Winnie the Pooh’s Top 5 Tips for a Happy Life

”Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best — ” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”

Winnie the Pooh is a kind bear. He cares greatly about his friends.

And he has always seemed like a pretty happy bear to me.

He's also a favorite of mine so today I'd like to simply share 5 of my favorite happiness tips from that honey loving bear.

1. Don’t get bogged down in details.

“You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.”

Getting bogged down in details, focusing on the small problems can have advantages. But it can also make you miss the big picture. What’s really important in your life.

Don’t make the classic mistakes of spending too much time nitpicking or making mountains out of molehills. Relax instead. Focus on the positive things you have and want in your life.

Keep your attention on that. Work towards that. The days may seem long but the years are often pretty short. So live them instead constantly inspecting, criticizing or overthinking them.

2. Be proactive. Take the lead.

“You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

It’s easy to get locked into a reactive mindset. You just follow along with whatever is happening. You do what the people around you do. You react to whatever is going on.

And so you get lost in your circumstances. This way of thinking doesn't feel too good. You tend to feel powerless and like you are just drifting along in life.

Another way of going about things to be proactive. To be the one who takes action first and to take the lead. It's not always easy though. You have to get out of your comfort zone and it can feel scary.

So to not get lost in procrastination take it one small step at time. Just be proactive instead of reactive about one little thing in your life today. Start with that action and then build your proactiveness muscle step by small step.

3. Keep conversations simple and positive.

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””

What do people want in a conversations and relationships?

Long-winded negative babbling?

Or positive, focused talks where it is interesting to listen, communicate and exchange ideas?

Although the answer probably varies but I'd rather spend most of my time with doing the latter.

Three tips that help me to keep the conversation positive and focused are:

  • Live a positive life. If you focus on the positive in your daily life then it’s usually no problem to keep focusing on it and talking about it in conversations. More on that in the last tip in this article.
  • Be aware and alert. If you know that you have a problem with excessive ramblings then simply being aware of this can help you to stop yourself more and more often before you go off into babbling.
  • Use words that helps you to get through. No need to try to impress people with big and complicated words when it's not needed. Focus on getting through to others and communicating by using simple words that anyone can understand.

4. Do nothing once in a while.

“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”

Although it feels good to work towards your dreams and doing the things you love I find that things tend to go better and I feel better if there is a balance.

If I take some time each week to do pretty much nothing. If I just spend time with myself on a walk in the woods or by the ocean for example.

By doing so I unload my mind. I relax fully and so life becomes less heavy and burdensome and I tend to have less stress and worries during the rest of my week.

5. Appreciate the little things.

“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”

Daily happiness is to a large part about appreciating the small things.

If you just allow yourself to be happy when accomplishing a big goal or when you have some great luck then you are making life harder than it needs to be.

Instead, focus on appreciating things that you may take for granted.

Take 2 minutes and find things in your life you can appreciate right now. If you want some ideas, here are a few of the simple things that I like to appreciate:

  • My food.
  • The weather.
  • My health.
  • Friends and family.
  • This website and the opportunity to write about what I want.
  • You, the reader.
  • Myself and the fine things about me.

The funny thing is that if you just start appreciating something you can very quickly start jumping around with your attention and appreciate just about anything around you.

You may start with the food you are eating right now. Then move your attention to the phone and appreciate that you can contact anyone – and be contacted by anyone – you’d like.

You might then move your attention outside, through the window and see the wonderful sunshine, then kids having fun with a football and then the tree by the road turning into wonderful autumn colors. And so on.

It might not sound like much. But this simple 2 minute exercise can help you to uncover a lot of the happiness that is already in your daily life.

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Who knew Winnie the Pooh was such a life genius! The words here were exactly what I needed today. Be aware, take breaks, but most of all just be happy and focus on the good. Thank you for that. I’m sending this to a few friends that I know could also use the happy life tips :)

  • I really like this post. It really shows how you can become successful by living a minimalist lifestyle. It allows you to be more productive, actually, because of the fact that there are less distractions to worry you. It’s also more sustainable, because taking time for yourself where you do nothing allows you to recharge and keep being proactive throughout your day.

    • I appreciate that, Isaac! And I agree, a minimalist lifestyle has a lot of advantages.

  • Linda

    Your emails have helped me so much , I just recently started getting them, but they really make me think, I am an over thinker, an have lived in fear.. I want to thank you so much.

  • Margaret Donovan

    Henrik, you are a little bit like having a Winnie the Poo popping into my inbox on a regular basis. Always cheerful and positive! I like that. Thank-you

  • Samantha Humphrey

    Thanks for always giving me something to think about and for making my day!!

  • Timmmii

    I really needed this post today. Perfect timing.
    Breathing …

  • Samantha

    Great post Henrik! This really resonated with me; and am going to be more diligent about taking re-fresh breaks, even just getting up from the computer at work once an hour or so to stretch my legs. Especially since we can’t gain more time in our days, but we can gain more energy by looking after ourselves. Thank you, love your blog!!

  • neil harper

    Nice post Henrik, i have very fond memories of Pooh Bear stories while growing up and I read them to my kids as well.

    • Thanks, Neil! Good to hear that you keep the Pooh tradition going.

  • Ma

    Just the best; the simplicity is perfect. I love the Pooh; he has so much we could learn. Thanks so much.

  • Bidisha

    I really love Pooh…I’m very happy to meet and get email from someone who also loves Pooh..Pooh teaches us giving is the best gift…he teaches us to be proud to be ourselves and to feel special about ourselves…I have a small daughter. I would like to inspire her to be like Pooh…
    Thank you Henrik for sending us beautiful emails..

  • Patrick

    It would be great if you could have a way to prepare for printing the document

    • You can find a button named Print just the below the Facebook icon that you find below each article on the website.

  • Inspiring post, i’ve been trying to apply these different tips throughout my life and i have to say that the most difficult one would be #2!
    It is not an immediate source of happiness but works on the long term, increasing my life fulfilment. It leads to new opportunities, failures, and does seem extremely scary. Do you have any tips to increase proactivity for someone with low self confidence?

    • Thanks, Peter! What worked for me to both increase my proactivity and self-confidence was to take small actions and small steps forward. Doing so and doing it often quite slowly did over time increase both of those things for me.

  • Sue

    Thank you Henrik, I really needed to hear this today. I’ve always trusted and admired Pooh bear.

  • MOR

    Hi Henrik,
    Super blog. Are your courses going to digital? Hope so
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers,
    MOR

  • Your blog is such a blessing and inspiration. I really look forward to reading your posts. I always make sure to take some time to read your tips in my busy day. I’ve been meaning to comment on your posts for a long time to let you know that I appreciate your content very much. Your blog has made a difference in my life!