The Carefree and Diligent Transformation of Happy Living

Happy Living | Blog“Diligence is the mother of good fortune.”
(Benjamin Disraeli[1])

In my book, Turning Inspiration into Action, I introduced a concept that I believe is one of the three critical steps to personal transformation: Carefree Diligence. If you’re wondering, the other two are Personal Responsibility and Kaizen,[2] and you can definitely read more about them in my book, if you’re feeling curious to learn more.

In the meantime, a little on carefree diligence.

In his book, The Tao of Joy Every Day: 365 Days of Tao Living, Derek Lin says that diligence means having the “discipline to progress in a purposeful direction with consistency.” He continues, “It’s taking one step after another, without stopping but also without a frantic rush. The body may be in motion, but the mind is perfectly relaxed” as you enjoy the journey to your absolute best life.

The key words here are motion and relax. It’s important that you keep moving on your journey, but RELAX about it. Keep doing, but stop stressing. Enjoy the process, but don’t cling to outcomes. Trust in yourself that every small effort is a step on your journey (and in the right direction!), regardless of any immediately observable result.[3]

Carefree diligence feels like the best way to describe how we are continuously transforming Happy Living, too, and our embodiment of that concept is how we’ve captured the attention of Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi.

We started Happy Living with a simple goal: writing to inspire others to believe that a better self is always possible – today, every day, for the rest of their lives. My daughter Kaileen penned our first post, Hello, We’re Happy Living, on April 10, 2014, and a few months later, I joined her, after wrapping up the sale of my previous company. My first post was titled, What Happens After Dreams Come True? For the first year and half, that’s how we rolled—the two of us just kept writing, trusting that every post was one step on the journey of creating Happy Living.

Then came news that Kaileen was leaving the company to focus fulltime on her family. Her announcement caused me to rethink the way ahead. On March 2, 2016, I posted Exciting Changes Ahead for Happy Living, and introduced a new concept: Happy Living Experts. We brought in experts in specialized fields of health and wellness, adding their voices to the pages of Happy Living: Stephanie Dunne (Personalized Nutrition), James FitzGerald (Personalized Fitness), and Dr. Tom Sult (Personalized Medicine). We also brought on my son Kyle as our content manager and a contributing writer. Our team had changed and grown, and we kept writing to inspire others regardless of any immediately observable results. In other words, while it wasn’t clear that we were improving the health and wellbeing of the world, we kept writing, trusting that we are inspiring one person at a time to improve their life.

Then came A Creative Little Accident Called Blog Theatre when I reconnected with my friend Scott Barry, a college football teammate. It turned out that in the three or so decades since we last saw each other, he had become a critically acclaimed writer/performer. As we explored the synergies between us and our work in the world, Blog Theatre was born. Scott literally added his voice to our pages. You can listen to his ten-minute bursts of inspiration as he takes ideas from our blog posts for what he calls “a test run.” “Hopefully,” he says, “They’ll inspire you as much as they have inspired me.” We kept writing to inspire, and now Scott was performing to inspire too.

And now, Joe Jacobi. A few years back, Joe and I were introduced by a mutual friend and had talked on the phone. About six months ago, I happened to see a Tweet of Joe’s about his program called 5 With Joe ~ Gold Medal Mastermind.

I responded, because his message “to get your ideas out of your head and into action” sounded incredibly similar to the theme of my book, Turning Inspiration Into Action.

A few days later, we had another phone conversation and quickly realized we were like-minded. We agreed to explore synergies too. Joe started reading my book (he loved it and gave it a wonderful review!), and I took his on-line coaching course, Start Line (I thought it was great).

I took pages and pages of notes as I devoured the course.

It became clear to us that we shared a goal: using our lives to inspire others. Our means of achieving the goal were different, but synergistic. I want to write and publish books to inspire others to believe a better self is always possible, and Joe wants to teach, coach, and show others how to create their better self. So, we agreed to collaborate for an event in Portland called the World Domination Summit (WDS).

At WDS, we co-hosted Turning Inspirations from #WDS2017 Into Action In Your Life, and it was great. Our messages played well together and the audience loved it. We captured the essence of the hour-long workshop in this video.

In Portland, we made the decision to work together moving forward. Exactly how our partnership will develop remains to be seen, and that’s ok, we’ll just keep making progress in a purposeful direction with consistency and see where it leads us. For now, it is my honor to announce that my friend, Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi, will be adding his voice to the pages of Happy Living as our expert in the specialized field of performance coaching.

