, intellectuals, scholars and other movers and shakers from the United States and Canada. The gathering was private if not top secret, and I’m not at liberty to say who was hosting it or who was there. (I attended not because of my own moving or shaking, but through the largesse of a friend who works in national politics.) The attendee list was intriguing in its diversity—a variety consisting not so much of class or race, but of occupation. At each meal, fashion models would break bread with politicos, and Oscar-nominated filmmakers would share coffee with quantum physicists. Multimillionaires would chat with social justice pioneers who live among the extreme poor, and scribblers like me would talk to technologists who are shaping the future of media and business. What held this disparate group together? Two things: Nearly everyone in attendance had achieved some measure of success—often a staggering measure—and each adhered to a common faith. Outsiders looking in would not have seen the gathering as religious in nature—I didn’t see a Bible all weekend or hear much prayer—but if they listened to enough conversations, they would have realized that everyone seemed to have arrived with a certain warning in mind, one delivered by a certain itinerant Middle Eastern prophet 2,000 years ago:What good is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? That’s what motivated this discreet gathering—the danger of soul forfeiture. All of these high-flying folks had gone out into the world and made stuff—music, films, clothing lines, businesses, ads, schools and in several cases, gobs of money. Most of them weren’t done making stuff, but they were far enough along to realize that unless their stuff served some greater purpose, it was just, well, stuff. As we gathered in groups, I found that the liveliest conversations were the ones filled with practical ideas for serving and saving the world. From ambitious plans to provide clean water to developing nations to homegrown small businesses that encouraged the rich to buy from the poor, these folks were creating world-changing mechanisms. They were determined to spend their lives doing lots and lots of good. Some of them regarded their careers as side projects. I learned that asking, “What do you do?” would ensure robotic responses, while asking, “What do you want to do for the world?” inspired precise, energetic discourse about the significant work being done on behalf of people and places in need.I’d never experienced anything quite like it—a collection of people with enviable careers and incomes who got together to talk about how to avoid achieving everything you want in life only to realize that you have nothing you need. Success Without Soul—that was their primary fear, and the reason they were dreaming up powerful and practical ideas for renewing the world. Success Without Soul is a common condition. An entire tabloid entertainment industry depends on it—from Charlie Sheen to Tiger Woods, Americans are familiar with characters who self-destruct, at least for a season, on the other side of fame and glory. And the problem is not unique to our era. The most notorious court case of the 19th century was the adultery trial of Henry Ward Beecher, a celebrity preacher in New York City who risked everything for a dalliance with a friend’s wife. Americans have always been captivated with the scandals of the successful. But at the gathering I attended last fall, I saw how our culture is rethinking success. We are not questioning the basic pursuit of success—dreaming of a better future will remain a core American instinct—but we are asking anew what success isfor. How can we be successful in ways that do no harm to ourselves or others? How can we make our success matter not just for us and our families, but for the world? Since Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., died in October 2011, much of the conversation about his legacy has concentrated on how his products reshaped commerce and culture. But commentators have also focused to a surprising degree on the quality of his personal life and character, which were viewed dimly in Walter Isaacson’s authoritative biography published in the wake of Jobs’ death. Jobs authorized the biography in part so his kids could get to know him—Apple’s success had so entirely consumed Jobs’ life that he needed a writer to introduce himself to his children. Eric Karjaluoto, the prominent designer and founder of the digital agency smashLAB, has written that the Jobs biography inspired him to stopworking evenings and weekends: “I admire Steve for the mountains he climbed. At the same time, I wonder if he missed the whole point, becoming the John Henry of our time. He won the race, but at what cost?” (John Henry, in case you don’t know, was a 19th century railroad steel-driver whose strength was legendary. He and his crew broke through miles of rock during construction of American railways. The story has it that when the railroad company introduced a steam-powered hammer, Henry challenged it to a race. He won, but then died on the spot with his hammer in his hand.) People like Karjaluoto are not attempting simply to reduce their workload. They’re trying