Want to be happy? Be grateful

A powerful and inspiring “gift” much-needed at a time when we are pausing to give thanks.

Indulge in this opportunity to stop, listen, reflect and act.. And ponder how the gentle act of gratefulness can influence your happiness in life.

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Curious About Your Happiness?

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.03.25 AMI must confess that I subscribe to ‘Notes from the Universe’ from which I receive a note of inspiration Monday through Friday each week.  Some of them are interesting and once in a while one really lands with me, creating an ‘aha’ moment or validating what I already think.


November 21st message was one of validation.  It read:

“You simply cannot know, Kathy, what will make others happy.  But you can always know for yourself. Go for it, The Universe”

(November 21st, 2013 theuniverse@tut.com via tut.ccsend.com)

This rang true for me because I am such a firm believer in owning my own perspectives and valuing them for being just mine.  I need to become curious to understand the perspectives of others and can’t assume I know what they are thinking.

So when I read this I agreed. I can’t assume to know what will make others happy.  And yet as I reflected on these words, I thought of all the times I have wanted those I love to be happy and have made assumptions, based on what makes me happy, attempting to create the situation that would make them happy or at least feel somewhat better.  How do I do this?  I think of what would make me happy in a similar situation and try to recreate this for them.

And I have also been on the other side, when I have felt unhappy for whatever reason and someone close to me has tried to ‘cheer me up’.  They do this by creating a situation they think will make me happy and if anything I feel worse because I then feel as if I have failed them as well – yes I am a people pleaser.

Neither situation has created huge success for me because we can’t assume to know what will make another happy.  In fact, it can be challenging sometimes to know what will make us happy!

I am in the wonderful place of having a new grandson and as I watch how he is cared for (by me as well). I see how we all react when he cries, displays displeasure in anything.  We check his diaper – maybe it need to be changed, check if he is hungry – maybe he needs to be fed or is he just fussy for the sake of being fussy?  It is so difficult to know what to do, how to comfort him when we can’t figure out what is wrong and we all try really hard to comfort him – to make him feel happier.

And yet as those we care about get older, we seem to stop being curious around what could be wrong and move directly to assuming we know how to make someone happy.  I am curious as to how this happens and why?

Generally speaking, we are pretty curious with babies, trying different things, as they can’t express themselves other than through crying or cooing.  Yet once one can use words we tend to move to a place of assumption.

What would it be like for us to become curious with others when we notice they look unhappy or they express this?  What would it be like for us to ask them open questions to better understand what is going on for them, really listening to their issues and supporting them as they explore and move to resolve what is going on for them?

We invite you to stop and think the next time you notice someone you care about is not happy.  What are you curious about?  What can you do to better understand their perspective, what is going on for them?  How can you ensure you see, hear and understand them?


PS- Don’t forget to join our Network Of Women and become a NOW Leader – access the skills you need to become the leader you want.  It’s FREE


What Women Want..


Network Of Women Leaders

A couple of weeks ago we launched a leadership program for female leaders based on our 8 years experience working with leaders to support their skill development and understand their needs to be successful in the workplace.  However, last week we learned that what women want overshadows any need that is required to be successful;  a “want” that I assumed had been addressed many years ago, is that of equality in life, be it in the home or workplace.

You see, last week I learned that a lot of professional women are more concerned with being liked than with being successful.  I learned that women are more likely to judge, criticize, and blame other female co-workers before they would their male coworkers. I learned from Selena Ravinez, author of “Pushback”, that women initiate negotiations 4 times less than men resulting in getting less of what they want—promotion opportunities, plum assignments, and higher pay – and I learned that a lot of professional women still don’t make as much as men.

And then I read a statement that went something like this…

Younger women who assume that the road of equality has already been paved for them are standing in the way of all those women who worked so hard to pave it.

This stopped me in my tracks.  I realized I was one of those women…  a woman who assumed that the workplace was in fact equal.   Or at least, WAY more equal than it actually is.

With this new perspective I found myself observing my kids (7-year-old boy and a 5- year-old girl) at the park last week.  I watched a group of boys who were assertive, vocal and a bit aggressive with each other and the parents smiled at them saying “boys will be boys”, they are “so full of character”.    However, the young girls who were displaying exactly same behavior were told to calm down, stop being so loud and bossy.  The girls were repeatedly told to get along. I would like to note that the girls were in fact getting along really well.  They just weren’t agreeing on everything and had different perspectives on how to play the game.

When a 5-year-old girl asked to play alone she was told she was mean by a parent, however, the 3 year boy who kicked her was told by that same parent that he was “just trying to communicate”.   It reaffirmed that still, today, there is an expectation for young girls to be nice, to be agreeable, to get along with everyone and not be demanding of others.

We can all agree that men and women are in fact equal.  However, HOW we are teaching them to show up, both on the playground and in the boardroom, is NOT equal.  Each time we expect different behavior from our girls than our boys we stand in the way of those who have paved the road before us.  How we teach our girls to play on the playground is how they are going to show up in the boardroom… which explains why women are more concerned with being liked than successful and women are more likely to judge, criticize, blame and shame other women first!  If we are ever going to be truly equal then there should be just one standard for all, one of RESPECT.

So this takes me back to how it all began.  Learning that what women WANT is considered more important than what we actually NEED to get us there: access to the skills that support us in risk taking, negotiation, networking, and managing contentious conversations – all things girls and women are instinctively good at, yet socially are not taught and are expected to shy away from.   As mothers of young girls and as leaders, understanding how to leverage these skills and apply them is going to support us in getting what we truly want.  I honestly don’t see how we are ever going to make this shift unless women invest in what they need to support them in getting what they want.

We know we all agree on the broad issues, but knowing something intellectually is different than embracing it emotionally — and, most importantly, acting on that knowledge.” –Arianna Huffington

Which is the reason we are launching the Network Of Women Leaders (N.O.W. Leaders), a free private online forum for women leaders like you to connect, learn, support each other and act on the knowledge that will produce new results.  It’s a place where you will enhance your health, wealth and success through reflection and discussion.  The forum will introduce new ideas which will help you gain new perspectives and support understanding of how to leverage your current skills so you can become the leader you want and need to be.

The Network Of Women Leaders Forum will offer:

  • A blue print to enhance your health, wealth and success in leadership and in life.
  • Specific tools that female leaders need to achieve what they want which includes and is not limited to: how to connect and engage authentically with others (building your “connection currency”), how to speak your mind and stand up for what you want, how to negotiate to get what you want, how to build trusting relationships (filing your “relationship bank”), how to have contentious conversations with respect, how to make stress your friend, and how to have productive conversations.
  • Interviews and access to female experts in negotiation, financial planning, leadership, communication and healthy living;
  • Member interviews to share their expertise and promote their ideas, services and products.
  • Training modules provided by some of the top experts in their fields;
  • A community to meet other female leaders from around the world, to engage and create conversations while challenging and supporting each other.

Sign up now (for FREE) and get instant access to “How To Make Stress Your Friend” – short video that could save your life and your holidays! In December we will be speaking to a meditation expert who will be sharing brilliant tips as well as a 10 minute guided meditation download that you can access anytime, free of course.

We invite you to continue to pave the path for female leaders, for our daughters, and invest in the skills you need to produce the results you want while enhancing your health, wealth and success.

Join us here 

PS – Did we mention it is FREE .

PPS  – You are going to be asked to create an account (user name and password) in order to access the forum.  No credit card details are needed or wanted.

Follow this link