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Self Improvement

Achieving Happiness: Driving Yourself to Happiness



happiness quote from aristotle


Driving Yourself to Happiness

Everything you achieve in a day depends on your attitude that day.  Sure, you can be angry, frustrated and grouchy and still get a lot done, but those accomplishments are diminished by your lousy mood.  The best way to move confidently towards your goals, and get farther and farther each day, is to be happy, regardless of your circumstances.

What is the one attitude killer most of us face before the day even starts?  Our drive to work.  How often has your day been ruined before it begins by a horrible commute?  Did it make you feel out of control to be stuck, with nowhere to go…stewing?  I bet that didn’t make for the most productive workday, and definitely not the most enjoyable.  How could it?  You started in a happiness hole.

But there are some easy techniques you can practice every day to make your commute a lot less tense, or at least keep it from spoiling the other 23 hours in your day.


The Power of Preparation.

Prep yourself for your upcoming ride.  Before you get in the car to drive to work or school or wherever, stop for ten seconds and prepare yourself for traffic.  Say, “I have no control over how long it will take me to get where I’m going, so I’m not going to get upset about it.”  If you tell yourself this every morning, soon enough you’ll discover how easy it is to stay calm and enjoy the ride. Even when it’s really slow.


Make the interior of your car a calming oasis

The sounds you listen to on any long drive can make a world of difference in your mood.  You may love that talk radio station that agrees with all your political views, but how often does their content just make you furious?  Do you arrive at work angry because of what you heard on the news?  Unless your place of work has Secret Service agents outside the door, chances are you’re not going to be able to change anything about the story you heard, and getting angry at the start of the day is not conducive to your happiness.  Save that for the ride home.  The same goes for listening to a morning show that has long commercial breaks that annoy you.  Find the content that gives you the most pleasure – whether it’s a music CD or a podcast or an audiobook – and make sure that’s in your car.  There are podcasts for every taste, and most are free to download to your phone, so do a little research and find the one or two or ten that are right for you. Make your ride into “me time” — a chance to indulge in pleasant entertainment that you otherwise wouldn’t have room for in your day.


Be present. 

Love Your Landmarks.  Have you noticed your route?  Really noticed it?  What’s at the halfway point?  What spot generally means you’re five minutes away from work?  Is there a car dealership along the way that has goofy blow ups?  Is there a billboard with a grammar error that makes you cringe?  Find the regular landmarks along your route and use them not only to mark your distance, but also to make you smile.  Okay, don’t plow into the back of the car in front of you while sightseeing, but starting tomorrow, really pay attention to the view.  There’s a lot more to look at and appreciate than you had realized, and if you think of your commute as going to a museum for an hour each day (or a zoo!), you can have a lot of fun with it.


Be Stimulated.

It’s a Whole Wide World of Happy Colors.  Right now, think of your absolute happiest memory.  Flashback to a moment of your life of unbridled joy.  Now, what color comes to mind with that memory?  Is it your wife’s white dress?  The pink flowers you planted in the first place you lived on your own?  The green door of your high school sweetheart?  The blue jerseys your team wore when they won the national championship?  Imprint your happiest memory with a color.   Got your color?

Look around during your commute and notice how many places you see that color.  Everywhere you see it, let it remind you of that happy memory.  Relive the joy, and be glad this time in your car allowed you to do so.  If this effect wears off, come up with a different memory each week.  Cycle through a few of them.  Make your commute a time to reflect on how happy you’ve been, you are, and you will be again.


Be Kind.  

In the book Happiness as a Second Language, I offer techniques for quickly getting over a bad day, and one of them is to give a compliment to a total stranger.  Buy the guy behind you a cup of coffee.  Do something completely outside yourself and then reward yourself for doing it by dropping the bad mood.  The same can be true of your commute.  Do you see someone desperately trying to change lanes?  Let that person in.  Then, smile to yourself for being a good person.  When I lived in Oakland and worked in San Francisco (perhaps one of the worst commutes on the planet), I decided once a week to pay the Bay Bridge toll for the car behind me.  Those were some of the best days of my week.  In fact, if I knew I was going to have a crummy day at work, I would make sure I covered the car behind me on the way.  That way, at least one awesome thing was guaranteed to happen that day.