Please welcome Joe in the comments section, and follow him, too…

Twitter | Facebook | Website

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Disraeli

[2] Kaizen is the Japanese idea that small, incremental improvements will add up over time to yield big results.

[3] Excerpt from Turning Inspiration Into Action, Chapter 15, First Steps

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How I Fed My Intention to Get Pregnant Naturally

Happy Living | Blog“Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.”
(Judy Ford)

On Mother’s Day last year, the ending of my first pregnancy began.

I can’t explain how I know that it began that day, since the actual miscarriage didn’t start until the next day; all I know is that sometime on that Sunday afternoon, a deep sadness settled over me, and that night, unable to think about anything else, I went to bed early. I lay there sobbing, uncontrollably, for three hours.

The miscarriage wasn’t a surprise. A few days before Mother’s Day, the doctor told me that although I was 8 weeks pregnant, the embryo had stopped growing around 6 weeks. He said my body would most likely miscarry within a week, and that we’d simply have to wait and see.

I tried to stay positive–spending hours visualizing a miracle healing and reassuring the Universe that I wanted to keep that baby—to no avail. I believe that Sunday night, Mother’s Day, was when the baby’s spirit decided that it wasn’t the body for him and the sadness I felt was a result of him leaving.

The next day, the physical part of the miscarriage began. It lasted a few days, and while the physical pain was great, the emotional pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced. The grief was so visceral and all-consuming that I couldn’t fathom how so many other women have moved through this—going to work, continuing to interact with friends and family, raising children they already have.

The devastation was so pronounced that my husband and I even questioned whether or not we should try again; whether we could survive another loss, if we were lucky enough to get pregnant a second time. On top of all that was the fear that we might not be that lucky.

You see, when we’d decided 10 months prior that we wanted to have children, I had immediately gone to my gynecologist to find out if my 40-year-old body was fertile, only to be told that my ovarian reserve (approximately how many eggs I had left) was miniscule.

My doctor recommended we go straight to IVF, saying it was my only real chance.

I didn’t like that answer.

I believe in the power of my body to heal itself, and I really didn’t want to jump straight to medical interventions without first trying to conceive naturally. In fact, I wanted to avoid medical interventions altogether if at all possible. Despite the doctor’s recommendation, my husband agreed with me, and we set our intention to get pregnant naturally.

Of course, I couldn’t ignore what the data was telling me. I knew that to purposefully feed our intention I would have to do something… potentially lots of somethings to heal my body.

Last month, I gave you my top 4 ways to feed your intention for bodily health. Now, I want to tell you how I used those steps to feed my intention to conceive naturally three times, and to get where I am today: naturally 32 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy.

How I used my own suggestions on purposefully feeding intention to conceive naturally (three times) after being told by my doctor that I’d need to go straight to IVF:

  1. Get Advice from Trustworthy People: Seek out sources of information that will inspire you and give you relevant, applicable guidance.

As soon as I was told my ovarian reserve was low (as measured by AMH, the anti-mullerian hormone), I began seeking research online about how to increase this number. I poked around MedLine Plus and other databases for medical journals, and in the process, I kept an eye out for info on other causes of infertility that could also be playing a role.

I discovered that, in addition to a low AMH level, there were a lot of other things that could be impacting my chances of getting pregnant: other hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues (I have low levels of thyroid antibodies), uncontrolled autoimmune disease (I have psoriasis and low levels of antibodies for Celiac disease), dysbiosis (i.e., an imbalance in my gut bugs), uncontrolled inflammation and nutrient deficiencies, just to name a few.

Based on this new information, I sought out resources about how to identify where my specific imbalances could be and how to fix them. Among others, these resources included books like Dr. Sara Gottfried’s The Hormone Cure, my Integrative & Functional Nutrition practitioner training, a naturopath who specializes in herbs to heal the body, various tests for identifying specific hormone imbalances, and friends who had used natural methods to get themselves pregnant after struggling to become so.

All of these resources helped me understand the steps that might be necessary to improve my fertility and help me get pregnant naturally.

  1. Set Manageable Goals: Identify actions that will move you toward your end goal and DO them.

Unsurprising to anyone who knows me, after doing the research, I put together a spreadsheet of all the things I could try to improve my fertility. At first the list was big and overwhelming, because there are a ton of different things that might help a person’s fertility depending on what is preventing a woman’s body from being a welcoming and healthy place for a new human to grow. So, I prioritized the list based on what I knew to be true about my body and how much time and effort I was willing to give each day, and I started working my way down it.

