The backstory of the Life is Good company is uplifting, just like the brand. Two brothers, banding together in a used minivan, living in the back, subsisting on peanut butter and jelly, and selling t-shirts along the East Coast of the United States. After five years, with only $78 in savings to show for it, and wondering if they should pack it up, they came up with a shirt that resonated with customers. It turned into a multimillion dollar brand.
In their book, aptly titled Life is Good: The Book, the company talks about ten tools for living a happy and fulfilling life. They call these tools the Life is Good superpowers.
Several of these superpowers, if harnessed with goodness, fit nicely into LRN LAF LUV LIV and the Philosophy for LYF framework. Let's look at each of them in relation to LRN LAF LUV LIV, and how these superpowers supercharge your better life.
The Philosophy for LYF
As a reminder, the Philosophy for LYF is a framework for bettering your life. It provides a vision, mission, strategy, and core values for your better life. When successfully implemented, the result is an elevated life (LYF), full of personal and divine elevations, wisdom, joy, purpose, and actualization.
The Life is Good Superpowers
The ten superpowers listed in Life is Good: The Book are:
The book does not provide formal definitions of these superpowers. Instead, it provides personal stories, quotes, and customer letters to illustrate each superpower. Each superpower chapter ends with three implementation suggestions.
Where These Superpowers Fit in LRN LAF LUV LIV
Most of these superpowers align with the philosophy's core values and strategy.
Openness, Courage, and Gratitude
Three of the superpowers — openness (1), courage (2), and gratitude (5) — reference core values in the Philosophy for LYF: Open-mindedness, courageousness, and gratefulness.
Open-mindedness means you are open to considering and analyzing new ideas and information, able to process and evaluate viewpoints from all sides, and are willing to change your mind in light of new evidence. Embrace this core value to fully implement the goodness deed of LRN.
Remember that open-mindedness does not mean to open your mind mindlessly or to not think for yourself. One must still assess, make sound decisions, and know right from wrong.
Gratefulness means you are truly thankful and appreciative of the goodness that abounds. Embrace gratefulness to fully implement the goodness deed of LAF.
Studies have shown that being grateful provides several benefits to the individual, including physical benefits (stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, sleep longer), psychological (higher levels of positive emotions, more joy and pleasure, more optimism), and social (more helpful and compassionate, more forgiving, feel less lonely and isolated).
Courageousness is not the absence of fear, but the moving ahead despite the fears and uncertainties you have. This core value must be embraced to fully implement the goodness deed of LIV.
The philosophy's core values of goodness and respectfulness are not on the superpower list, but they are critical for a better life.
Goodness is the single all-encompassing foundational core value of LRN LAF LUV LIV. It is a quality that infuses your life’s actions with outcomes that are truly valuable and elevating.
Goodness is the necessary ingredient for any other value to have merit. A value without goodness as its underpinning will stray you from the way of experiencing an elevated life. The value of honesty is not the best policy when absent goodness, for then honesty can turn brutal or careless. The values of commitment, competence, and courage sound good, but without goodness they can all be used for harm and hatred. All other values lose their moral standing when not bathed in goodness.
Respectfulness means being kind, courteous, considerate, fair, and just. It is reflected in treating yourself and other people with dignity and justice. You must be respectful to yourself and to others to elevate through the LUV deed of goodness.
Humor, Fun, Compassion, and Love
Four of the superpowers — humor (4), fun (6), compassion (7), and love (10) — relate well with two of the LRN LAF LUV LIV deeds of goodness.
Humor and Fun fit in comfortably with the LAF deed of goodness. LAF is about enjoying yourself and uplifting others. Laughing, playing, and doing things you enjoy are all examples, and when you do them with others, you can uplift others.
LAF is closely associated with actions that cause "happiness", but these actions are infused with goodness. For example, laughing at others for their misfortunes or laughing to be hurtful is not LAF. Your fun should never be at the expense of someone else.
Compassion and Love relate to the LUV deed of goodness. LUV is about valuing yourself and nurturing others. To value yourself, you need to be compassionate to yourself and love who you are and who you can become. Similarly, nurturing others requires compassion for your fellow human beings and a love for them to care and give support.
Simplicity, Creativity, and Authenticity
The three remaining superpowers — Simplicity (3), Creativity (8), and Authenticity (9) — have more nuanced relationships to the Philosophy for LYF concepts.
Creativity is implicit in LAF and LIV. Being creative is fun. No one ever said, "I hate being creative!" Being creative is also a technique to help you overcome challenges and set a higher standard on what you can achieve. Realizing yourself and inspiring others through your creativity is the LIV deed of goodness.
Authenticity as a personal concept has shot up in popularity since the 1990s (see this Google ngram viewer graph). Life is Good looks to the dog as the greatest teacher of being authentic. It starts the chapter stating, "Be the person your dog thinks you are." It quotes Oscar Wilde, "Be yourself. Everyone is taken."
LRN LAF LUV LIV has a different take. We can all improve. We can all better our lives. We cannot excuse poor behavior with, "I am who I am."
LRN LAF LUV LIV looks at authenticity as important in understanding our true selves, understanding our weaknesses, so we can better our lives. Instead of "Be authentic," we should "Make goodness our authenticity."
The book illustrates simplicity with the company's catchphrase "Life is good." Three simple words. No fluff. No long-winded explanation.
LRN LAF LUV LIV does not suggest simplicity as a requirement for a better life. Some people thrive in complex environments, and others are more comfortable or fulfilled in more simple situations. Both types can elevate their lives.
Simplicity in the philosophy comes from focus and breaking things into manageable pieces. There are only a few core values in the philosophy, and goodness is the foundation. There are only four deeds of goodness: LRN LAF LUV and LIV. There are only two parts to the mission, tightly intertwined: grow true wealth and give true worth. And only one vision: an elevated life.
The ten Life is Good superpowers are wonderful tools. They help provide illustrations for some of the concepts in LRN LAF LUV LIV. Keep them in mind and harness them with goodness.