Health

Five of my favourite interviews about happiness from 2011

One thing I really like about my job is I get to talk to people. I’m chatty by nature and am thankfully able to strike up conversations with many personality types.

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One thing I really like about my job is I get to talk to people. I’m chatty by nature and am thankfully able to strike up conversations with many personality types. And for this blog I get to interview all sorts of people — professors, researchers, readers, children, authors, economists, actresses, and more.

And while I’m interested in what all my interviewees have to tell me, some stand out just a little bit more. Perhaps it’s their passion for the subject or the earnestness of their efforts. Or maybe it’s what they have to say that gives me pause after I hang up the receiver. So I thought I’d look back over the year and collect my favourite interviewees for you. Here are five people who left their happiness mark on me in 2011.

1. Ginny Sassaman: I was cynical going into this interview, suspicious her Happiness Paradigm Store more focused on profiting from happiness than espousing it. But after finding out more about Sassaman’s efforts with the store — the meditation she does each day with those who wish to join her or the discussions in her store about happiness — I was impressed by her passionate efforts to make the world a truly better place.

2. The Girl Scouts of the USA: This year the organization launched a Happiness Badge filled with unique, fun and research-based steps to fostering happiness in the Girl Scout’s lives. I loved to see that the topic of happiness was being focused on the younger set in such a creative way and thought that adults could even learn from what the badge had to offer.

3. Robin Mather: Mather shared the story in her book about how over the course of a week she lost her job and her husband asked for a divorce. It’s inspiring to here how Mather finds her life footing again as well as her happiness, showing us all how to bounce back after a crisis hits. 

4. Dr. J. Donald Schumacher: As the president of the Alexandria, Va.-based National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and a clinical psychologist, Dr. Schumacher been working with the dying for over 35 years and shared with us what the top regrets of the dying were — including wishing they’d worked less or took too long to live the life they truly wanted. It was an interview that just left me wondering for weeks…what would I regret?

5. Rachel Jonat: As the Vancouver-based author of The Minimalist Mom, Jonat truly espouses the life of minimalism and in chatting with her, it further solidified the thinking that more stuff doesn’t necessarily equal more happiness.

Want more happiness news? Follow me on Twitter @AstridVanDenB