I started including foods in my diet that traditional cultures believe boost fertility, like orange colored fruits and vegetables, liver, and maca root. I took supplements to correct nutritional deficiencies identified in my blood tests. I began meditating as a form of stress management, and, as recommended in Aimee Raupp’s Yes, You Can Get Pregnant, I used affirmations and visualizations to reinforce the vision of me pregnant with a healthy baby. I tracked my cycle—testing my ovulation pattern and checking for cervical changes. I received acupuncture treatments every week or two, and I completed whatever protocol was assigned by my naturopath to fix a particular imbalance. (If you want to read a particularly funny story about how I ended up with a head to toe rash in the process, check out my newsletter from March of last year! Fair warning that it might be TMI.)

In short, I did as much as I felt comfortable doing. I set manageable goals balanced between being obsessive and realistic, alleviating my concern that I wasn’t doing enough to help me achieve my dream. And I did them.

  1. Commit to a Practice: Continue moving toward what you want to achieve, even when it doesn’t feel quite “right.”

Once I had my routine down, I stuck to it… for months. In fact, it took seven months for me to get the “all clear” from my acupuncturist and my naturopath that they thought the imbalances we had identified were taken care of and my body was ready to get pregnant.

Even though there were days that I did not want to swallow another capsule or put my feet up while praising the fertile, welcoming nature of my uterus, I kept at it. Sure, there were days that I missed a meditation or didn’t dry brush my body to help my lymphatic system move efficiently because I was too busy with work or had a social engagement that kept me away from the house or was fed up with all the effort. But most days, I took pleasure in checking each item off my to do list, believing that it was making a difference to my health and that each action was feeding my intention to become pregnant.

Without it being written out like a sticker chart for a six year old, I’m not sure I would have stayed on track. If ever I ever started to doubt the “why” of what I was doing, I simply reminded myself of my intention and kept moving forward. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was easier than the alternative of using an intervention I didn’t want or living with the question “what if I had just done X, Y or Z for one more day?”

  1. Adjust as You Go: Evaluate your progress and be willing to make adjustments when you realize your actions aren’t feeding your intention.

When my other healthcare practitioners said everything looked good, I couldn’t think of anything else to do and still wasn’t pregnant, I went to a fertility specialist to evaluate my progress, hoping he could tell me whether or not I was wasting my time or if, in fact, my efforts were paying off.

Over a few appointments, he confirmed that my hormones were now balanced, saying my AMH levels looked like that of a 20 year old! He also determined that I had plenty of eggs and that my fallopian tubes were open to allow passage of sperm to the egg, so it was just a matter of time (and the right sperm finding the right egg). It was nice to have his objective evaluation, and my husband and I agreed that we were willing to continue putting in the effort for at least a few more months.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long—I became pregnant within a few weeks of receiving the doctor’s feedback!

Of course, you already know how that pregnancy ended. After the miscarriage, the doctor (who I must say was incredibly compassionate) said we could simply wait a few more months and see if we could get pregnant again before trying any medical interventions.

After we had moved through our grief, my husband and I evaluated our intention to ensure we were willing to go through the pain again, if it still wasn’t the right sperm with the right egg at the right time. We decided our intention hadn’t changed, and we celebrated the fact that I had gotten pregnant naturally, because that meant it could happen again.

I started back at step #1 to ensure there weren’t more helpful resources or more appropriate actions given the “post-miscarriage, but clearly fertile” reality.

We went through this cycle a second time. Unfortunately, in addition to many months of not becoming pregnant and sometimes not even ovulating, we also had a second miscarriage. With each passing month, we checked in, evaluating whether or not we still had the same intention to become parents or if we wanted to change our focus. And with each decision to stay the course, I looked for new ways to boost my fertility, eventually adding more obscure items, like listening to binaural beats for the reproductive system. If ever we decided our intention had changed, at least I would be confident that I had done everything I could reasonably do to become pregnant naturally.

All told, it took 19 months from the time we set our intention to become pregnant naturally with a healthy baby for that to become a reality the third time.

We used food, supplements, homeopathic remedies, herbs, visualizations, meditation, affirmations, binaural sounds, castor oil packs, dry brushing, bouncing, blood tests, home hormone tests, functional medicine tests, acupuncture, therapy, a gratitude practice, timed intercourse (which we still made fun!), exercise and a lot of dedication to bring this dream to life.