to avoid Success Without Soul. In recent years, many of the nation’s largest sports radio hosts—Mike Greenberg of ESPN, Jim Rome of Clear Channel—have begun to leave room in their interviews with top athletes for the players to pitch their causes. Legendary quarterback and CBS football analyst Boomer Esiason may take to the airwaves to chat about the NFL season, but he’s also determined to use his clout to encourage fans to support his foundation that fights cystic fibrosis. He wants his success to translate into something significant for the world outside football. Other celebrities and high-wealth individuals are finding ways to make their success soulful away from the limelight. Justin Mayo is the founder of Red Eye Inc., a nonprofit that connects cultural creatives with opportunities to serve others. When most nonprofits look at successful culture makers—actors, musicians, dancers and artists of all kind—they see money and a platform. They see the funds required to make a mission work, and they see a big, popular, public platform they can climb onto to spread their own message.While much good may come from relationships between celebrities and nonprofits, Mayo’s model is different. First, he likes to befriend successful individuals, especially young, up-and-coming creatives, with no motive beyond friendship. If these individuals express a desire to give of their wealth or time, Mayo offers what he calls “private humanitarian settings”—he helps them find ways to give that don’t attract public attention to their giving. Mayo’s clients don’t serve his pet causes, and they aren’t celebrated for their generosity. The giving is an end in itself. That kind of giving, says Mayo, seems to heal these givers—to show them that they have a profound role to play in a world with limitless need. Mayo says he grew up with a sharp sense of how isolating success can be because of his surname—he hails from the Mayos of Mayo Clinic fame. “People who never talked to me would suddenly act as if we were friends when we were at an event where my mom was speaking,” he recalls. People were affectionate toward him because they wanted access to the Mayos, not to Justin. He says that gave him a sliver of insight into what it must be like for people of notoriety, especially successful culture creators and families of influence. Red Eye started in Hollywood but now has chapters in New York City, London, Paris and Sydney. When I spoke with Mayo, he was at John F. Kennedy Airport waiting for a flight to Saudi Arabia, where he would speak at an event hosted by a Saudi Arabian princess. The week before, he had attended a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., followed by 30 hours in Los Angeles—just long enough to host Skid Row Karaoke, a benefit where models, musicians and actors spent part of their weekend with the homeless, and to throw a big Super Bowl party. That combination of events captures the scattershot benevolence at the heart of the Red Eye mission—it requires sleeplessness on the part of Mayo and his team (thus “red eye”), and it combines posh, cozy social events with unusual humanitarian efforts. For Mayo, the key to soulful success is being outwardly focused. He is skeptical of today’s spirituality and self-help practices that focus only on finding inner peace and self-renewal. “We believe that you won’t be truly happy until you’re living for something greater than yourself,” he says. Of course, the threat of soulless success is not unique to the very famous or very young and talented. Brian Lockhart, the founder and chief investment officer at Colorado-based Peak Capital Management, manages financial portfolios for hundreds of high-wealth individuals. He works with people who are beyond what he calls “the accumulation phase” and are looking to protect and grow their wealth. Lockhart says that his clients often run into the same problem: “People who succeed tend to be exceptional at some niche,” he says. “But once they’ve met that challenge and they transition from trying to be the best to defending what they’ve earned, they experience a lot of frustration.” Successful people are often well-built for identifying and embracing a challenge in the marketplace, but less prepared for how to handle life once the challenge has been met. And the crisis they experience is not simply emotional or psychological, but physical. “Early in retirement,” says Lockhart, “many people get diagnosed with problems they’ve never had before. When people are finished with something that gave them significance, we see physiologically a deterioration in health that occurs almost immediately.”Lockhart believes the secret to a healthy retirement is to find significance outside of whatever it is that has made you successful. He cites the example of Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza. In 1960, Monaghan and his brother, James, bought a tiny pizza joint named DomiNick’s for $500, most of it borrowed. James soon left the business behind, leaving Thomas as the sole owner. Monaghan opened his first franchise in 1967, and over the next decade, experienced rapid growth. The chain had 200 stores in 1978, and soon began to expand into Canada and