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The Simple Secret of Being Happier: Tia Graham (Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of Tia Graham’s talk titled “The Simple Secret of Being Happier” at TEDxManitouSprings conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


When I was ten years old, things started shifting between my parents, and not for the better. One day they called a family meeting. We had never had a family meeting before.

They sat my two younger sisters and I down, and they told us that we would be moving from our little log cabin in northern British Columbia, Canada, to the southern part of the province, and that they would be divorcing. Of course, my sisters and I were devastated. The entire world that I knew was crumbling apart.

And yet, this was not the worst part. You see, my father, Peter, had always been this happy-go-lucky guy. The divorce was extremely hard on him, and he was becoming more and more withdrawn. He was less engaged with my sisters and I, he had less energy, and I barely recognized him anymore. I remember thinking to myself, is this my new dad?

One day I woke up at his house, and my sisters were still sleeping, and I could hear music playing downstairs, which was very unusual. As I came downstairs, I could smell fresh orange juice and bacon, and there was my dad, Peter, dancing and making pancakes. I said, ‘Good morning, dad.’

‘Good morning, Tia!’

I said, ‘Wow, Dad, you seem really happy today. Are you happy because it’s your birthday?’

‘You know, Tia, I have had three of the worst years of my entire life. And I woke up this morning, and I thought to myself, I’m not going to have another bad year.’

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