“Happiness is a how, not a what.” - Hermann Hesse

I’ve seen this quote i used as this blog title before and just again recently. It caused me to stop and reflect. The subtitle of my first book, back From Heaven’s Front Porch is, 5 Principles for a Happy & Fulfilling Life. At one point in my life I was desperate to figure out how to get back to happiness and fulfillment. I had no other viable option as I was at the desolate human condition called “rock bottom.” Chapter 2 is actually titled Rock Bottom is a Hell of a Place.

Most of us are not existing at rock bottom, that state of mind and being where hope is long gone and the thought of vision never crosses one’s mind. But (there’s that but), I do talk with many people who tell me they’re not as happy as they could—or should be. Yes, been there myself. actually, “I wish I had let myself be happier” is Regret 5 in the wonderful book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware. I wish I had a dollar for every time I ask someone, “How’s it going?” and they respond, “Living the dream.”, and they know I know that they’re not living any dream at all. In most cases when we talk further they don’t even have a dream. I’ve seen research where less than 40% of people interviewed say they are happy. They’re just caught in the viscous cycle of sleep, work, some TV or other trivial activity…then REPEAT.

Perhaps what Hermann Hesse is challenging us to consider in his quote, “Happiness is a how, not a what.”, is we need both. First, we need a “what”, a vision or some goals that we remain conscious of and review on a consistent basis. Then we need to be continually taking actions toward the completion of these…to turning your vision into reality. Be sure to add to this that you “hut…hold useful thoughts about what you’re working on. Its vital to pay attention to how you’re thinking about what you’re thinking about. This is the foundation for happiness. Life’s not perfect, and this is ok. It’s how it’s designed.

So this week, choose happy:

  1. be sure to develop your vision (imagine what needs to be real for you)

  2. be thankful

  3. lead with love and help and support others

  4. take action & begin doing what you know you should be doing

  5. connect with the HIGHER POWER in a way that brings peace and trust


Tips for handling the transition to college...and many of life's transitions.

It’s that time of year where thousands of young people enter of life’s major transitions…COLLEGE.  As like most transitions this comes with the stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty that inhabit the threshold of all transitions.  Take a listen here to some age-old wisdom and principles that will support us all moving through the transitions on this wonderful journey called LIFE.

“Oh shit, what have I done?”

“Oh shit, what have I done?”

Recently I’ve had many conversations with people that are at the proverbial crossroads in their life. It seems they have a decision to make, and they’re not sure what to do. They often talk of the triplets that show up on the doorstep to our minds at these times—risk, fear & uncertainty. I recently posted a short video clip about this from one of my talks, and many of you responded, so I thought maybe I’d elaborate. Last night I was sitting on the front porch listening to some music, and the song (Gotta Be) Something More, by Sugarland, came on so I took that as a sign to write this blog. Ha ha, gotta pay attention for the signs.

What do you need to do to come out of your shell?

When we pay attention life will present us with some very simple, yet profound lessons and information to consider.  This happened to me this morning as I was out for a morning run and headed down the back-entrance road to the Cape May Ferry.  I saw an object in the road in front of me, about the size of an apple.  As I approached, I saw it was a turtle, only his/her (wasn’t sure, and don’t know how to check) nose was sticking out of the shell.  When I bent over to pick it up, that quickly pulled into the shell.  I walked it over to the grass and said goodbye.  Even in the sandy brush, he/she was hunkered down in the shell.

As I resumed my run this question crashed into my mind: 1) Where might I need to come out of my shell?

What I’ve been struggling with recently is how to build my brand—Danny Bader—and all related to it…books, podcast, speaking, products, blog, on-line course, etc.  What I say I want is to be like others in my space that are supporting all of you on this wonderful journey called life.  Simply put, I want a greater reach.  But what I realized with my turtle-encounter is I’m not doing the things the others are doing.  I need to continue to create more content (but sometimes am scared people won’t like it), I need to develop an on-line course walking people through the jckrbbt principles that I wrote about in Back From Heaven’s Front Porch (but I freeze when thinking about the financial risk and the uncertainty of the success of the course). 

So here’s the challenge we must overcome: in most cases when we want growth—in business and our career, health, relationships, etc—but fear, risk and uncertainly show up.  What we might want to do is think about these “triplets” differently and realize they show up when we are close to creating a better life for ourselves.  We must do our best to mitigate the risk, but what my little turtle friend slowed me down to realize is that risk, fear and uncertainty are the step stones on path the growth.  What we think about changes when we change how we think about it.  Choose to think differently about the “triplets”.

What action do you need to take to come out of your shell?


Do you know where you're going?

Do you know where you're going?

July 1, 2019 is here, marking the beginning of the second half of the year, 181 days of 2019 done and gone.  A few questions to ponder—if you want—are: Do you know where you’re going? What needs to be real for me and my family and life come December 31, 2019?  (This is your vision.)  What do I need to start doing (and how do I need to start thinking?) that I’m not doing now?

What if time doesn't do what it's supposed to do?

What if time doesn't do what it's supposed to do?

I like most types of music.  Country is my favorite as I’m attracted to the storytelling element of many country songs. I was driving to the airport this morning and heard a new song by Lady Antebellum called, What If I Never Get Over You. Now as you’re likely thinking, this song is about the end of a romantic relationship, and you’re right.  But what caught my attention this morning as I heard the song for the first time was one line: what if time doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?

Our Online Store Just Launched!

Our Online Store Just Launched!

Our online store just launched and I am so excited to tell you about our first product! The dldsm ™️ t-shirt is the first in a line of jckrbbt ™️ brand t-shirts to remind us of simple principles to live by, what we call “jckrbbt-isms”.  The shirts are co-branded with the ALS Therapy and Development Institute, a wonderful group of people with a bold vision to cure ALS--$5 will be donated to ALS TDI for each shirt purchased.