#SpeakOut: On Choosing to Be Happy

#SpeakOut: On Choosing to Be Happy

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx

annesweeny quote queenbeeingWe’re all human, and while we’d ideally be happy and sunshiny all the time, there are those moments (or days) when we find ourselves feeling…less than happy. At that point, we have two choices: continue to be miserable, or change our minds and decide to be happy.

I know it’s sometimes easier said than done, but I want to choose to be happy all the time. (Of course, I’m human, so I have the occasional wallow, just like the next girl!)

That said, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that desire–the desire to be generally happy.


What makes you happy? What are your best tips for getting through a dark spot in your life? Let’s discuss.


I Sing At Stoplights and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

I Sing At Stoplights and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

I’m the sort of person who sings in the car. I don’t mean just humming along, either. I’m talking about a full-on karaoke-style concert from the front seat. But today, as I was out running errands, I noticed something. If I’m at a stoplight or in an otherwise closely populated area where people might catch me singing, I stop.

When I noticed it today, I asked myself why I did this. Was it because I was embarrassed that people might see me singing? Was I afraid that someone would make fun of me?

After thinking about it for a moment, I realized: This was a “leftover” behavior from the days when I cared what people I’d probably never speak to or engage with thought about me. Now, don’t get me wrong–I still want to give people a good impression and I do still care what people who are important to me think (at least to some extent.) But I don’t mind if people know I’m happy or that I like music–and that’s all anyone could technically infer if they did happen to catch me singing behind the wheel.

That’s why today, I decided that I am now the type of person who sings at stoplights.

I don’t know if its because I’m getting…more mature…or if it’s a growth thing, but the more time passes, the more comfortable I feel being who I am when I’m out in the world. Instead of always pretending to be what society or other people think I need to be, I just present myself as I am–and if people give me funny looks or turn their noses up, I no longer take it personally. Instead, I just smile at them and understand that their problem is something within themselves–not with me. More often than I expect, they smile back at me.

I’ve realized that focusing on the positive things, people and events in my life, along with giving myself permission to be my true self in every situation, has made me feel happier overall. And by the law of attraction, happiness breeds more happiness. Worrying about what someone in the grocery store or in the car next to me thinks about me is just a waste of my time and energy.

The best part, I think, is that when I learned to stop focusing on the negative things people thought or said about me and started looking at the good things people said/thought/felt about me, more of those good things came toward me. And those negatives? They’re hardly even there these days. (And if there are/were any, I wouldn’t pay attention to them anyhow.)

Now, I base my opinion of myself not on what other people think, but on what I think. What a concept. As it turns out, I’m pretty cool–even though I sing in the car.

So what about you? Do you feel comfortable enough with who you are to sing at stoplights? Tell me in the comments!

Image Credit: Aka Hige/Flikr

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Inspiration From Will Smith: Just DECIDE!

Inspiration From Will Smith: Just DECIDE!

“Make a choice. Just decide what it’s going to be, who you’re going to be, how you’re going to do it. Just DECIDE! And then from that point the universe is going to get out of your way.” ~Will Smith

I have always liked Will Smith. I first liked him back in the days of The Fresh Prince of BelAire, the days of Parents Just Don’t Understand. Not only was he hilarious, smart and fun to watch, but I really GOT his message back then–parents really DIDN’T understand! (Of course, now I see the opposite side of things, as a parent myself!)

Since then, I’ve enjoyed most of his music and many of his movies. He’s a great musician, a great actor, great comedian…a great family man who isn’t afraid to say it (unlike many of his Hollywood colleagues.) And let’s be honest–he’s not too hard on the eyes either! But I digress…

As I’ve grown up, I’ve watched Will do the same. I’m consistently impressed with him, and even more so since I’ve begun to understand his life philosophy. Once again, I really GET his message, and this time, I understand it on a whole new level. Plus, I love that he and his beautiful and talented wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are raising their children with the same philosophy–and it’s already showing as the Smith kids are already actively following their individual dreams.

Like me, Will believes that every single person alive has unlimited potential, and can choose to do, have and be whatever he or she wants. So today, I thought I would share a great video I found that sort of sums up Will’s life strategies and philosophies. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at the video below.

What do you think? Can you use any of Will’s advice? Let me know in the comments!

In my absence, I’ve been following my passion!

In my absence, I’ve been following my passion!