The best part about this journey is that, in addition to achieving our intention of becoming pregnant naturally, my husband and I also fed other intentions that we share. Now, we are closer than ever, because we’ve improved our ability to communicate and supported each other so powerfully during this journey. My body is healthier than when I started, which makes it a perfect place for me to live and for our son to grow. And, as a result of having gone through this, I am even clearer now about what I want to accomplish in my professional life and how to go about doing it.

Of course, the steps I took on my personal pregnancy journey are just one example of what it might look like to actively feed one’s intentions. I’ve used this process of feeding intention to become a dietitian, to complete two Ironman triathlons, and to start my own business.

The process works! And I hope you’ll use it too. You can and will turn your dreams into reality when you purposefully feed your intentions.

I believe in you.

 

 

 

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Wishing You Every Success in Life That You Can Imagine!

Happy Living | Blog“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
(Tony Robbins)

Do you get inspired and excited one day, only to return to your same old self the next? Are you ready to change that? Are you open to trying something different that may help you start turning those inspirations into action in your life?

I joined forces with Joe Jacobi (Olympic Gold Medalist | Peak Performance Coach), Scott Barry (Writer | Entrepreneur | Blog Tester), and Todd White (Founder, Dry Farm Wines) to share our secrets about transformational change.

I get things started by presenting the Transformational Process I use to choose the best opportunities for me and to become powerful enough to overcome the forces of self-made gravity holding my life in place.[1] Then come, Joe, who specializes in focusing on the HOW question; Scott, whose special power is Priority; and Todd, whose secret is the Power of the Universe. Each of us shares our stories of how we’ve created abundant personal power to fuel the changes we desire to make in our lives.

Together, we offer this video:

  • To inspire you to believe, as we do, that you can change your life, starting today
  • To provide you with a Transformational Process you can use to begin a practice of consistent, easy progress towards your goals[2], starting right now
  • And to share the resources and support systems—that will help you keep moving forward, as you do the work of creating your absolute best life

Joe Jacobi, Scott Barry, Todd White, and I wish you every success in life that you can imagine!

Take One More Click and get your copy of my book, Turning Inspiration Into Action: How to connect to the powers you need to conquer negativity, act on the best opportunities, and live the life of your dreams.

[1] What is Gravity? It’s the force that puts the brakes on all your brilliant ideas.

[2] My Philosophy For Bringing Resolutions To Life

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#18 – My Philosophy For Lifelong Exercise

Happy Living | Blog Theatre|

Blog Tester, Scott, asks his body what is on the exercise menu. | Read the post that inspired this Blog Theatre™

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click and then purchase we will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for reading & supporting Happy Living!

Living in the Moment

Happy Living | Blog“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live”.
(The Dalai Lama)

How many moments of our lives’ have passed unnoticed? There is no other moment than the present, because the last moment has always already passed, and the next moment is always yet to be. This is why being present–being mindful–is so important. Whether your intention is to relax, to meditate, to create, to work, or to love, be present. If you’re not, your life may slip away…unnoticed.

The emptiness that results from un-noticed moments and unlived moments is a real and present danger to our health, and we must train for it. In fitness, we talk about cardio, plyometric, strength, flexibility, and balance. In life, we may find that we have similar training targets, and we can use the knowledge we’ve gained from fitness to inform our lives.

Cardio is about endurance, and there is definitely an endurance component to life. The online dictionary defines endurance as “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.” As in, “she was close to the limit of her endurance.” Synonyms for endurance include: toleration, tolerance, sufferance, forbearance, patience, acceptance, resignation, stoicism, stamina, staying power, fortitude, perseverance, persistence, tenacity, doggedness, grit, indefatigability, resolution, determination, formal pertinacity. In considering these words, it seems clear that endurance is something that can contribute to the success of every endeavor, and that in trying times, endurance means being patient. This patience can be utilized by transforming a wait—a frustration—into meditation.

Plyometrics is a workout that includes explosive powerful training exercises that are done to activate the quick response and elastic properties of the major muscles in the body. One might imagine that these quick and powerful exercises are analogous to the idea of Carpe Diem. While this is generally translated as “seize the day,” but a deeper look provides a broader view. Wikipedia tells us that carpe is the second-person singular imperative of carpo  (“pick or pluck”), used by Horace to mean “enjoy, seize, use, make use of.” Diem is the accusative case of the noun dies (“day”). So, a more literal translation of “carpe diem” might be “pluck the day [as it is ripe].” That is, enjoy the moment!

