3 Word Tips for connecting better (from my new book, Word Wise):

1) Ctrl + F on the word “Just” and delete: A Google executive banned the word “just” from her team’s communications after she realized that striking it from a phrase clarified and strengthened the message.

2) Start requests with “Would you be willing to…”: Research by Loughborough University in the UK shows customers, family, and friends will be more likely to say “yes” to you.

3) Use the word “Laughter”: Researchers at the University of Vermont discovered that reading or hearing it makes us feel happier than any…

Image: Instagram @jelbertwill

‘Ought once was, of all things, the past tense of owe […] But when you owe, you’re under an obligation,

says English Professor, John McWorter. Obligation is a synonym of need, and so our word-bowel movements evolve from moral dumps (of should) into need-diarrhea. I was whatsapping a friend and a

‘I have to go to a wedding’

message popped up next to her RBF profile photo. My response:

“Ok but you want to go to the wedding so I’m curious about you saying ‘I have to go’ rather than ‘I’m going’.”

I have to means I need to and we have few true needs, all of which are covered by Maslow’s hierarchy (of needs). Yep, can’t see going to weddings anywhere in here:

How four religions shape up against the five happiness muscles.

I was Christened. Not by choice. I’m neither atheist, nor agnostic. I believe we are all tiny fragments of Universal Consciousness and Universal Conscious Creator (UC and UCC. You see, see?) Ego is the opposite. I like the Edging God Out interpretation, or ESO: Edging Soul Out.

Each religion is a school of people, rituals, robes and writings that purport to lead to a connection with God, soul or spirit. But Catholic, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, are group identities and labels. By definition they are abstract. …

How four religions shape up against the five happiness muscles.

I was Christened. Not by choice. I’m neither atheist, nor agnostic. I believe we are all tiny fragments of Universal Consciousness and Universal Conscious Creator (UC and UCC. You see, see?) Ego is the opposite. I like the Edging God Out interpretation, or ESO: Edging Soul Out.

Each religion is a school of people, rituals, robes and writings that purport to lead to a connection with God, soul or spirit. But Catholic, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, are group identities and labels. By definition they are abstract. …

Trader Joe’s outscored Whole Foods on all seven measures of employee happiness in a recent survey.

One shopper exits as another arrives at the Trader Joe’s Chelsea store. Photograph: Will Jelbert

I live in Chelsea, home of art galleries, gays, a market and pier, the most Chipotles in one neighborhood, and a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

I am a grocery store whore. As unfaithful to one store as it gets, although in my previous life I was extremely faithful to Whole Foods. That was until I moved to Chelsea.

I was sure that the good vibes I felt each time I shopped at Trader Joe’s couldn’t just be attributed to the free coffee and samples…

(This poem is also available as a parody rap and video here)

What seems to be a nonstop stream,

Fine dining and living the dream.

Correspondence bias, ego plates,

we compare but no one relates.

Your mind on poses for posting,

loses senses, stops noticing.

Letch, Letch, Letch the ego,

Misty, Misty, Misty the dream.

In your bikini, winter street,

Yoga or porn we can’t delete.

Or are you dancer and chancer,

art to inspire like Black Panther?

Letch, Letch, Letch the ego,

Misty, Misty, Misty the dream.

What’s your story, what is your stream?

Vampire facials? Vampire we scream.

(This poem is also available as a parody rap and video here)

What seems to be a nonstop stream,

Fine dining and living the dream.

Correspondence bias, ego plates,

we compare but no one relates.

Your mind on poses for posting,

loses senses, stops noticing.

Letch, Letch, Letch the ego,

Misty, Misty, Misty the dream.

In your bikini, winter street,

Yoga or porn we can’t delete.

Or are you dancer and chancer,

art to inspire like Black Panther?

Letch, Letch, Letch the ego,

Misty, Misty, Misty the dream.

What’s your story, what is your stream?

Vampire facials? Vampire we scream.

Exercising the trust happiness muscle with strangers…

#ButtTrust

Before…

Yesterday, as I was dropping off my suit pants to be dry cleaned to get the chewing gum off the ass area — an unwanted addition that came from sitting on a bench at Wynyard train station — I spotted a detox business. Given I have been feeling particularly unhealthy in the last week, I was motivated to respond to a billboard advertisement for colon hydrotherapy. I went online, found a Groupon, and made an appointment for today at 3:30 pm. …

Have you used the word ‘always’ in the last week? What about ‘never’?

Just as Bob Dylan shouted ‘liar’ when an audience member shouted ‘Judas’, I’m calling liar on all your alwayses and all your nevers. The only always that’s true is that there is always an exception to your always and never. And the only never that’s true is that there is never a truly knowable never. For those of you who don’t live alone, the following sentences may be familiar to you:

‘You never listen’. That’s a lie. Everybody who can hear listens to at least something, otherwise…

What do accommodation, taxis, handymen, and proofreading have in common?

They are all services that are now available person to person rather than just company to client. Think Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr, Airtasker. People no longer need to work for a company when they can provide their own service directly to another person via these platforms, that allow one stranger with a need, connect to another stranger with a solution, seamlessly across a trusted platform. Rather than be a pawn in the hotel game, where head office takes advantage of minimum wage hospitality staff, you can become your own hotel manager…

Will Jelbert

Bestselling author of The Happiness Animal. Has spent the last five years researching the psychology of happiness.

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