FIGHT for Your RIGHT to be HAPPY

by Connie Podesta

For All Who Need It

When I wrote my book Redefining Happiness, I did so with so many people in mind. My clients. Audience members. Online followers. Friends. Family. Colleagues. I wrote it redefining-happiness-coverbecause I think in our sometimes crazy world we tend to put a lot of things on the top of our to-do lists and somehow happiness, joy, and celebration seemingly creep to the bottom more often than not. We get busy. Overwhelmed. Worked and worked some more. And here’s the crazy part – you won’t believe how many people feel GUILTY about being happy. About self-care. About having fun. About being “off the clock”. STOP.

Here’s the truth: There’s a lot that we CAN’T control in this world and the stress of that makes people so anxious and even fearful. My goal? Is to help people kick that stress to the curb and instead of fighting for their right to be SAD, or ANGRY, or WORRIED – they’ll instead FIGHT for their RIGHT to be HAPPY. Because I can tell you, as someone who speaks to thousands of people a year and who has counseled countless people as a therapist and human behavior expert – when you fight for your HAPPINESS as hard as you fight for status quo – your whole world changes. Your relationships improve. Your quality of life skyrockets. Your success level goes through the roof. It all starts with putting happiness first.

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Do’s and Don’ts for a Human and Humane Holiday Experience

by Joseph Michelli

Over twenty-five years ago I used to speak about managing the stress of the holidays. Those speeches were loosely based on the book Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season. In it the authors, Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli, essentially focused on four main themes:

  • Prioritize gift-giving to those who truly need your gifts.
  • Engage in activities (across a well-paced holiday season – not just a day) that connect with your deepest personal values.
  • Seek to be a peacemaker among friends and family.
  • Commit to spiritual growth.

Over time, I’ve come to believe we don’t need to, and quite frankly can’t “Unplug the Christmas Machine” – that machine will run even if you or I were to find a way to unplug it.

I suspect our efforts would be better spent focusing on how to create humanity-rich experiences this time of year. To that end, I offer some thoughts which I’ll lovingly call “do’s and don’ts” for the season. These thoughts are targeted in the context of both business and personal life, as they relate to each of these relationships:


Team Members

Family and Friends

Customer Do’s and Don’ts:

Do: Smile. During the holiday crunch a smile and genuine graciousness can stand out and comfort customers.

Don’t: Confuse this Customer With the Last One. When the pace picks up, it’s easy to get into a groove where people blur into “transactions.” You may be doing your 50th identical transaction of the day, but that transaction involves a person and for that person, this is likely their only interaction with you today. Honor people – their visits and their business.


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Fight for What You’re Worth

by Connie Podesta

Why it HAS to Start With You

I’m very blessed to be able to share with amazing people all over the world. From the tens connie podestaof thousands I speak to from the stage each year to my incredible friends on social media – one thing that comes up over and over I find is how people often put their “worth” in someone else’s hands.  In other words, they don’t know their own worth, so the let someone else determine that value. Stop. Please stop.  Here’s the amazing thing about you that perhaps no one ever told you before – you are unique and have gifts that are yours to deliver to the world.  Never be so blinded by what you want, or by what someone else says that you don’t know your own value.

I’ll tell you a personal story that I sometimes get to share when this topic comes up and it’s all about how I had to learn this lesson the hard way. When I was brand new in my speaking career a woman called me to do a job and offered me a fairly low fee.  I was so anxious to get that job that I said sure so fast I didn’t stop to think.  Not only that, I was so eager, I sweetened the pot by saying I’d do all three days of her event for that amount and pay my own expenses.  I was hired! Yeah!  As you might imagine, I worked long and hard those three days.  The same woman that hired me drove me to the airport and handed me the check for that small fee.  Here’s where she impacted my life and career forever. She said, “Let me tell you something Connie, would have paid you ten times as much, but I’m going to give you this and not feel guilty about it.  Because if you are going to go through life and not know your value or how much your worth, then you can’t be mad or blame others for taking advantage of you.  I didn’t take advantage of you. I gave you exactly what you asked for.”

Wow. Talk about a lesson.  That hit me.  And I think it is a lesson everyone should hear.  The truth is how we allow others to treat us is a direct reflection on what we feel we’re worth and how we value ourselves.  So I really think a big secret to success, in relationships and at work is to first truly know your worth and be willing to fight for it. Stand up for it. Believe in it. Because truly if YOU don’t know your value, and understand your worth, how will anyone else?

A lot of people go through life lifting everyone else up around them – EVERYONE but themselves.  Sometimes we’re our own worst critics that way.  So we let others determine what our value is. Let me share this thought.  Be at LEAST as kind to yourself as you are to the other people in your life. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Give yourself kudos for a job well done.  Give yourself permission to take the best possible care of you that you can.  And every day when you look in that mirror know that the person staring back is uniquely valuable and has so much to give the world. Don’t discount that. Not for anything or anyone.

