Why the truth matters in your child’s pursuit of happiness

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Fall Edition of Banana Moments Family Business Quarterly

Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

A recent Mashable article features a young man who made the choice to drop out of school and pursue a career as a professional video game player and then stunned his parents by earning enough money to pay the rent, other bills and have a little left over for some luxuries. For now, this is a career that is fulfilling. It will probably be one of many careers in his lifetime.

According to the article, eSports is a new industry born out of the gaming industry that is attracting big advertiser revenues from companies like Coca Cola. Some of the largest earnings are from youth in China and Korea with staggering incomes. As livelihood, the video gaming industry demonstrates that where there is widespread interest and attention there will be a thriving economy, whether it’s trading collectables like Pez dispensers (the inspiration for starting Amazon), poker tournaments or scrapbooking. This new sports industry also speaks to the modern intergenerational disparity of how expectations for happiness are established and pursued. Our children’s childhoods are informing them radically differently as a global changing economy and innovation disrupt old career paradigms and leave open uncharted territory of new emerging industries.

Thrive Buettner BookIn his book, Thrive: Finding Happiness The Blue Zones Way (2010), Dan Buettner has sifted through happiness survey data and field interviews from around the world to provide a human portrait of happiness. In the end, his quest leads us to an invitation to consider that understanding the role of the remembering self and the experiencing self in the pursuit of happiness is critical. According to Buettner, we tend to remember the past with a happy heart and give little regard for the present moment. “The experiencing self is how we live our lives moment-to-moment, day-to-day….Millionaires as a whole will rate their remembering selves higher than people who make only $75,000 a year. But the millionaire may have a bigger house to look after, a heftier financial portfolio look after, and a higher-maintenance spouse, so he or she may in fact experience life less happily,” he writes (p. 249).

This research speaks to a universal truth, that happiness happens when people choose to accept the world as it is with hope, and have a sense of being connected to something bigger than themselves (faith, family, friends and community) for a measure of security and fulfillment. The book concludes that the people who report being happiest actually thrive in their environments. And according to Buettner, for children this means:

  • Student well-being has little or no relationship to income. What matters for youth is the quality of their friendships.
  • After-school and summer employment are important for establishing a “thriving” world view.
  • Music, civics and arts are important for learning how to enjoy life and learning to adulthoods fulfilling.
  • Encouraging hope for a richer future – kids who “see a bright, meaningful future start to earn, keep, and save money better than those who don’t. Such kids come up with more ideas about how to make money, become more pragmatic when using money, and are more creative in saving money.” (p. 241).

Accordingly this 2014 fall edition of Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly addresses the strategy of accepting the cyber-powered world as it is and teaching our children to use their own intellect and will to overcome evil and pursue the good they are called to do today and in their dreams for the future.

Table of Contents


2014 September Round Up

Cyber safety for kids and families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner


Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.