Image: Julien Tromeur

If you are or were a loyal reader of this blog, you probably noticed that I haven’t posted since the beginning of September. That said, I thought I’d offer a few updates and try to explain my absence.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong–far from it! In fact, I have been following my passion and loving life. So, without further ado, here’s the story.

You all know that I’m the co-founder of The WM Network, which includes The WM Freelance Writer’s Connection, The WM Parenting Connection, The WM Review Connection and The WM Pet Connection. Some of the time, I’ve been working with my partner Alyssa Ast and our wonderful bloggers to continue to build and grow our network. We have made many positive changes in the sites and have grown our communities to include a dedicated LinkedIn group, which has quickly become very active.

Some of you may also know that I released my first book, The Practical Freelance Writer’s Guide to Author Websites, in September of this year. After a couple of revisions and some major formatting stress, I’m pleased to say that sales are going well and I’m generally satisfied with the outcome! The book launched with great reviews! Of course, the marketing challenge goes on, but it’s all worth it in the end. It turns out that the book has been really helpful to many of my fellow freelance writers, so I feel like I’ve done my job here! Plus, as part of my promotional efforts, I’ve been offering free website reviews.

Also, in October, I launched The Lit Chick Show along with fellow writer, Sylvia Massara. Originally, I was the show’s co-host, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I had to cut back on the time I spent working on the show. So now, I’m serving as the show’s technical consultant and occasional guest reporter. Sylvia is now hosting the show on her own, which is ideal since the original concept was her idea, and as a novelist and former actress, her adorable personality shines through on camera.

And in addition to a few new private clients, I have recently accepted a position as a freelance reporter and feature writer with Patch.com.   I am writing for Hazelwood Patch, which is my neighborhood edition that will be officially launching at the end of this month.

So far, I’m really enjoying the gig. I have met my editor personally (which, as many writers know, doesn’t always happen in this digital age), and I am getting the chance to cover local news stories. And in addition to assignments that I’m thrilled to take on, I have successfully pitched two stories to my editor already–just in the first week. Journalism has always been a passion for me, so I’m thrilled to have this new opportunity.

(Note to all my writer friends: Patch is hiring for many different local editions in several states. Click here to find your local Patch if you’re interested.)

I also recently began offering basic website design and maintenance through my freelance business. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a list of some of the sites I’ve designed. 

All of that said, I have also been enjoying spending time with my amazing children and husband, as well as friends and family, and generally focusing on being positive and healthy. I am very happy, but I do miss my blogging here at In Pursuit of Fulfillment, so I am adding this blog back into my weekly schedule.

So tell me, dear readers, how have you been following your passions lately?

Five Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

Five Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

1.  Move your butt. Get up, right now, and move your body for fifteen minutes. Do anything at all–walk, dance, do jumping jacks–clean the house–whatever. Just MOVE. Research shows that as little as 15 minutes of intentional exercise each day can significantly improve your mood.

2. Get out! Of the house, that is. You can even combine this one with exercise and just go for a walk. Or, make a coffee date with a friend. Or go get a pedicure. Just leave the house. Often, a change in environment is the perfect way to change your perspective for the better.

3. Clean something. If you’re feeling stressed and flustered and can’t figure out why, take a look around you. Is your desk cluttered and messy? Your kitchen full of dirty dishes? As your space goes, so goes your Self. Clean up your environment a little, and you’ll find your perspective positively changed. Clearing out the physical clutter helps to clear out the mental clutter.

4. Do something nice for someone. You don’t have to give up your kidney (though that would be honorable), but do something to make someone’s day (or life) a little better, every day. Even if you just let a lady with an antsy two year old in front of you in line at the grocery store (even though she’s got a cart full and you’ve just got a couple of things), you will have done your good deed for the day. You’ll make her day a little easier, and there’s just something about being nice to people that makes you feel good. And since the law of attraction is always at work, putting your energy into doing good things will attract more good things into your life.

5. Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you have to fake it–put a smile on your face. Research indicates that even a forced smile can positively affect your emotions. Going through the motions of being happy, researchers say, “fools” you into actually feeling happy. (Sound familiar? Those who study the law of attraction say that going through the motions–feeling the feelings of having what you want–is a powerful tool for manifesting your desires.)

So what about you? 

What are your best tips for changing a bad mood to a good one?

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