This teenager knows the secret to true happiness

All this month on Virgin.com we’ve been discussing happiness. Reading all the wonderful tips and advice has got me thinking about one of my favourite TEDx talks – which happens to be by one very happy teenager named Logan LaPlante.

It’s an incredibly inspiring talk, which I encourage you to watch below.

Hackschooling makes me happy | Logan LaPlante | TEDxUniversityofNevada

It’s great to see Logan realise the importance of seeking health and happiness early in life – something too many people discover too late. Kids are told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy – but Logan asks an important question: “What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy?” What if we reversed the formula… or better still forgot all the formulas? What if being came first, and doing came second? As I have blogged and tweeted a number of times: remember the to-do list, but don’t forget the to-be list.

Creativity and vitality springs from youth – and they’re beautiful things to experience. How can we best bolster this positively to affect the wider population? By placing health and happiness atop the list of must-have skills – like maths, oracy and literacy. By doing this we will not only create a happier and healthier workforce, but also cultivate more inspired leaders and innovators. We need to make being happy, healthy and creative priorities in our schools, and the rest will follow.

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I loved this quote from Logan: “If everyone skied this mountain like most people think of education, than everyone would be skiing the same line – probably the safest, and most of the powder would go untouched. I look at this and see a thousand opportunities. Dropping the cornice, shredding the spine, looking for a tranny from cliff to cliff. Skiing to me is freedom, and so is my education. It’s about being creative, doing things differently. It’s about community and helping each other. It’s about being happy and healthy among my very best friends.”

Happiness and good health encourage great life decisions. If you know what you want to be, then working out what you’re going to do will come a lot easier and prove a lot more fulfilling.

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How are you encouraging your children to be happy? I’d like to hear about it in the comments below.

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