If you’re stuck in traffic, getting angry about it will not change your circumstances.  In fact, it’s only likely to make your bad day worse, so relax, stay calm, flash back to a happy memory, find signposts on your way that amuse you or remind you of things you love.  Enjoy this time to think about how awesome your life is.


For more tips and insights on learning Happiness as a Second Language, check out and join the conversation.

Until next time…stay empowered, stay happy!

“Always focus on the front windshield and not the rear view mirror.” –Colin Powell

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Self Improvement

3 small steps that could make the biggest impact on your life



small steps in the right direction

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”Lao Tzu

Every day that passes by, there is someone who is living a life that does not fuel their passion or purpose. Each moment feels like they are just existing or living life by accident. This could be due to fear of change, or limiting beliefs within them that say “you’re not worthy” or “I don’t deserve to be successful”.

It could be a number of things. Believe it or not, I used to be this person. I was stuck in a 9-5 job, in a 7-year relationship that was emotionally draining, and I was 75 lbs. overweight.

Then came that ONE day that would forever change my life. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw what I had become. I didn’t recognize myself. I immediately burst into tears. This was NOT the life I wanted to live. I had neglected the most important person in my world: ME. 

It was then that I had to make an important choice. I decided to take the first step towards creating the life I would often dream about. That very next day, I promised myself that I would do just one thing that made me feel more connected to the goals I wanted to accomplish.

Not two or three. Just one. It didn’t matter how small it was. The point was it was a small step in the RIGHT direction. This has led me to the level of success that I am at today.

Here are three small steps that will help you make that same important decision and transform your life.


3 Small Steps That Could Make a Big Impact In Your Life

1.) Have a heart to heart with yourself.

small steps in the right direction

Take time to get away from people, places, or things, and just spend some time with yourself. In order to truly make any step towards the success you desire, you must have a great sense of self-awareness.

What is it that you want to accomplish and why? What truly makes you happy? What are you passionate about? How will accomplishing this change your life? How would it make you feel?

Be completely honest with yourself, your thoughts, and your intentions. Having these questions in front of you will keep you from going around in circles. They will give you more clarity and vision that should help you determine which small steps you need to take.

As a result, instead of being frustrated or reluctant to leave your comfort zone, you will be more confident now that you have a plan in place.


2.) Do ONE thing everyday that is connected to your goals.

small steps in the right direction

Always remember that you don’t have to always make massive amounts of progress at one time. The important thing is that you are continuously moving in the right direction. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took consistent daily, focused action. Over time, it became one of the most celebrated cities on the planet.

We live in a world that is bombarded with messages of instant gratification. But the truth is, any level of success is the result of a daily routine of the right things done for a certain period of time. That time can vary from days, weeks, months, or even years.

However, throughout the journey, you can see that you are moving closer and closer towards your ultimate goals. Do not underestimate the power of small steps. You will find yourself accomplishing things you never thought possible (and sooner than you anticipated).


3.) Do not measure your level of success by comparing yourself to others.

small steps in the right direction

Success means something different for everyone. You must not become fixated on what media or entertainment portrays as successful. A fulfilling life is more than material possessions. Understand that you can only live the greatest life possible when you have defined what success is to you.

As you begin taking small steps and making progress, focus only on what your desired goals are. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what others are saying, doing, or what they believe success should look like. Too often, we get caught up in what society, current trends, and what the masses portray as “I’ve made it”.

This is your life. Only YOU can determine what accomplishment, achievement, and true success means to you. In fact, one of the reasons why you may be in the position you are in is because you designed your life based on the thoughts and opinions of others. This was my case years ago.



You deserve to be great. You have greatness within you. Sometimes, that can be clouded by limiting beliefs, adversity, or just the many circumstances in life. Think about everything that has happened in your life right up until the point you are reading this article.

I want you to know that everything that happened before NO LONGER MATTERS. What matters now is that today, you have the knowledge of who you are and where you want to go. The ability to change your life is within your grasp and your power.

Today, you have the chance to begin a journey that leads to some amazing and incredible years ahead. The best part about it is that you only need to take small steps in the right direction. So take action now – your dreams are waiting for you!

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Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

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