“It’s important that we come into life with some habits and a perspective that is optimistic because that is what’s going to get us through the hard times and cultivate that happy outlook on life.” – Mike Ferry

The Bucket List Life Episode #51 – Mike Ferry

#51-Mike Ferry-FP

Teacher & Author Mike Ferry

On this, episode #51, of The Bucket List Life with Kenyon Salo, we meet a middle school teacher, a coach and father of four children, who is focused on helping us develop the habits of happiness, Mike Ferry. Mike is the author of the book Teaching Happiness and Innovation. He believes that happiness will lead to a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable world. Researchers have found links between happiness, success and innovation. Let’s meet this bright, optimistic and creative guy.

Highlights of their podcast conversation:

3:00  Mike tells us his book, Teaching Happiness and Innovation, came out in August. It was written to help us teach children, but this is what we want for ourselves as well. What he’s learned along the way is “we don’t have to wait for happiness to ascend magically from the heavens because we can actually go out and create happiness through our habits.”

4:00  Mike lets us know “It’s important that we come into life with some habits and a perspective that is optimistic because that is what’s going to get us through the hard times and cultivate that happy outlook on life.”

5:20  Mike realized that getting the message of achieving happiness out there was what he needed to be doing, to take his message to the classroom and to his own kids. This is the key to helping people have the life of their dreams. He has always been more on the optimistic side and as a teacher, author and writer he tries to be upbeat. His music is funny, quirky and appeals to middle school kids, and Mike reminds us that here is never a dull moment in a middle school classroom.

8:55  When it come to success, Mike says so many of us believe if we could just reach a certain plateau – get the right job, meet the right person, get the right car, win the World Series or the Super Bowl or whatever – then we would be happy. He lets us know that is not necessarily the truth. “Success does not always lead to happiness.” On the other hand, research tells us if we are happy to begin with we are more likely to find success. We need to form habits for happiness.

10:55  Mike shares one of the easiest ways we can practice happiness, focus on gratitude. Grateful people tend to be a lot happier and find more success in life. Over time this will become ingrained.

15:25  Perseverance is another aspect of learning to be happy. Mike shares a story that relates to the concept of perseverance. It shows us how a JV Basketball team that is down by 17 points at the half perseveres and what the outcome meant in their lives. Mike points out, “When we persevere whether on the basketball court or any other aspect of life we give ourselves the confidence that we can succeed in other domains.”

19:30  Mike lets us know that the next piece of the puzzle for happiness is an easy concept that people can take into their lives, being kind. The act of being kind stimulates the brain to produce a chemical, dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy. The more time you spend being kind, the more dopamine is released in your system. This is a natural high and we can feel better anytime we want just by being kind!

20:55  Mike’s music is downloadable for free on his website. All you have to do is donate to any charity, perform any act of kindness or be of service to another person. And as we are learning, when you do things for others you make yourself happy in the process.

21:40  Creativity is another concept that is important to happiness. Being creative also produces dopamine. The more time we spend being creative, the more dopamine is released and the happier we are going to be. Listen to why Mike believes the future of our planet depends on cultivating creativity.

24:30  Mike teaches us that collaboration is another one of the ways be can learn to be happy.  People that have working relationships with others are happier. We need to focus on treating others the way we would like to be treated. Learn why Mike tells us, “Collaboration will make us happier and collaboration will solve a lot of the problems that we face as a nation and as a planet.”

30:25  When Kenyon asks Mike what is on his bucket list he admits that right now he is just so excited for the journey he is on, for the book and its message. He hopes to help change lives and loves the path he is on.

33:20  What thought would Mike like us to take away from his time with us? “Even if we are not naturally happy, creative or consider ourselves not to persevere innately, every aspect is something we can improve. We are all works in progress and we can always improve.”

Thank you for spending some time with us enjoying episode #51 of The Bucket List Life Podcast with Kenyon Salo. Please remember to RATE and REVIEW on iTunes and also FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to join our Team Bucket List Life Facebook Page and contribute to making the world a better place. A thought for today – “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” –Arthur Ashe

Links and Resources From This Episode:

If you enjoyed this episode on Finding and Creating Happiness, you will love these other recommended episodes on The Bucket List Life with Kenyon Salo:

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