Today, I was a guest on the FairGame radio program hosted by Faith Salie. Listen to the 6-minute segment of my interview HERE.

The interview was in reaction to this NYTimes article: Russia’s government mandate to broadcast at least 50% good news? You might think that a Positive Psychologist might support something like that, but Faith was fairly surprised at my answer … enjoy the interview.

The program aired tonight at 8pm on about 25 stations nationwide.

This was a fun interview to do, and I wish Faith, her producers, and the whole program huge success. After looking at her name and photo several times, I realized Faith was a year ahead of me at Harvard undergrad. We were in the same house – Leverett House.

This Friday (April 27), 10:30-11:30am EST, I’m speaking at the Business Women’s Growth Summit.

This is a virtual conference. Here are the bios of all the speakers, and here is the list of talks.

My talk is “The Science of Happiness for Business Owners.”
Click here to register.

“The Science of Happiness for Business Owners”
Presented by Senia Maymin

There is a field that is even younger than the Internet – Positive Psychology! Positive Psychology was launched in 1998 as a branch of psychology that focuses on what is right with people. Just as Psychology after World War II studied diseases and illnesses, so now too, Positive Psychology studies optimal human functioning – happiness, success, and productivity. Senia Maymin is a graduate of the first-ever worldwide Masters’ Program in Positive Psychology at UPenn in 2006.

In this workshop, Senia discusses the main findings of Positive Psychology, the so-called “Science of Happiness,” and specific applications for business owners. Further bolstering the research findings by her own experience as a serial entrepreneur and as an Executive Coach to entrepreneurs, Senia creates an interactive workshop that gives participants actual take-away techniques to apply to their lives and their businesses.

Your Material, Emotional Brain

In an article on Brand-bonding driving desire, author Jean Brandolini Lamb writes (bold added):

Recently I heard Don Diforio, senior vice president of research for the Advertising Research Foundation, speak at Columbia University about the new neuropsychology theories that are replacing the old consumer behavior beliefs. No longer is it believed that consumers think, feel, do, or follow AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) buying patterns. Rather, according to those who look inside the brain to study the connection between physiology and psychological responses, we are all driven first by emotion. This emotional connection leads to brand desire, which ultimately leads to demand. Granted, convenience factors and rational concerns play a part in the decision-making process, but it is a feeling that acts as the initial spark of interest. Given the masses of information that we keep in our brains, we all still act based on primitive, emotional instincts. It seems we’re just cavemen with cars after all.

This is what I believe about Intuition too: there is some emotional trigger that drives the moment of “aha.”

Happiness is Hard Work

In The Science of Lasting Happiness, author Marina Krakovsky describes mainly Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research on happiness to conclude that happiness takes some significant work! This is a worthwhile article, and I highly recommend you see it. It also describes the research of Lyubomirksy, Sheldon, and Schkade on where happiness comes from. Their results: 50% is genetically determined, 10% is caused by the environment, and 40% is about how happy you make your mind up to be, i.e. the specific techniques you use to conjure your happiness.

Especially interesting in this article, and non-expected, is a technique that Lyubomirsky studied: writing down your blessings. It turned out that every night is not the optimal timing for happiness – weekly is the optimal timing. And it turned out that variety in using your techniques is highly important!

We’re all a little like the Tin Man once the winter is ending … uncreaking, derusting, getting moving.

What’s the first thing you’ll do in the warm weather?!

Here are some of mine:

  • Walk around!
  • Breathe
  • Enjoy the morning sun
  • Plan some weekend outdoors things – biking, walking by the water
  • Drive with the sun roof open!

It’s Question Friday. Come on in and chat in the comments!

This is one guy for the past nine days wearing a video-camera on his head all day, every day. The front page says “he won’t take it off until he dies.” Follow him live at My brother Allan is a big fan of this idea and this project and sees huge value in it. I like the idea a lot. It’s like the most detailed realtime participatory blog you’ve ever seen.

This is an NSF grant project of creating news using avatars to tell the news and gather it together. I like that it uses both news stories and blog reactions. That’s relevant to how people actually look at a topic – both in the news and online in blogs. Enjot

Both cool sites. I’m especially looking forward to following Justin.

Here’s a great press release:

How to Bounce Back From ‘Google Slap Three’

First of all, I immediately ask “What on earth is Google Slap Three?” so they’ve already got me with a


Then the opening paragraph is:
IRVINE, Calif., March 13 /PRNewswire/ — Horror crossed your face this morning when you logged in to find your Google AdWords account “slapped” — with your best keywords deactivated and their minimum bids jacked up to $10.00 a click. What happened, and what can you do?

  • There’s an EMOTION (“horror”), there’s ACTION (“slapped,” “crossed your face,” “deactivated” (this is a bit boring of an action word), and “jacked up”), and there’s a QUESTION. Not bad.

Finally, the text has some strong points too:

  • It has USEABLE ADVICE (“Make your landing page ‘about’ your keywords,” “Post more unique pages”), is about something in the NEWS that recently happened, and it ADDRESSES CONCERNS about that recent news item.

In short, if you’re playing the game of writing a great press release that MATTERS TO PEOPLE, here are the three take-aways from this great press release:

  1. Make it timely to news of the day
  2. Make it address concerns readers might have
  3. Make it have concrete suggestions (actions people can take)

… And if you want this press release to also grow your business (which is the goal of most press releases IMHO)…

  • Make it link back to you effectively – for a reason
    For example, that you’re the authority on how to beat Google optimization… I’m not sure this company completely did this (see below).

BELOW SMALL COMMENT: This might be just me being picky… when I click back to, it’s their generic homepage, with no additional advice or details about the Google news release. I would imagine based on the press release that they have books that are relevant to SEO or to marketing online? And one of their pieces of advice, ironically, was to create more unique pages relevant to the keywords that people used to get to those pages. So where are their SEO advice books? As one singer would say, they don’t make ’em easy to find.