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“Do You Know What I Like Most About You?” And Other Ways to Make Life Happier with Dr. Hal Urban (Episode #102)

If you’ve committed to spending more time on things that add to your quality of life, then our guest today will bring delight to your everyday experiences. Dr. Hal Urban has traveled over two million miles talking about how small shifts in our positive character traits can help us celebrate the life we are living. He has written eight books on the power of positivity, but with a unique twist on how we can take control of our happiness.

About Our Guest

Dr. Urban’s shares story after story about “Living by choice, not chance.”

His insights are not from hopeful speculation and anything like the typical “positive thinking” narratives. And they are not from cold research that turns out to be hypothetical in real life. No, Dr. Urban is sharing all that he’s learned from (and with) the students he taught for 35 years. 

Turns out, when it comes to gathering some wisdom about improving our perspectives… children can be our greatest teachers. 

In this interview, Hal shares many terrific tips about how we can often change the future by simply changing a few words in our standard responses to greetings like “How are you?” Or, how we can put a spring in our step and the steps of others with simple conversation openers like, “You know what I like best about you?” 

This episode gets to the heart of the quiet aspect of the Conspiracy of Goodness of our times by pointing out the characteristics most of us admire and love in others. 

Resources Mentioned:

Show Notes

[00:00- 02:12] Opening

  • See the world in a positive way


  • Dr. Hal is a school teacher for 35 years with emphasis on good character 
  • Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco
  • His first book “Life’s Greatest Lessons” was selected by Reader’s Digest as most inspirational book of the year on the year it was published
  • Mission in life: helping others by lifting their spirits
  • Favorite quote: “We do ourselves the most good doing something for others.”- Horace Mann

[05:45- 08:43]

  • Happy hormones
  • We live by choice not by chance
  • People’s attitude is their choice. Attitude is the control center of life
  • We do have control how to handle our attitude
  • Viktor Frankl
  • “The last of human freedom is man’s ability to choose its own attitude no matter what the circumstances are.”

[08:44- 12:06]

  • The Power of Good News
  • Zig Ziglar
  • “You are what you are because of what goes into your mind.”
  • Celebrate what’s right in the world instead of what’s wrong

[12:07- 15:38]

  • Whatever energy we have we pass that on to people we come to contact with
  • “Do you know what I like the most about you?”
  • Do the unexpected little things that make people lift up
  • Everytime you make somebody feel good, you feel better yourself

[15:39- 17:27]

  • “We become what we think about.”
  • We have to be aware of the impact we have on other people

[17:28- 21:49]

  • Dr. Hal’s teaching story
  • Bad news sells better than good news
  • Everyday we celebrate good news
  • Start anything with something positive

[21:50- 24:56]

  • Dr. Hal’s father
  • Dr. Hal grew up in a negative environment all the way through highschool
  • How Dr. Hal’s life changed

[24:57- 27:48] BREAK

[27:49- 32:14] BACK

  • The unpublicized good news 
  • Be a good finder 
  • We take things for granted
  • Dr. Hal’s mother
  • “The happiest people in the world aren’t the people who have most things, the happiest people are the people who are most thankful for what they do have.”

[32:15- 38:50]

  • Shawn Achor  
  • I look upon everyday as an opportunity especially an opportunity to do something good
  • It’s important to be informed
  • If you’re concentrating so much on the big negative things, you don’t see the good little things
  • Dr. Ben Shahar
  • Endorsement from Ken Blanchard

[38:51- 44:43]

  • I try to find a newscaster that appears neutral
  • “United we stand, divided we fall”
  • John Dickinson
  • 2 keys to make sure unity: golden rule and win-win 
  • See the possibilities of what we’re capable of
  • Stephen Covey

[44:44- 49:56]

  • 2nd Book: Positive Words Powerful Results
  • Our words have enormous power
  • Words can hurt, words can heal
  • Every word that comes out of your mouth is a choice
  • Digital communication
  • Your words can change somebody else’s world

[49:57 – 59:48]

  • We live in a culture of complaint
  • The wealthiest one will complain the most and the one with least will complain the least
  • Dr. Hal’s college friend that has great impact on his life – Bruce
  • The story of Bruce
  • “Change your attitude, change your life”
  • The Bruce Diazo Memorial Challenge
  • It took me 23 years to find someone that could go 24 hours without complaining
  • We are creatures of habit
  • Develop the habit of appreciating instead of complaining

[59:49- 01:01:47]

  • How to say “How are you?” to people you see everyday

[01:01:48- 01:06:12]

  • Resources
  • Celebrate with What’s Right in The World 

[01:06:13- 01:06:50] Closing

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