Kindness Sticks

Journal surrounded by school supplies

Post a positive note!

Welcome, Happy Activists! A Happy Activist is someone who, through kind words and intentional actions, strives to make the world a better place. Live Happy invites you to join our #HappyActs movement! On the 20th of each month, we encourage everyone to incorporate kindness into your daily lives by participating in each month’s planned activity. The more who join the #HappyActs movement, the more positive impact we'll all have on our homes, workplaces and communities. What you think and do matters!

August’s theme—just in time for the back-to-school season—is education. For students of all levels, learning character strengths and mental and physical well-being alongside the academic basics ensures both greater achievement and long-term happiness. And for adults, scientists confirm that lifelong learning is associated with greater life satisfaction and a sense of optimism and engagement.

Our August 20 Happy Act is to post encouraging and positive notes at school; try our school-themed sticky notes to get things started! Meet our Happy Activist of the month, Kathleen Desloges, a music, drama and dance teacher in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “I get to work with hundreds of students in a week, and every day we start our classes with a conversation about gratitude, happiness or kindness,” she says. “It’s fun to show up with a purpose!”

3 Steps on How to Prepare for a Happy Act:

  1. Research what charitable opportunities are near you.
  2. Contact the organization and discuss how you can help.
  3. Plan a time to go volunteer and/or determine what you can donate.

Learn more:

  • Lifelong Education Delivers Confidence, Joy and Hope. If we’re not learning, we’re not growing. According to the VIA Institute on Character, adults who are learning something new—by taking a class, pursuing a hobby or reading every day—report less stress and greater feelings of hope and purpose.
  • Never Stop Learning. Try these three strategies from Ryan Niemiec, Psy.D., of the Via Institute on Character, to boost your learning mindset and start to see challenges as opportunities.
  • Character and Well-Being. British schoolmaster Sir Anthony Seldon says positive education “isn’t a case of either teaching for tests or teaching for personal growth and happiness; if you teach for happiness and growth and character, you’ll get better exam results because you’ll be developing their intrinsic motivations rather than extrinsic motivations.”
  • 4 Ideas Shaping the Future of Education. Learning to develop grit and character; considering the role of parents; emphasizing what’s going well and focusing on problem-solving over negative characterizations are driving conversations about positive education.
  • The Strength Switch With Lea Waters. Listen to our Live Happy Now podcast with Lea Waters, Ph.D., to learn about the benefits of strength-based parenting and two easy ways to start implementing it.

Learning How to Learn

Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., the Ramón y Cajal Distinguished Scholar of Global Digital Learning at McMaster University, professor of engineering at Oakland University and author of several books, including A Mind for Numbers and Mindshift, teaches an online course called “Learning How to Learn.”

Ready to grow? Start with these guidelines:

  1. Think of learning as a lifestyle. Create your own process for acquiring knowledge and skills and ask questions.
  2. Work with your brain, not against it. When learning new things, give your brain time so new neural connections can be made.
  3. Rethink failure. Encountering difficulty and failure encourages brain plasticity.
  4. Be prepared to feel like an impostor, then get over it. Mastery is not a static end state, but a high level of ability to find ways to refine one’s knowledge and skills.

Challenge yourself to ask, “What are you learning that keeps you inspired and hungry for more?”

Additional Resources:

 

 

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