Strength training is a type of physical exercise that uses resistance to induce muscular contraction, building strength, anaerobic endurance, and the size of skeletal muscles. On one level, strength training is about recruitment of many muscle fibers at the same time. I view this as recruitment of my tribe–my social network. Just as muscles are stronger with fibers firing together, we are stronger as members of our tribe work together.

Flexibility or limberness refer to the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints. Cognitive flexibility suggests intellectual range of motion: when we’re presented with new information, we may realize our long and closely held beliefs are inaccurate or incomplete. It is cognitive flexibility that will help re-formulate our world view to accept this new vantage point.

Balance is the ability to maintain the line of gravity of a body. What is balance in life? In some cases, it may be realizing that you need to balance your own point-of-view with the viewpoints of others. Rarely is my view the only view, and to me, balance indicates taking in a wide range of ideas and synthesizing your own viewpoint. Balance requires considering ideas that may seem contrary to our own on the surface, but if given due attention, may have merit.

How does all of this bring us back to mindfulness and being in this moment?

To cultivate these various ideas, borrowed from physical training, we require mindfulness. For instance, in many cases, our reptilian response might be anger, but the compassionate response is love. And this is the ultimate goal of mindfulness: cultivation of endurance, Carpe Diem mentality, connectivity, cognitive flexibility, and balance.

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Happy Living Celebrates Character Day and You

Happy Living | Blog“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”
(Bruce Lee)

Today is the fourth annual worldwide phenomenon known as Character Day, and we are celebrating you! Over the summer, I wrote a series of posts celebrating Character Day and the virtues of Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence.

Take a look at this four-minute video to see what Character Day is all about.

Happy Living Character Day Workshop

We’re proud to be one of nearly one hundred thousand groups all around the globe hosting a Character Day event today, and we’re welcoming anyone interested in a living a more meaningful, successful and happy life.

Our free workshop will be conducted online from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT today. If it’s not 1:00 yet, there’s still time for you to join us: register here. If you’ve missed the start time, don’t worry! You’ll be able to access a replay after the fact at www.happyliving.com/talks. During the workshop, you’ll be excited and inspired by great films, engaging speakers, and the other people in our group too… and we’ll have lots of fun!

Since the whole idea of Character Day is to focus attention on your character strengths and to become more after the day than you were before it began, we’re hoping you’ll leave inspired—to become more curious or more honest, kinder or more socially responsible, more humble or more grateful.

Remember though that inspiration alone is not powerful enough to make changes in your life! That’s why our workshop will focus on the three questions of the Transformational Process:

  1. WHAT inspires you?
  2. WHY is it important to you?
  3. HOW will you bring it into your life?

Together, we’ll watch some awesome Character Day films, exploring the neuroscience and social science behind character development and taking a look at how we can shape who we are and who we want to become. Then, we’ll discuss WHAT inspired you about the films, and consider WHY. We’ll conclude the workshop by focusing in on the biggest question of all: HOW will you bring the changes you want into your life?

You see, that’s what character development is all about: developing or changing from who you are today, into the more fully realized and optimized person that you want to become, by your own definitions.

So, join us today, and let your own personal adventure begin!

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Freedom is A Great Big Thing

Happy Living | Blog“Freedom is actually a bigger game than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash.”
(Harriet Rubin[1])

Today marks both the 16th year since the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 victims, and the 24th year since the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The anniversary of these horrific attacks slows me down and gets me thinking about and honoring all the men and women who are called to serve. This anniversary reminds me of the tremendous danger of service – both in war overseas and in the streets here at home—and it motivates me to give back, caring for those who have been injured through their service. And, perhaps most importantly of all, it inspires me to celebrate the freedom their service provides. I do that by using my life well.

The Call to Serve

Thinking about the soldiers who fight our wars, I am reminded of Nick Black. Today I honor Nick, and all the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services who, like him, responded to the call to serve. During a Something Significant interview[2] to celebrate Memorial Day, Nick shared his experience of hearing the call:

I went to middle and high school in Northern Virginia and was a senior on 9/11/2001. I always wanted to go into the military but the events on 9/11 sealed the deal. I wanted to serve my country and go toe-to-toe with the people who caused American civilians to jump out of the 100th floor of a burning building.

