Develop a happiness routine

If you want to be happy, build happy things into your life

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Just like Moodnudges, Google started life in a California garage. Theirs was in Menlo Park – just down the road from Stanford University where I’m writing this post – while ours is in Redwood City, about five miles from here.

However, while we still have just the two desks in our space (please give us a break though, we’ve only been up and running for a couple of months after all) Google no longer fits in a garage.

In fact since its birth in 1996 it now employs around 50,000 people worldwide; that’s a whole lot of Googlers.

When an organisation is this large, how does it make sure that its culture – the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that define its nature – is lived and breathed by its people? One very good way of doing so is to provide staff members with a simple set of principles. In Google’s case, they can be found in the form of “Ten things we know to be true”.

Writing a philosophy for an enormous organisation feels as if it would be a tough task. Shouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to develop something which would apply to an individual person?

I wonder, therefore, if you know what your own guiding principles are? I also wonder if you have a policy of living your life in a way which ought to make you happier?

It seems an obvious thing to do, doesn’t it? Almost certainly you want to be happy (or happier). Are you therefore “living this goal” every day? Or are you at least now and then setting yourself up to fail? I think I’ve been guilty of this in the past. When I’ve felt low at the end of a day, I’ve looked back over what I’ve thought, said and done – and in retrospect, I was doing myself no favours.

Rather than doing things that might have helped me feel better, I slipped into a pattern of feelbad activities: shutting myself away, getting no exercise, doing none of the activities I know I enjoy, feeling sorry for myself. If I was Google I’d have gone out of business.

I wonder if you might have time today (or soon) to put a little thought into developing some simple happiness routines, and a way of reminding yourself to follow them.

What things could you, and should you, build into your everyday routines in order to become a happier camper?

What if a better mood for you involved nothing more elaborate than the development of some happy habits?

7 thoughts on “Develop a happiness routine

  1. Good blog Jon! I love these modern companies’ philosophies and work practices. I am not sure if it was you who said this ..”have you done your best to be happy today?” I used to have these words propped up against my computer. I must put them there again!

  2. Thanks for your post. I don’t think I’ve really stopped to catalog my “guiding principles” before, but as I read your post I realized I do have a few. Begin and end the day with gratitude is an important one — difficult at times, but important. Fear is an emotion, not a reason helps me avoid poor choices and make the right ones. A couple of my principles are borrowed from corporate sources. Just do it helps me get past the anxiety and the excuses. I’m worth it reminds me of the importance of self-care and keeps me on the up side of the self-esteem battle.

  3. Greetings!
    I’m interested in starting a “Happy/Kindness” blog. Unsure how to get started blogging . I’m kindly requesting your assistance. How do I begin the process of, “Blogging!”
    Many kind thank you’s!!!

    1. Might I offer some suggestions? (Full disclosure: I’m just a personal non-commercial blogger–mostly for my own satisfaction, not to make money or become famous) . Set up a (free) account for yourself on or There are other free services as well that I’ve not tried such as Weebly and WordPress was a bit more complicated, at least for me. Follow the leads on these sites for setting up your blog and jump in. Good luck and best wishes.

  4. Having happiness as a goal seems a bit blunt to me. Would it not be better to make goals that come with happiness as a free by-product? I’m thinking about stuff like making time for family, being a good husband / wife, helping the community we live in (if any of those things float your boat).

    Or not, whatever. I don’t want to be judgemental about any other approach to happiness that works for people 🙂

  5. Thanks for a very interesting post. I have created the One Minute Smilence – this means you spend some time, thinking about happy thoughts, write down or have images of what makes you happy, then spend a minute smiling and being grateful that despite life’s challenges, their is always things to smile about.

    I also sing my funny song each morning – Wake up, I feel happy, boom, boom, Wake up I feel happy, boom, boom, I feel like dancing around boom, boom, now I’m dancing like no one’s watching boom, boom, Now I’m laughing and it feels so good, boom, boom, hahaha

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