What We Can Learn from Winnie the Pooh

By Gina Vild and Sanjiv Chopra M.D.

THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE A HAPPIER YOU.

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, ‘What about lunch?’”   —Winnie the Pooh

Perhaps the single-most contented and wise creature ever imagined is Winnie the Pooh. The master of Zen and the art of honey-tummy maintenance has forgotten more about being happy than most of us will ever learn. In fact, he forgets nearly everything that isn’t related to one of his deep, loving friendships.

Winnie the Pooh brings more to bear on wisdom than the average bear, and his wisdom can be garnered from the charming stories. Simply put, it’s this:  Pooh bear chooses to put his challenges into perspective. When reminded of something he has inadvertently mucked up, he will dismiss his mistake with a heartfelt apology.

There’s much we can all glean from Pooh’s implacable calm and goodwill.

Embody some of Pooh bear’s calm and goodwill and you can become an active participant in identifying your life’s unique and singular purpose.

Like Pooh, when you are happy, you can’t help spreading joy to others. There are many tools you can grasp that have the potential to make you happier and more purpose-driven every day for the rest of your one and only life.

Pay particular attention to three things:

“But it isn’t easy, said Pooh. Because poetry and hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.”  

1. Be inspired by easily available resources that will boost your happinessquotient. Watch Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk “The Surprising Science of Happiness” or Brene Brown’s life-changing TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability.” Watch a film that will make you smile. Settle in with Slumdog MillionaireCinema ParadisoWhen Harry Met Sally or the Sound of Music. Listen to Bon Jovi’s Hallelujah or the Beatle’s rendition of Across the Universe.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” 

2. Do some practical and fun exercises, either by yourself or with your friends and family. Rekindle a relationship with “I love you” gratitudes by writing one thing you love about partner to each other once a day for 30 days.  Along with a bedtime story, invite your children to share what makes them happy and log it in a journal.  Each night before going to sleep, say an affirmation that will program your brain for happiness. Here’s one:

I live with abundance, love, and compassion.

I will flourish in all that I do and inspire others to do the same.

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”

3. Practice what you learn in your daily life. Be the person you most want as your friend, lover, parent.

Remember you have within reach tools that will increase your own happiness quotient by leading you to find your life’s purpose and to live with abundance. Make every day count.

“‘What day is it?’ asked Pooh. ‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”

Pooh knows this these simple things, now you do, too.

 

References

Quotes are from A.A. Milne

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