Nick saw five years of active duty service as an Officer in the United States Army. His first combat duty was a 15-month deployment on the Pakistani border. Then, after re-deploying to Italy for a year, his unit was deployed back to Afghanistan for a second tour, which lasted another 12 months.

Upon leaving the military, which Nick decided to do because he felt he could do more for his country outside the Army than within it, Nick heard a different calling: he co-founded Stop Soldier Suicide with two fellow Officers.

The Danger of Service

Thinking about the police who patrol our streets, I am reminded of Shawn Rogers. Today I honor Shawn, and all the first responders across our nation who, like him, protect us here at home. Two years ago, I interviewed Shawn, a friend and college football teammate, for our Something Significant series.[3] For the final question of the interview, I always ask if there any books or resources the interviewee would like to recommend to our Happy Living community. Shawn’s answer shocked me, as he chose a text that vividly describes how dangerous being a first responder has become. He recommended The Bulletproof Mind, a military guide by Lieutenant colonel Dave Grossman. Shawn said:

It describes the mindset a soldier needs in battle to survive: never give up, and accomplish the mission. When I began my career, we didn’t need such a war-like mindset in law enforcement. Tragically, with the rise of terrorism on the streets of our country, this “battle-ready” mindset is a requirement for every law enforcement officer in the land.

Serving Those Who Serve

Thinking about giving back and caring for those who become injured while engaged in serving others, I am reminded of the U.S. Vets[4]. Today I honor the men and women who serve the United States Veterans Initiative, the nation’s largest non-profit organization providing services to homeless and at-risk veterans. They work in 11 cities across five states, plus Washington, D.C. and the territory of Guam, serving those who serve. Since 1993, more than 50,000 veterans have benefited from U.S. VETS residential services, and 11,000 have found jobs.

You can help U.S. VETS in their mission to ‘serve those who serve’ in two ways.

  1. Give what you can when you can by donating directly.
    http://www.usvetsinc.org/donate/
  2. Share this post with your family and friends. Ask everyone you know to give and share too – because every donation makes a difference, large and small.

Honoring Their Service

Thinking about the freedom their service provides me, I am reminded that Freedom is A Big Thing. Today I honor all the men and women who give (and have given) so that I may live, in freedom.

I honor them with gratitude for the freedom in my life. I have been free to learn, to dream and to pursue those dreams; free to succeed and to fail; free to love whomever I choose and to raise a family, or not; free to own a home and a business; free to think my own thoughts; free to write my own books[5] and develop my own unique philosophies of life.[6] I have been free to pursue the purpose of my own life…as I determine it, and that is no small thing.

I honor those who serve by using my life well and fully, because I know, a big price has been paid for the freedom I enjoy.

On this solemn day, with a full and grateful heart, I honor all the men and women (past, present, and future) who protect freedom, because freedom is a great big thing!

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[1] http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Harriet-Rubin/18056929

[2] Read the full Something Significant interview with Nick Black.

[3] Read the full Something Significant interview with Shawn Rogers.

[4] Read Serve Those Who Served to Protect Your Freedom

[5] Happy Living Books

[6] The Belief Road Map: How to Know Yourself Better and Create Personal Philosophies to Guide the Way to the Life of Your Dreams

Inspiring Women Cover Contest

Happy Living | Cover Contest - Inspiring Women“A book cover is a distillation. It is a haiku of the story.”
(Chip Kidd)

In preparation for our upcoming book, Inspiring Women: Here to Make a Significant Mark on the World, we are getting ready to launch a cover contest!

Cover contests are one of our favorite parts of the book publishing process, because they allow our community to get involved in the things we’re creating. The way we do it is simply: we create a contest on a site called 99 Designs, which allows freelance creatives to design and submit book covers, logos, artwork, etc., and then we wait to see what designs come in. We’ve received over 100 submissions on previous projects, and we’re so excited about what we’ll be receiving in this round!

After the contest closes on September 9th, the Happy Living Team, including our fearless founder and the book’s author, Matt Gersper, will whittle down the selection to our favorite designs. Then comes the best part: we ask you, the Happy Living community, to vote for your favorite cover.

We are launching the contest this Wednesday, September 6th, and voting will begin on this upcoming weekend. We’ll send out an email to everyone on our subscriber list when voting opens, and we’ll also be sharing the voting links on social media.

