Tag Archives: Happiness

Ep68 Commitments, Happiness, Love and Having Kids



Reacting to why actor Seth Rogen says he and his wife don’t want kids, Father Len explains the relationship between making commitments, happiness, love, and having kids.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “It’s not an easy haul having kids. You can’t be narcissistic. You have to give yourself over to parenting. Kids have got to be the priority.” – Howard Stern
  • God asks of us that our lives be life-giving.
  • Living life for yourself, free from commitments, is an immature definition of happiness.
  • Commitments lead to greater happiness. Lack of commitments lead to greater unhappiness.
  • You’ll never find yourself through your feelings and aspirations. What defines you is your commitments.
  • “Without being bound to the fulfillment of our promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each person’s lonely heart, caught in its contradictions and equivocations.”-Hannah Arendt
  • Being unable to settle on something means not being settled ever.
  • People willing to commit to marriage and having children almost always test out happier than those who don’t.
  • The world tells us self-fulfillment comes from being free of commitments. Truth says fulfillment comes after commitments.
  • People who avoid commitments and constantly pursue pleasure in pursuit of an easy life tend to end up bitter and unhappy.
  • Christ challenges us to not to choose the easy way, to make a sacrifice and give ourselves away.
  • Life is not supposed to be easy, but rather a great adventure.
  • Pursuing pleasure as happiness always ends up in unhappiness.
  • Each year since 1972, there has been a gradual decline in people’s overall happiness in the United States. This despite the average person spending 22% more on eating out and entertainment, living in homes that have doubled in size, having huge screen TVs, access to the Internet, and social media.
  • The moral question is not whether you should or should not have kids. The moral question is why you would not want to have children.
  • Religion challenges us to look at everything in life and decide what kind of life we want to have.
  • Once you fall in love, you can’t help but want to give yourself away. That’s what real love feels like.
  • God’s perpetual command is to make an offering of our lives, to give ourselves away.
  • Those who don’t know the power of commitment are yet to know what love is.
  • God is a trickster who tricks people into falling in love and willing to sacrifice everything for those they love.

Ep39 Commitment and Happiness



Father Len explains the relationship between commitment and happiness.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares the story of NFL football player Bo Eason and what he learned about commitment from fellow Pro Jerry Rice.
  • “There’s No Plan B for You’re A-Game” by Bo Eason
  • Commitment breeds commitment. Indifference breeds indifference.
  • There are two types of commitment: “even if” and “as long as.” Even if commitment never wavers even when there is trouble, hardship, sickness, sacrifice, and suffering. As long as commitment is always conditional on finding something easier and more pleasurable to do than keeping the commitment, like watching a favorite television show or going to a party.
  • Father Len shares a favorite “even if” commitment story from the Book of Ruth in the Bible.
  • Commitment leads simultaneously to suffering and happiness. Uncommitted people don’t suffer much pain, but surprisingly, it’s the committed people who are willing to suffer that end up happier.
  • TED Talk: “The Surprising Science of Happiness” by Dan Gilbert
  • Irish explains how commitment saved his marriage.
  • Father Len embarrassingly explains how watching the Oprah Winfrey show helped him understand why couples who live together before marriage have double the divorce rate of those who don’t.
  • “If you chase two rabbits… You will not catch either one.” – Russian proverb
  • People who are low on commitment are also low on control over their egos.
  • Bible symbolism: the number seven shows up frequently and is code for complete commitment.
  • Happiness and suffering go together.

Ep29 Winning, Gratitude, Happiness, and Jesus



Father Len explores the relationship between gratitude, happiness, and finding the presence of God in everyday life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The custom of athletes and entertainers thanking Jesus after winning games and awards inspired this episode.
  • Father Len uses the ancient Jewish feast that celebrates the birthdays of trees to reveal the importance and value of gratitude.
  • Gratitude helps prevent narcissism and entitlement.
  • Gratitude helps us grow and mature as true human beings.
  • Gratitude makes us happy.
  • Gratitude improves our health.
  • Gratitude makes us more compassionate.
  • “It’s impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” – Naomi Williams
  • Father Len introduces “The Daily Examen” gratitude exercise created by St. Ignatius.