beyond. By the mid-1990s, Domino’s was a worldwide pizza brand, and Thomas Monaghan was one of the wealthiest men alive. Monaghan eventually sold his company to Bain Capital for $1billion. By then, however, he had long been focused on giving away his fortune. Years earlier, he had lived the life of a self-made king—he owned a Gulfstream, a helicopter and a renowned collection of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture in addition to being principal owner of the Detroit Tigers. In the early 1990s, Monaghan read an essay by C.S. Lewis on the problem of pride and was inspired to give away his possessions. Monaghan has been seen as a polarizing philanthropist because he has spent much of his fortune on conservative Catholic causes, but he has also donated much of his wealth to the poor in Central and South America. In 2010, he joined The Giving Pledge, a charity drive by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to inspire American billionaires to give away the majority of their wealth. Lockhart sees Monaghan as a model of how to transition from success to significance. “His transition was easy because he found significance in what he was trying to do to help people in Latin America. The key to making that transition is to findsomething,” says Lockhart, that can help you avoid Success Without Soul. So how do you find thatsomething? Just as Monaghan had his conscience pricked by C.S. Lewis and Red Eye’s friends find inspiration in Justin Mayo, you may need to find someone to help you discover your path to significance within success. The private gathering I attended last fall is an event that grew from a group of friends who got together once a year to ask each other hard questions about the purpose of their lives. Your friends, if they know you well, may already know what you need to do. If you don’t have a soul-saving companion close at hand, try some simple experiments—call your local food pantry or soup kitchen and ask what their most pressing need is, or read the daily paper for a couple of weeks with an eye toward local, national and global crises that need your help. And most importantly, listen to yourself. Chances are if you think about it for a few minutes, you’ll find that you already know how to avoid soulless success. You just need to say “yes” to that nudge that’s been inside you all along. With that “yes,” you just may experience the happiness you always knew was on the other side of success. Patton Dodd is the managing editor of Patheos and the author ofThe Tebow Mystique: The Faith and Fans of Football’s Most Polarizing Player.
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Girl offering to share her apple

Sharing Brings Happiness

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” —Bernard Meltzer (Radio Host, 1916-1998)Have you ever shared a story because it made you smile? Ever find yourself walking by a stranger and flashing a smile? What about watching someone dig for change and giving some of your own to cover the rest of their purchase? Research proves that sharing in all its forms is a truly powerful way to bring happiness. You can share things that are special to you—like a book, a tool or even a recipe. Or you can share a smile, a special event in your life, or even your affection.Sharing is fundamental to the development of all human relationships and civilizations. We begin learning to share as soon as we are able to communicate. Often it begins with our parents teaching us the importance of sharing a toy with a friend. In the mind of a toddler, this idea seems absurd at first. They are thinking, “Why would I want to give up this awesome thing I’m playing with?” But even at that young age, they quickly realize the payoff. And what is it? It is the joy they feel when they see the happiness they have brought someone else. Not only does sharing bring us joy, it teaches us the importance of taking care of others. In many cultures, it is quite common to share your home with your elders. But sharing doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to be appreciated. It can be as simple as sharing something you feel with someone, like a compliment. “You look so pretty today,” is one example. Those simple words can often make someone feel special and cared for, and in return, make the one who said them happy. Sharing is truly a win-win!One of the best things you can share with others is your own happiness. Tell them what made you happy and why. Your story just might inspire a change in them.A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships determined that sharing our good news provides us with an extra dose of positive emotion, more than merely recalling it or writing about it. The research also determined other benefits of sharing a positive experience, such as making it easier to remember, the opportunity to learn new positive implications of our news from another’s perspective, and the extra joy we feel when making another person happy through our good news.The next time something good happens to you, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it—because just like smiling, happiness can be contagious!
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