Logan LaPante - 8 things that make us happy

Logan LaPlante starts his 11 minute TEDx presentation sharing that when he grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy.

He talks about how children focus on things they are passionate about…or stoked about…in Logan’s words.

At just 13, Logan is already a wonderful storyteller and knows how to engage an audience. He defies the statistics saying people don’t have an attention span for videos that are more than a couple of minutes.

Logan promotes that schools should teaching kids how to be happy and healthy, rather than assume they will automatically be happy when they grow up if they simply finish school and get a good job.

He thinks schools are missing the mark by teaching kids to make a living rather than make a life.

Watch Logan’s presentation for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.

8 Things You Need to Be Happy:

Logan’s study of how to be happy led him to the work of Dr. Roger Walsh who identified 8 factors in being happy.

Logan LaPlante - how to be happyPhoto Credit – Logan LaPlante


  1. Exercise
  2. Diet and nutrition
  3. Time in nature
  4. Contribution and service
  5. Relationships
  6. Recreation
  7. Relaxation and stress management
  8. Religious and spiritual

Like most people, I want to be happier. It’s not that I’m horribly unhappy, but I wouldn’t say that I’m happy most of the time.

As I was thinking about this list, it occurred to me that the reason that I’m so happy when I’m at the volunteer weekends at Sherwood Forest Camp is because it hits all of the items on this list.

Sherwood Forest Camp steps

Exercise: At camp you definitely get exercise, but it’s a natural form of exercise, not working out. You walk everywhere….miles a day. You really feel it every time you climb the steps from the pool or main field.

Sherwood Forest Camp mealtime
Diet and nutrition: While camp food is definitely not low fat, the meals are prepared for you and are well balanced. Everything is made from scratch with real ingredients (sticking with real food is one of my biggest beliefs relating to diet). There’s no drive thru or pizza delivery. No opening the refrigerator simply because you are bored.

Sherwood Forest Camp - Buder Lake
Time in nature: It’s camp. Nature is everywhere.

Sherwood Forest Camp Trades Weekend - volunteer carrying wood
Contribution and service: I know that my volunteer time helps the camp help the kids, and that makes me feel good. Regardless of how small my role is in helping these kids break out of the cycle of poverty, the camp’s leadership makes sure to let me know that it makes a difference.

Sherwood Forest Camp Trades Weekend - relaxing at a cabin
Relationships: More than anything, I love the people who are also drawn to Sherwood Forest Camp. People who don’t put on makeup to hang out in the woods. People who are always willing to help with whatever needs to be done. People who care about others and enjoy conversation around the dinner table or on a front porch.

Picture in same location - 25 years later
Recreation: While the camp is all about recreation for the kids, being there gives me a chance to spend time doing one of the things I really enjoy – taking pictures. I also really enjoy a few hours with a good book before I go to sleep.

Sherwood Forest Camp Trades Weekend - evening campfire
Relaxation and stress management: At camp, everything is at a slower pace. When someone says “Stay here for a minute, I need to talk to you”, that minute will sometimes turn into 45 minutes before they return. Just getting from one side of the camp to the other is a 10 minute walk, so no one expects anything fast. And since Verizon doesn’t work at camp and there isn’t internet access except in the camp office and library, you get a chance to disconnect from this technology world we live in while you are there.

Sherwood Forest Camp trees
Religious and spiritual: I don’t consider myself religious or spiritual. But I do love walking through the silent woods alone under the tall pine trees. The solitude and natural world helps you remember that the stuff which fills our daily lives really isn’t all that important.

Where are you happiest?

Does your happy place includes the 8 things on Dr. Roger Walsh’s list?