Today instead of writing up some recipe that will give short-term happiness, I’m writing about a recipe for the long-term happy stuff.  You see, Dave’s brother and his wife are pretty remarkable people.  They think things through better and deeper than anyone I know.  And they recently wrote a book.  A book about the science of happiness. 2013-03-26 misc 71516 And it is GOOD.  (You can always tell how much I like a book by the amount of pages turned over…and this one has a whole slew of them).2013-03-26 misc 71513 I love it because it delves into all kinds of studies and hypotheses to shift our way of thinking and it does that exceptionally well. 2013-03-26 misc 71517 The cool thing about the book is that it isn’t just a book.  It’s a discussion guide.  The theory is that you can read a book and even if it is intriguing to you, it’s wisdom may not stick with you over time if you don’t do something to cement that in and change your way of thinking.  So, Bob and Virginia have come up with the idea to incorporate classes to aid in digesting all this information.  I love this video clip because it explains it much better than I can: (there are a ton of other clips there as well). This one tells how this whole idea kind of emerged: My mother-in-law headed up a class for us family members who live here in the desert. 2013-03-22 house ideas 73462(That pic. even has Julie in is who wasn’t here in person for the actual classes, but was with us each time we gathered through face time.  Gotta love technology for that.) It kind of felt like I was taking a college course in happiness.  With a bunch of my best friends.  And what could be better than that?  So many interesting concepts to discuss and so much to think about and ponder about how we live life.  I get all jazzed about that stuff so I’m excited I get to do a give away to spread the word. Bob and Virginia would like to give away a free student course.  That is four weeks either in person (if there is a teacher in your area) or on-line along with receiving your own book.  You pick the course you want here and they will let you know what to do from there.  If you want to find out more, click here: If you want to enter the give-away, leave a comment below.  If you want a double-chance at winning, tell which video clip you like best from this link in a second comment. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday morning. 


  1. I would LOVE to read this book! The last time I read a book about being happy, "The Happiness Project", it left me feeling like I was missing something. Well, actually a lot. Pick me, pick me!

  2. Of the two videos, I like the first one the best. I'm in a book club and we're always looking for new materials. According to the video I watched, it's not just a book – but a discussion starter. Perfect!

  3. This is something I have been thinking about a lot…thanks for sharing it! I think my whole family could benefit from learning the science behind happiness.

  4. My favorite video (so far)is "Choices pt. 2," which recommends investing money in experiences instead of possessions to boost happiness. So true!

  5. Love to read the book! I believe there is a limitless capacity for joy and happiness… but at times we need to learn new ways to tap into it.
    I enjoyed the first video.

  6. The clip on choices was like an evaluation of my life! I am such a maximizer and then second guess myself and wonder why I'm not satisfied. . . Great stuff!

  7. I'd love a copy of the book for my mother. Don't know that I could get her to do the course right now. How can I get a copy? Thanks!

  8. I love what the Happiness 101 – Choices pt2 video had to say about investing in experiences rather than objects. My husband and I have been trying to do that more, especially as newlyweds we want more memories, not stuff.

    I also really enjoyed the Becoming a Hapacus Teacher video because I'm interested in that. I'm all about spreading joy!

  9. Your family is full of so many amazing people! Would love this book (I've bought – literally – every single book you've mentioned on your blog! Amazon thanks you ha!)

  10. This comes at a perfect time for me. We had our second son in October and I had receive two blood transfusions and took well over 4 months to recover from the birth. our lives were falling apart, so we decided to quit over half of our commitments, and it seems as though we're on the up-swing, but it's proved to have lasting negative effects on our marriage. I'd love to take a course, read a book, anything about this. As a psychology grad and counselor by trade (who now stays home with our two boys), I am fascinated by research into how or why we do things. And that's also why I liked the first video. I am energized by learning that sort of stuff and would love to have the experience AND the knowledge!

  11. I liked the videos about choices. They ring true and it was fun to have someone put names to these most often subconscious approaches to decision-making.

  12. I would love to have this! My husband has mental health problems and I'm always looking for things to help me fill in the gaps in parenting with my kids. This course looks like it would really benefit my family!

  13. My favorite clip was the one entitled Positivity! I also like the one about using our money to buy things that will provide experiences instead of things…..good to remember for my kids.

