Small Talk

How to Be Happy

August 15th, 2014

We've all had bad days. Bad periods, in fact! Now, some witty and humorous advice from Laurie Gardner, a Harvard-educated expert in personal development and leadership, in her new book The Road to Shine: A Story of Adventure, Life Lessons, and My Quest for More.


“Virtually every country and culture has an expression that means, 'Life is short; don’t waste it,' yet too many people are settling for less in their lives – at work, in their relationships, with their health, and where they live. Although they sense that there’s more to life than what they’re living, they still keep themselves small instead of allowing themselves to shine," she says.

Here's a sample of that good advice about how to break free and create a life that’s more fun, full, and free:

Settle schmettle. Life’s too short not to live fully.

Choose among the chatter. Of all the voices in your head, follow the one that’s calm, non-judgmental, and clear. That “no duh” is your inner wisdom.

Happiness is an inside job. To be fully happy, make sure that what you do, whom you’re with, and where you live match who you really are.

You already know. The question is why you’re not doing it.

Think like a Spaniard. In Spanish, “esperar” means both to wait and to hope. Instead of trying to control specific outcomes and timing, have faith in “this or something better.”

Unsubscribe from your to-do list. Life is supposed to be fun, not an endless chase of chores.

Celebrate your inner freak. Do or say one “out there” thing daily that you’re sure everyone will judge.

You are what you Tweet. Be as aware of your words as you are of your actions.

Peel the onion, baby. Underneath your excuses are your fears. Under your fears is what’s really holding you back.

Downsize blame. Own your piece, nothing more, nothing less.

Your nose knows. Listen to your gut for when to trust someone and when to keep up your guard. If something smells fishy, it probably is.

Lose the schtick. Recognize when you’re acting a certain way because it’s authentic in that moment versus how others expect you to be.

Let it all out. In a society that values specialization, be proud if you have multiple passions and skills. Michelangelo and DaVinci were the rock stars of their day.

Change is a double-hop. Letting go of what wasn’t working is only the first step. Sticking it out until you get where you want is where true courage lies.

Practice “practical passion.” Balance your dreams with your current reality. If you can’t be a rock star, you can still sing in the shower.

Transform on your own time. Baby steps are as good as a big leap. Just keep moving forward.

Quit if it doesn’t fit. You know you’ve found your purpose when you can’t not do it.

Just answer the call. Your vision’s been on voicemail for too long.

For all those who sense that there must be something more…let the adventure begin.

I like the Spaniard tip... anything here resonate with you?

2 Responses to “How to Be Happy”

  1. Chicken Grease:

    I like what Dennis Prager says [might be paraphrasing here, but, I think he would agree]: "the source of your pain cannnot be the focus of your life. There is so much more to your life."

    You have a great presence on the KHON morning show -- this is something the channel's morning show desperately needed.

  2. Diane Ako:

    Chicken Grease- thanks for the compliment. I'm honored. And I love being back!

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