I saw an interview with Laurie Santos that inspired me. She is a professor at Yale teaching one of the most popular courses of all time – a happiness class – The Science of Well-Being.

We are wired to think that money, good jobs, new cars or losing weight will make us happy. Laurie says we need to re-wire these misconceptions through learning, socializing and being grateful.

Once again I feel like my husband and I are ahead of our time. And this is not something from research that I read about, this is from our real life.

In our early life, we struggled so hard to be “successful” that it nearly drove us crazy – work harder, get more, be more.

After we lost it all due to overload and bad decisions, our lives suddenly became simpler. It was, however, stressful fighting to survive on very little money and coming up with a plan to make a living. We call it being broke – not poor – broke implies temporary. But what it taught us is that simpler things in life made us much happier. 

We learned that hiking, which is pretty much free, made us healthy and happy and generated positive ideas and thoughts. We also rekindled an interest in history, read books, took free courses – all things we never had time to do when we were so busy being “successful.”

Below are insights that I am gaining and reconfirming from Laurie’s course.

Beauty is all around us .... hiking Manassas Battlefield 2010.

Beauty is all around us… hiking Manassas Battlefield 2010.




Character Strengths






Young girl selling baskets in Northern Guatemala - 2009.

Beauty is all around us… young girl selling baskets in Northern Guatemala – 2009.




Invest in experiences, not stuff