Blog Post

Why Happiness?

Happiness quoteSeptember is about Joy & Happiness, in honor of the JOY Factor Retreat for Women I’m co-facilitating this month with my talented friend & colleague, Julie Hanson.

This happiness idea is loaded, and a little controversial. I’ll unpack more on the topic this month. Perhaps happy people annoy you and today Pharrell’s song makes you want to throw up. Or like me, you remember the smiley faces of the 70’s – I had a patch on my denim workshirt. Then there’s Bobby McFarrin’s catchy “Don’t Worry – Be Happy.” (Earworm alert)

I love the work of Robert Holden and his research and teaching on happiness. Here are a few things I believe are worth sharing with you. (We’ll be exploring some of these concepts more in depth in the retreat.)

Holden suggests:

  • Happiness is like a compass, a sign we are being authentic & true to self, navigating according to our value system
  • Unhappiness is like a dashboard warning light, requiring us to pay attention to something in our life that isn’t working or make an adjustment
  • Happiness is not the absence of sadness; happiness is the capacity to face sadness and to face it with love, not fear. 


Here’s a quick & fun exercise. Take 5 minutes (or more) to jot down a few thoughts in answer to these questions.

Who is the happiest person you know? What specifically have they taught you about happiness?

How are happy people different from you? Observe them.

For example, are they:
More appreciative

Do they:
Take action
Smile more
Take time to play
Have meaningful work

Guess what? The things you notice about how other people are happy? Try one or more of them on for size. So if it seems as though a happy person you know is non-judgmental, perhaps this week you can practice being less judgmental. If you notice people take time for play or self-care, do the same. See if it makes a difference for you. And share or comment on the blog or on the JOY Factor Facebook page

Your happiness is your gift to the world. Happiness is the one life-goal that makes every other goal – like love, abundance, and success – more possible and more meaningful. The more you learn about True happiness, the more you discover who You are, what you really want and what your life is really for. – Robert Holden in Be Happy

By the way, we’ve extended the early registration discount through Sunday September 15th to make the retreat available to those of you who are just learning about it or needed more time to work it into your schedule. Get the details, preview call & registration here.

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