Musings on the “Happy” in “Happy New Year”

Marilee Adams

Feb 3, 2015

It’s already February 2015, still in the hopeful beginnings of the year. So we at the Inquiry Institute send you warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and meaningful New Year. Focusing on the many dimensions and paths of happiness is a wonderful way to move into the fresh possibilities of any new year.

Fortunately for all of us, much more is now understood about what makes for happiness in our lives and how to cultivate that. A proliferation of research, publications, and practices focus on the intersection of neuroscience, resilience, and mindfulness—including how these all expand one’s capacity and experience of happiness.


This focus aligns beautifully with our work on cultivating a more resilient Learner Mindset by accepting Judger and practicing Learner moment by moment. “Learner living” helps us set the foundation for satisfying and successful lives, both at work and at home. One thing for sure, our capacity for deep and stable experiences of happiness is an “inside job.” In fact, many of you tell us that you use the Choice Map as a kind of mindfulness tool for exactly that reason.

We hope you’ll enjoy this writing about happiness from a colleague and friend, Shawn Hunter. Click here to read what he wrote about “How the Happiest People Think and Act” from his book, Out-Think: How Innovative Leaders Drive Exceptional Outcomes. Shawn quotes a study indicating that “. . . the two strongest behavioral contributors of a joyful and successful life are the ability to create quality relationships with those around us and establishing ‘mature defenses.’” From my view of the world, “mature defenses” are built by cultivating one’s resilient Learner Mindset.

Here are some quotes from Buddha that inspire me daily in cultivating my own happiness.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Have a very happy new year!


Written by:

Marilee Adams

Feb 3, 2015