Millennial Alert: How to Handle Older Folks in the Workplace 12 Insights from Someone Who’s Been There, Done That

by Connie Podesta

I recently spoke to a large audience made up mostly of millennials. And they had tons of questions about working with “older people”. And I realized… hey, that’s me! I am always teaching people how to deal with the millennials, but I never teach them how to deal with us. So, in fun, here are a few good tips when working with the rest of us that just might come in handy. Whichever side of the generational fence you’re on – these will be good tips to take with you!

12 Top Millennial Tips for Working with Baby Boomers

1. Make a “voice call” on your phone. I know. It seems archaic. But they seem to like it. ConniePodestaGo figure. It’s a grand way to communicate while hearing a person’s voice at the same time. Even though they are capable of texting, their ADHD skills aren’t as honed as yours and they don’t mind the extra time it takes to get through a conversation. For some reason it makes them feel closer to you when they can attach a voice to the words.

2. Be patient. Give them some leeway if they don’t return your texts immediately within a few seconds. When they were young they had something called “a life” which means they did other things besides having constant communication with their friends. They often go back to those days and have experiences that are phone-free. During those times they may not even look at their phone for minutes at a time. And texting again asking “are you there?” won’t help. You may have to just wait it out. For some reason they seem to be even better focused once they return to the real world of constant chatter.

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Doing What You’ve Never Done

by Darren Hardy

Twenty-four years ago I sold water filters door to door.

Twenty-two years ago I had a real estate franchise.

Eighteen years ago I built an international distribution company.

Twelve years ago I led a turnaround for an educational software company.

Nine years ago I was president of a TV network.

Six years ago I became publisher of this magazine.

Three years ago I wrote a New York Times best-selling book.

Each venture was something I had never done before.

Every time I started something new, I had no prior education, experience or training. Every endeavor was a complete invention or required a massive reinvention.

Once upon a time people worked for one company and then retired with a pension. Later the strategy was to beef up their resumes by climbing the ladder of an industry, working for a few companies and then retiring on stock options.

Those success paths are gone.

If you want to thrive (heck, survive!) in the 21st century, you’ll need to repeatedly reinvent yourself. Let me offer field-tested advice about how to do it successfully.

Five Keys to Reinventing Yourself

1. Leverage your strengths. While each of my endeavors was unique, they had one thing in common—they needed the strengths I had to be successful. We are ALL born with unique gifts, talents and advantages. You do things that most people can’t do (or can’t do as well as you). Identifying these special strengths is the first, most important key to your reinvention.

2. Identify what exhilarates you. Have you asked yourself, What is my passion? The answer doesn’t have to be grandiose, Earth-saving, life-changing or revolutionary. What are the subjects, products, markets, people, activities you really enjoy? What things do you find interesting and stimulating? What fills you with energy just thinking about it? The answers will usually lead toward a rewarding profession.

3. Be willing to step back. To leap into a new industry, you may need to take a step back to learn and study. Be willing to be an apprentice for a while. Find someone who has the success you aspire to and seek his or her mentorship and counsel. Be flexible, patient and teachable. Nothing worthwhile comes without effort and paying the price of  tuition.

4. Be wary of the naysayers. Your friends, family and peers have known you as you have been. Change frightens most people. To many, it is especially frightening to watch someone else have the courage to radically reinvent themselves and chase their dreams. Why? Because it eliminates their excuse for not doing so. It is much easier to try to talk you out of your reinvention rather than act on theirs.

5. Build your support team. Find models, mentors and a peer group who share your ambition and will be allies in your new adventure. Also, indoctrinate yourself with supportive books, magazines (like SUCCESS!), audio programs and seminars as you develop skills, attitudes and knowledge in your new adventure.

Wait no longer: Reinvent yourself into the person you were always meant to be.
Live the life of your grandest vision!

Your friend and SUCCESS mentor, -Darren Hardy

Risk-Taker’s Tool

Risk-Taker’s Tool
Success & Satisfaction Self-Assessment from “You Unstuck”
Libby Gill

This is a self-assessment tool that I developed and have since used with thousands of people to help them determine success and satisfaction levels in ten key areas of work and life. By assigning scores to specific areas, you can begin to see where you’re least satisfied in your life and may want to focus first.

Take a look at the list below. Each item is labeled to represent a major area of your personal or professional life. Think about each section and, as objectively and honestly as you can, rate your satisfaction level in each area of your life on a 1-10 scale, 1 being least satisfied, 10 being most satisfied.
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Springing Into Service

Springing Into Service
Libby Gill

There’s nothing sweeter to a parent than realizing that despite middle school angst and teenage traumas, your child — strike that, your young adult — has turned out better than you could possibly have hoped. Because he (or she) has discovered what it means to serve others.

This Spring has gotten off to an especially sweet start for me because my son Harrison, a freshman at the University of California at San Diego, is spending his Spring Break in the highlands of Guatemala helping build a school in a poverty-stricken rural area. Never a party animal, I knew my son wouldn’t spend his week hanging out playing video games, but I hardly expected him to volunteer to get four inoculations and go wield a hammer for seven days.
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