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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happiness-Producing Questions


10 Av 5771

Well, we're past the 9th of Av and you've read headlines, caugh up on family and friend stuff, now it's time to breathe, relax and relent.

My thanks to Shmuel Greenbaum and his “Kind Words” listserv. Today’s topic is Happiness-Producing Questions from Zelig Pliskin (one of the happiest people I know!) from an earlier edition of the newsletter.

Kind Words - Happiness-Producing Questions

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Directions to Live By
The author wishes to remain anonymous
Edited by Shmuel Greenbaum
Printed with Permission of Partners in Kindness

I was standing on the street trying to figure out which direction was the one that would get me where I wanted to go. A stranger walked by and I asked her directions.

What could a stranger possibly say to me within the span of seconds that could make me smile weeks later?

After telling me where to go, she apologized for not coming by sooner so I wouldn't have had to wait for her to come by.

Happiness-Producing Questions
From Kindness: Making a Difference in People's Lives:
Formulas, stories, and insights
By Zelig Pliskin
Printed with Permission of Shaar Press

When you ask people questions, you get them to focus on specific pieces of information and memories. It's an act of kindness to ask the type of questions that give people pleasure and increase their level of happiness.

Here are some questions that you can use as tools to help people access positive states:

* What gives you the most happiness in your life?

* What were your greatest moments?

* What are your favorite childhood memories?

* What are some of the nicest things that people have said to you?

* What was your best vacation?

* What makes you smile?

* What makes you laugh?

* Who makes you feel good just by being in that person's presence?

* What do you enjoy reading?

* What songs put you in positive states?

* What is your favorite possession?

* What is your favorite day of the year?

* When have you unexpectedly had a better time than you thought you would?

* When have you been pleasantly surprised by the way something you did turned out?

* When did you feel you would succeed and you actually did?

* When have you felt joy about seeing someone you hadn't seen in a long time?

* What praises and positive feedback have you appreciated?

* What is the nicest thing a teacher ever told you?

* When did you surprise yourself by being more skillful at something than you thought you could?

* How do you look when you smile at yourself in a mirror?

* When has someone given you a gift that you greatly appreciated?

* What do you consider your wisest decision?

* What advice do you have for others to increase their happiness?

* What did you do for someone else that you felt great about?

* What is the nicest thing a total stranger ever did for you?

* What have you been grateful for in the past?

* What are you grateful for in the present?

* When have you felt joyous for no special reason?

* What healthy activities give you a natural high?

* When were you about to give up and someone's encouragement kept you motivated?

* (For grandparents): What is a clever thing one of your grandchildren said?

* What is your favorite question that anyone ever asked you?

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Responses From Readers
Comments on Seeing Kindness through the Eyes of a Child

* About the 10 year old child who read the elderly man's body language, please pass this on to the grandmother.

What high emotional intelligence your grandson has, may you and all of Israel have much enjoyment from him.

With his huge heart and initiative for one so young, may God guide him so he will be an inspiration and a leader to his people. (L. L)

* What a lovely thing to do! (F.M.)

* Beautiful! (B.G.)

* What a beautiful way to raise children to kindness! (A.K.N)

More About Partners In Kindness
Speaking About Kindness

When Shmuel Greenbaum has the opportunity to speak, he rivets his audience's attention through stories and audience participation. Participants come away feeling very positive and excited about doing something great.

His excitement for kindness is infectious, as this student from New York City's Stuyvesant High School explains:

I was expecting to attend the lecture given by Shmuel Greenbaum for one period. I ended up staying for four. It is so uplifting, so enlightening, so refreshing to hear someone like him talk, to simply bubble over with excitement at the thought of doing good in the world. He is in his way a role model to us all.

You think to yourself, "If only everyone else could practice kindness in the way that Shmuel Greenbaum has, the world would truly be a better place."

For further information, please visit our website
or send us an e-mail:

Kind Words is a free weekly e-mail distributed by Partners In Kindness.

Although the content of these e-mails contains copyrighted material, Partners in Kindness allows users who register at our website to reprint them in print, on a website, or on an e-mail distribution list at no cost.

If you have permission to reprint this e-mail, please ensure that you reprint the entire e-mail (including this notice).

Names of people, places, and other details mentioned in these stories may have been changed to protect privacy.

Kindness is like music, art, sports or any other discipline -- it can only be mastered with practice, training, and lots and lots of encouragement. That is what Partners in Kindness is trying to promote.

Please pass our e-mails along to your friends and family!

Partners in Kindness
A Tradition of Kindness

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Our first book, A Daily Dose of Kindness, represents the best of these e-mails. The book contains diverse stories about Israel submitted from one hundred contributors.

A Daily Dose of Kindness is the result of the collaboration of hundreds of volunteers and financial supporters of many different religions and nationalities. These stories of caring may bring new hope to Israel, the Middle East and the world.

(Note: the book is not shipped gift wrapped or with any of the items shown in the photograph)
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Learn More


Kind Words is among other emotionally rewarding listings in the Global Resources section of EMPOWER Yourself
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