Badass, or Balance?- What Matters More?

Let’s say you want to reach for the stars, attain that audacious goal, drive a BMW.

There are lots of books and workshops that teach you how to visualize those positive outcomes, face your fears, walk over those hot coals, get yourself behind the wheel of that fancy car.

Wahoo! But – wait.

Two problems here:

  • One: what if you know all that you are “supposed” to do to manifest your dreams, but you just can’t find the energy to do it because you’re mired in self-doubt, loneliness, or anxiety?
  • Two: What if you get to your goal, and you are still not satisfied? What happens the morning after the success? The week after the seminar ends? How long does the high last?

As the dying Steve Jobs might have said (there is doubt about the source, but the sentiment is immensely popular) ,  “Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq ft – loneliness is the same.”

Yet – What sells more? Change, or Contentment? Fame/Success, or Happier? 

Truth is: We need one (Happier) to get to, and balance the other (Success).

Does my book Happier Made Simple: Choose Your Words. Change Your Life., make a flashy enough promise? Does happier hold a candle to promises of wealth and fame? 

We’ll see.  

What Is YOUR Balance?

Self-Development Book Clubs are full of recommendations for Goal-Setting and Personal Success in reaching higher for wealth, success, fame. Tony Robbins, Jen Sincero – I salute you. You have inspired many.

But – is that all there is? And – if you don’t strike a life balance, if you don’t have room for the little pleasures of life on the way to “success”, what is the point?

With that in mind, I rewrote my answer in the Author Q and A from my media kit:
 Why did you write Happier Made Simple ?
You know, “happier” isn’t as flashy as, say “wildly successful”, or “wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.” We live in a goal-oriented world, full of promises if we just “quit that boring job”, take a risk, make a vision board with the car we want to drive, the celebrities we want to meet, the lifestyle we covet.

What sells more? Change, or Contentment? Fame/Success, or Happier? 

Truth is: We need one (Happier) to get to, and balance the other (Success).

And/or – we want to live a life of purpose – helping others, sharing our gifts, feeling good about our contributions. But – if we’re lost in an inner world of self-pity, self-doubt and fear, we’re left with no energy to live that purpose. There’s little of ourselves left to give. With steps to happier, we free ourselves to explore our potential, reach those goals, live a life of greater balance, and live our purpose.
So – when we strive to be happier, we have more moments of contentment, confidence, and love for others. Without happier moments, the rest is unattainable. But does being happier have to be so complicated?

Like you, I’ve been through stuff. As my grandmother used to say, “everybody’s got something.” But we do tend to differ in the way we react to life’s challenges and joys. As I shared my own experiences with audiences and workshop participants, so many asked me how I “stay so positive” that they inspired me to share my answers in this book.

My first goal was to write a book readers might actually want to finish, with ideas to use right away. So many of us (myself included) have self-development books sitting on our shelves (or donated to garage sales), with only a chapter or two completed. Friends told me, “I bought this book about happiness and just couldn’t finish it. It got too wordy and complicated. I wanted to shout, just tell me what to do!”

I include stories of my own challenges so far –marriage to an alcoholic, desertion of the aforementioned spouse, single parenting, supporting my family as an actor, losing my parents, serious mental illness in my son, a big DNA surprise, learning to love and trust again, the journey back from being hit by a car.

Still, my “default mode” (as my computer geek husband calls it) is to choose happier.

How?  I realized that the words I chose to tell myself led me to happier places, at least eventually (strong emotions must be processed). Words are shortcuts. They bridge to other thoughts, feelings and actions – and if we are not aware of where they lead us, we might go there blindfolded.

There are lots of fantastic resources out there – I recommend them in my book for further enlightenment – but I couldn’t find one that provided a simple explanation, told with everyday language and humor, framed as actions and word changes to try first, understand later. So I wrote one.

Also, in attending “happiness” workshops online and in-person, some of the most revered “happiness gurus” I experienced never even cracked a smile. Many of these classes scored low on fun and humor, high on complicated concepts.

I had presented some of this book’s material as a workshop in corporate and self-development settings, and the response was so encouraging (plus we all had fun) that the basis of the seven Core Phrases and Concepts that spell “BREATHE” formed the first seven chapters.

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