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The Key to Happiness?

Since it's a new year and a fresh start for everyone- I wanted to get real with y'all for a minute. I don't go into my personal life very often because I prefer to keep my work life and my personal life separate, but this applies to both. Disclaimer: I am by no means a psychologist, motivational coach, therapist or anything else.

I have always believed that happiness is a choice and if you don't like the situation you're in (no matter what it is), you should do something about it and change it. I know that changing your situation isn't always easy and sometimes takes time, but I do feel that if you are going to continually complain or be miserable about something then you either need to do something about it or just accept it. For example, if you're unhappy with your job, but you have bills to pay, you can't just up and quit your job. HOWEVER, you can network and apply for jobs in your spare time, you can take classes to educate yourself for other jobs, etc, to work towards obtaining a new job aka changing your situation.

I've always been a confident person and generally happy with my life. However, I didn't realize until recently, how much my overall happiness effected my professional life. I am in a completely different place now than when I first started my career in optical and even more so from when I started in the working world full time after college. I allowed whatever was going on in my personal life to effect my professional life. I have gone through a lot personally as an adult (my brother passing at 17yro, a bad 6.5yr relationship that ultimately ended b/c of an affair, an abusive relationship, sexual assault by an ex, failed jobs, being completely broke, etc), and it wasn't until I decided enough was enough that I REALLY focused on my career. I always had goals and wanted to be successful, but I let my personal life get in the way. When I hit rock bottom (MY real rock bottom, b/c I definitely had thought I had hit it before) I decided that while I can't control everything, I can control how hard I work and my happiness. I worked on myself both personally and professionally. I read anything and everything that would help me with sales and understanding the optical industry better. I prayed, went to therapy, listened to podcasts and I really focused on myself. I learned to say no to things I didn't want and I made self-care a priority.

My life has completely changed in the last 2 years. I will never be an optimist or super emotional, but I can honestly say that I am 100% happy with my life. Of course there are aspects that I'm still working on- like crushing my new position with Ray-Ban and learning to let go of things that don't matter or effect me- but due to my overall happiness, my career has accelerated. I started working harder, I strategized, I made the effort to try new things to grow my sales as opposed to just accepting objections or being the victim of of bad circumstances. Apparently, positive feelings make your brain work better. Who would have thought? Well evidently, quite a few people, as there are studies about the impact of one's happiness on their success. Neuroscience has proven happiness is a precursor to success and there are over two decades of research to support this. You can read details on this from the American Psychology Association here.

Happiness is the precursor to success and success is based on dedication. Choose to be happy then focus on your goals and work towards them. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, (It actually took several hundred years). Take the time to reset for 2019. Write down what you want to achieve this year, big and small and always be sure to have a deadline for your goals. This Forbes article from November, discusses the happiness and success correlation and also lists 4 things you can do (from positive psychology leaders) to help you make your happiness a priority. I highly recommend you read it.

I leave you with this: Choosing to be happy can be the difference between leading a fulfilling, joyful and successful life and living far below your potential.


Alana aka California Glasses Girl

Ps. If you're dealing with depression, I know it's not that simple for you. And that is absolutely OK and there is nothing wrong with that. I'm so over the stigma of mental health. Maybe start with the simple goal of finding 1 thing to be happy about each day or talk with your doctor about new ways to manage your depression that might increase your chance of beating it.

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