March 15, 2017

What a 13-year-old Boy has to Say about Happiness. {Ted Talk}

“Logan Laplante is a 13-year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home-schooled. Not only was he home-schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.”  ~ Tomas Emanualas


When I grow up, I want to be happy.

Being happy and healthy should be part of our education. Adults assume that when one grows up, they will automatically become happy as they achieve their goals.

These are a few of the simple but deeply meaningful gems from Logan Laplante’s 2013 Ted Talk.

I think it’s brilliant that a 13-year-old boy found the courage and initiative to speak to adults about happiness. Happiness is elusive. What is it, anyway?

It’s not joy, because joy is detached from the outcome of our daily experiences. Joy is an undercurrent that survives no matter what happens. For the most part, society has lost its connection to joy. But we sure do talk about happiness a lot, even if it is like a white buffalo—a mystical vision.

Logan hits upon a profound truth. We tend to program our children as we were programmed—with the notion that achieving our goal (of what we want to be when we grow up) is what will produce this state of happiness, not only for ourselves, but for those who love us.

I’ve always wondered why job applications ask about our hobbies. I mean, what do they care what I like to do when I’m not working?

I finally realized that our hobbies say a lot about who we are. Our hobbies reflect what makes us happy. It’s not about: I have this big house, and now I’m happy. It’s about how my soul expands when I am participating in these activities.

So why not organize our lives around this kind of “soul happiness”? Why not find our purpose within this premise? It’s something to think about…and why not integrate this type of “soul awareness” in schools and focus on what each student is truly interested in?

Imagine how excited even the most unmotivated student would be if he had to write a paper on something that captured his imagination—and if we graded him, not on his spelling and grammar for that particular assignment, but simply on his ability to express himself and come alive while learning? What if he discovered his spark this way?

Imagine what would happen on this planet if everyone was tuned in to their motivations every single day?

Logan’s Ted Talk inspired me to see my daily activities in a whole new light.


Author: Monika Carless

Image: screenshot

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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