  14. I LOVED THE POSITIVE video. My husband and I have a goal to compliment and focus on the positive every day. It is easier to focus on the negative because Satan is here to destroy marriages and families and individuals and he does this by negativity and discouragement. I need to be better at being positive and as I do I know I will be more happy!!

  15. I just read this loved " Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking

  16. My 2013 Word is HAPPY. I want to learn more about being happy. I want to savor moments of happiness. I want to radiate happiness. I choose happiness! Looks like a great read. I hope I win, but if not I will order online!

  17. I loved both videos! The first one kind of struck a cord with me though, the thought of learning the science of happiness and then teaching it THRILLS me. That is cool.

  18. what an interesting idea. I was just thinking tonight about how my own attitude affects other people's attitudes.
    ktrinnaman at gmail dot com

  19. I would love the opportunity. I've actually been thinking about happiness lately (I watched the "Happy" documentary and it has just been on my mind), so it would be timely.

  20. I could use some more focuss on hapiness,and a course would be great, though I have no clue how it would work for me. But still …

    Oh, and I like the Emotional Balance video.

  21. Yes – I, too, would love to read this book. I've read a lot on the topic but I still need a lot of practice… As a child, someone once said I was "at awe with the beauty of life but not weighed down by it." I want to reclaim that!

  22. I liked the first video because of the way it demonstrates how science can provide insight into our behaviors and resulting emotions and how we can make better choices in our perceptions and about what we choose to focus on.

  23. I love that you are giving away happiness! 🙂 ha!ha! I liked the science of happiness video. It offers a different approach to think about happiness. Our brain is only designed for survival, not happiness…interesting…

  24. This would be WONDERFUL! We've got a pretty full plate right now with my being in school full-time and working part-time at my kid's school, and my husband is currently out of work. It's getting a little tougher to find those happy moments right now–could sure use some help!

    Thanks for all your thoughts and insights here on your blog, Shawni. I'm a daily follower and I LOVE your insights. Keep on being amazing!

  25. Hi 71 Toes,

    This is Virginia Pothier, Shawni's sister-in-law and Co-Founder of Hapacus. Thanks for the post Shawni! We're so glad you enjoyed the course.

    If you want more information on taking a course or teaching a course, you can contact me directly. My email is, or call (855) 722-4165.

    Virginia Pothie

  26. I liked the first video 'Did you know? Science of happiness facts'. I liked all the thought provoking questions and the comment that our brains are built for survival and not happiness.

  27. I'm signing up for Hapacus (still hoping to win it for free, though!)–I want to bring it to Kansas City because I love the concept. It falls in line with some of the work I did on depression research at Duke University, before I had kids and made the decision to raise them. My husband Mark (a psychologist) worked with one of the scientists, Dr. Kashdan, years ago at MUSC in Charleston, so he got a kick out of seeing the website and finding out what Todd was up to now. Small world!

  28. This looks amazing, like something I would like to teach if it is that good. I have 5 kids and I love to be a mom and I can see how this would help us all. Kids ages, 12, 8, 6, 4, 1
    I hope I win,

  29. I am the 2nd counselor in the Young Womens in my ward. When I had a presidency meeting with my cute beehives and we discussed ideas for activities, I was a little shocked to learn the they wanted to learn how to be more happy. Since then I have tried to plan activites centered around finding happiness. This seems like it may be the perfect thing to help my girls or at least put me on the right track with them. I am totally interested. Please share how to get a copy of this book. I liked the first video. It captured my attention right away and I would love to share it with my young women!

  30. I am intrigued! I know that we wake up each day and choose to be happy or not. Some days it's harder to make the happiness choice. Thinking about happiness as a science is pretty cool. Please pick me!!! (I like the video about choices) To me life is all about the choices we make.

  31. This a great idea for a program! As a church youth leader, I think this would be really valuable for older students or college-agers as well.

  32. I chose to watch the "Choices" video first, and it really made me think! Crazy how just a quick, 3 min clip can get the wheels turning.

  33. you have inspired me- i check out your posts all the time and try to implement different techniques in my own family. You make it look easy, but if I am reading your blog correctly you put a lot of love, sweat, tears and hard work into it! I would love this book, I bought your parents and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for all you do.

  34. I just watched the video on "emotional balance" and it all sounds so interesting! Definitely something I would like to learn more about!

  35. Getting in at the last possible moment 😉 but I would sure love a chance to win! Thanks for extending…it sure made me happy!

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