Do you remember those old “GI Joe” episodes on TV? Some kid would do something bad… like drink their parents’ booze or smoke a cigarette or talk to a creepy stranger?

Then “GI Joe,” would randomly show up, preach  and teach that what the kid was doing was wrong and  how , moving forward,  knowing the right thing to do was half a battle won.

“THROW THAT ONE OUT!” says LAURIE SANTOS of Yale university.

G.I. Joe Lied To Us — Knowing Is Not Half The Battle

Professor Santos teaches the most talked about college course in America, “Psychology and the Good Life.” She’s on a quest to help college students … and the rest of us… to be happier by understanding what happiness is all about.

The truth is that once we “KNOW” the right thing to do, the much bigger challenge is ACTING ON THAT KNOWLEDGE.

“KNOWING,” she says,” is only the first tiny step toward success and only serves to set the stage for the real work of a change-challenge and a happier life.”

We have to do hard things to change behavior. We have to change habits. We need to learn to emotionally regulate.

Professor Santos gives hard evidence that the things we think make and sustain happiness, aren’t as important as we think.

Imagine, for example, that you want to lose twenty pounds. In your heart of hearts, you KNOW that it is all it will take to make you really happy.

You say, “Help me Doctor… I’ll do anything.”


“Really… anything.”

Then, imagine the doctor asking, “Do you want the magic formula?

“Yes Doctor,” you reply, your eyes wider in anticipation.

“Zip it up,” the doctor says.  “your mouth that is.”

You are deflated… disappointed. You were hoping for a magical answer.

TAKING PERSONAL CONTROL AND STICKING TO A SELF-IMPOSED PLAN turns out to induce happiness more effectively than focusing on some ideal outcome.

Professor Santos emphasizes the PRACTICE OF HAPPINESS.

Her colleague Dr. Gabriele Oettingen, developed a tactic to help. She called it WOOP.

 “W”   … Identify your wish (losing weight)

“O”    …. Imagine the outcome (having lost weight).

“O”    Think about a likely obstacle (I love pizza)

“P”    … Make a concrete plan to get around it (avoid all pizzerias).



Scientific research reveals that about 50 percent of happiness is determined by genes which are totally out of our control.

And that about 10 percent is determined by circumstance which is somewhat out of our control.

And that the final 40 percent of happiness is determined by our thoughts, actions, and attitudes which is entirely within our control.




 NOW THINK ABOUT THIS:  Happy people devote time to family and friends. They practice gratitude. They practice optimism. They are physically active.



A new house, the most money,  the best vacation, A perfect body , a perfect love… all  mere CIRCUMSTANCES and finally achieving those things are not likely to deliver the happiness-kick you were hoping for.

“Try me,” you say, with a smile.

You don’t believe me?

Tune into the provocative, fabulous and free course given by Laurie Santos at <>.




Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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