If you’re looking to get involved but a cover contest isn’t right for you, we invite you to join us a member of the launch team for Inspiring Women. Being on the launch team is a great way to get involved—you’ll receive an advance review copy of the book in PDF form, emailed to you ahead of the launch, and you’ll then share a review of the book. Simple enough! If you’re interested, click here to join!

In the meantime, enjoy the cover contest!

Image via Unsplash | This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click and then purchase we will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for reading & supporting Happy Living!

Inspiring Women: Here to Make a Significant Mark on the World

Happy Living | Blog | Significance“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.”
(Robert Frost)

I’m very excited to announce that Happy Living is close to publishing our fifth book, Inspiring Women. This is the third book[1] authored by our founder, Matt Gersper, and we are targeting its release date for mid-October.

It may seem strange to some that a man would be author of a book about inspiring women, but perhaps it’s not so strange when you know the story behind this book. (That story is shared in the first chapter, which will soon be available for you to read!) For now, here’s the short version:

Matt wrote Inspiring Women because he paid attention as the Universe was sending signs that it was his book to write and because eleven women inspired him with their dedication, discipline, and creativity. Most importantly, they inspired him with their courage in pursuing the paths of their choosing. It is his sincere wish that these women will serve as inspiring role models for girls and women the world over. For it is on that path—the path of one’s own unique and distinctive journey—that you’ll find the way to make a significant mark on the world.

Today, I’d like to present the book title, subtitle, and description we are planning on its Amazon page. Please, let us know what you think.


Title: Inspiring Women

Subtitle: Here to Make a Significant Mark on the World

Description:
Inspiring Women features eleven women deeply immersed in work they love, creating something genuinely connected to who they are, and bringing value to others. Written like a conversation, reading it feels like having a personal chat with these ladies, and getting the real, raw, intimate details about what drives them to do what they do.

Through these conversations, you’ll discover:

Inspiration and significance are sturdy foundations upon which to create a more meaningful, successful, and happy life.

Inspiration may be felt as a gentle nudge within yourself or a bolt of lightning igniting your spirit. No matter how it comes, it’s your heart communicating with you. When an inspiration touches your heart, it’s a signal that that message aligns with your inner spirit. That heart-alignment gives you power to move forward and change your life.

Significance is the big secret to happiness and purpose. We add meaning to our lives through the pursuit of significance. It comes from a daily practice of prioritizing those things that are most important – to you! Significance is dedicating your time, work, and life to something of great meaning to you, which provides value to others, too.

You may think it’s a bit strange that a man would author a book such as this, but perhaps it’s not so strange coming from this man: Matt Gersper is on a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time. While hosting interviews for his blog series, Something Significant, he came upon a long streak of particularly interesting people. He was struck by their differences (author, martial artist, entrepreneur, surgeon, educator, filmmaker, and nutritionist) and by their similarities (courageous, dedicated, disciplined, creative, women). As divergent as their fields of work were, a pattern emerged: each of the women had listened to her own heart, and it had led her to the particular work she now loves. While the work they do is different, they are all doing work that feeds their soul while also benefitting others.

Inspiring Women is a book about eleven women pursuing different paths and leaving their distinctive exclamation marks on the world, written by a man whose sincere hope is that these women will serve as inspiring role models for girls and women the world over to do the same.


Take One More Click to join our book launch team. It’s fun and easy, and we’ll walk you through each step with email instructions

[1] Matt’s first book, co-authored with his daughter, is The Belief Road Map. His second, and also his signature keynote speech subject is Turning Inspiration Into Action

Happy Living Preps for Our Next Book

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.”
(Ovid)

For the next two weeks, Happy Living will be on a different schedule while our fearless founder, Matt Gersper, and the team at Happy Living put the final touches on Matt’s next book, Inspiring Women: Here to Make a Significant Mark on the World. During this period, we will not be releasing a new blog post or podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as usual.

Please check back on Friday, September 1st for the official announcement of the book, along with the official Amazon page set for pre-orders. And if you’d like to get involved in choosing the cover art, we’ll be opening a cover contest on September 6th.

If you’d like to be even more involved, consider joining the book launch team by clicking here.

In the meanwhile, if you are in need of Happy Living content, please check out our two podcast series, Blog Theatre + Something Significant, or browse our archives, which have over 300 blog posts.

Thank you for all your love and support. We couldn’t do it without our great Happy Living Community.

Image via Unsplash | This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click and then purchase we will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for reading & supporting Happy Living!

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