Late Nights and the Secret to Happiness


Several years ago, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Albert Bandura (he happens to be the most-cited psychologist alive). He discussed one of his current research projects on what determines happiness. The key factor that stuck out to me was

“An absence of self-ruminative thoughts.”

This evening, I was reading a book that was supposed to be a classic and like just about all ‘classic’ books it bored the hell out of me. It was full of characters ruminating about what Lady Duchess Elma Fudd thought about them and whether their husband really missed them and the impression they made on Harry Whats-His-Name.

I put the book down, came downstairs to work and the next time I looked up, it was almost 1 am. This happens to me a lot. On the one hand, I’m a bit frustrated because I have not finished the Fish Lake Demo revision yet. We had a slight mishap when the testers were given the wrong game to test – they tested the actual Fish Lake game instead, which is also being revised, but that meant no one had tested the demo until I did it this weekend

There weren’t a lot of bugs but enough to keep me up until 1 am when I realized even though I am ‘almost almost done’ I really need to get some sleep.

Still, I also realized that I am a happy camper.

We have so much to add to the games that both Dennis and I are putting in some long hours. Maria is heading to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to meet with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on our latest grant, so that I can be left here to work even more. We have so much work we are hiring another intern and anticipate another opening soon.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make the games better and the people who will use them. One reason we don’t do updates often is that a lot of schools use our games and it is pain for them to install updates on 40, 80 or 100 computers. So, we try to make each update count.

I’d like more levels made better faster and to be in every home in America.

While working toward those goals, though, that’s all I’m thinking about, and not whether Mary Sue thought my clothes weren’t fashionable enough or if Bubba thinks I’m smart.

I suspect that ability to lose yourself in work and not worry about what people around you are thinking – an absence of self-ruminative thoughts – is why people are so willing to work on start-ups. We all know it’s not for the money, security or luxurious surroundings.


While you are waiting for our Fish Lake demo to be up this week, you can download our free iPad app to learn Ojibwe history and culture and work on your multiplication and division skills. Also, outfit your wigwam.

Get Making Camp for iPad!

Get Making Camp for iPad!

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