Brené Brown on the Power of Empathy
A conversation with Nancy Duarte in Silicon Valley

Happy, Healthy, & Educated: A TEDx Talk on Hackschooling

13-year old Logan Laplante shares how hacking his education is helping him achieve his goals. This video was posted almost a year ago and went viral soon after, but just in case you have not see it yet I'm posting it here. (Thanks to Jay Pitman for the tip.) Back in 2006, Sir Ken Robinson asked us to ponder a fundamental question in this TED Talk: "What's education for?" The implication being that surely one's education is about much more than just preparing to compete for the "best job" possible several years in the future. "Most education is orientated, for better or worse, towards making a living rather than making a life," Laplante says.

The Pursuit of Happiness
Laplante says at the start of his talk that if you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up, they often reply innocently with "I want to be happy." This really resonated with me, and I'll tell you why. When I was a 4th grader at Central School in Seaside, Oregon I remember the day our teacher Mr. Doyle asked us to think about what we wanted to be when we grow up and to write our answer down on a piece of paper (you know, the kind of lined paper with chucks of wood still in it). My answer was "I want to be happy." At that time in my life I was often yelled at by my troubled father at home. Many nights I was not happy at all, even if I did not know what happiness really was. On some nights I was down right miserable. Anyway, Mr. Doyle collected the papers and then began to read some of the short, poorly spelled answers to the class. Johnny wants to be a fireman. Susan wants to be a teacher. Steve wants to be a professional football player. And Garr wants to be happy. "Be happy!?" The whole class erupts in laughter. Ha! Ha! Ha! I felt like Charlie Brown at the beginning of every Peanuts TV show ever. I am sure if my own dog was in the classroom, he too would have mocked me. It was humiliating. I guess I did not understand that game. For the next few years, then, I would learn to feel guilty about just wanting to be happy, until around the age of 16 when I finally came out of my shell at school and had a very happy home life. It was my beautiful mother and a couple of caring, wonderful high school teachers who helped me learn to be resilient and that happiness was indeed a worthy lifelong pursuit.

• Twitter: @loganlaplante
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Dr. Roger Walsh


Dan Leyes

You were a wise child Garr. I have come to believe the goal of life is to be happy and that we find happiness by helping others. But as a child I wanted to be a Beatle, and a professional baseball player! Being happy is actually a much more realistic goal. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks Dan. Love the Beatles! :-) I wanted to be an NFL wide receiver, perhaps for the Dallas Cowboys :-)

Nick Morgan

Thanks, Garr, for sharing both your story and the story of this cool kid. Both beautiful, and I learned from both.

"It was my beautiful mother and a couple of caring, wonderful high school teachers who helped me learn to be resilient and that happiness was indeed a worthy lifelong pursuit. " Amazing quote. I borrowed it for my daily reminder email for my 3Minute Journal users, which I always preface with a quote about self-awareness, learning, etc. Thanks so much for sharing.

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