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It wasn't your typical marriage proposal. There was no fancy diamond ring, no photographer hiding in the bushes and no big surprise to brag about to friends and family. But you know what? It was perfect. It was so "us," and that's all that mattered.
That moment taught me a valuable lesson: happiness looks different for everyone. It took me a loooong time to figure that out (almost three decades, if we're being honest), but once I did, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
We're taught from a young age that our happiness is tied to achieving certain milestones, like getting the perfect job, finding the perfect partner and having the perfect life. But what they don't tell you is that those things might not make you happy. True happiness comes from within, and it's up to each of us to define what that looks like for ourselves.
And that's what I teach in my courses: how to define success and happiness on your own terms. Once you do that, it's so much easier to create an authentic, fulfilling life that brings you joy every single day. So if you're tired of chasing society's version of happiness, let's work together to discover what truly lights you up inside.
I have a confession to make: I love tacos. Like, really love them. And I'm not talking about those bland fast-food tacos, I mean the authentic, mouth-watering tacos that make your taste buds dance.
In fact, I love tacos so much that when I was pregnant, we nicknamed my son The Chorizo Prince. And I've been known to carry fresh tortillas in my purse just in case a craving hit (and trust me, it did!).
Tacos are a very big part of my story. When my husband and I got married, we had a taco feast instead of a fancy sit-down dinner. And one of the first foods my kids learned to make in the kitchen were fresh corn tortillas on a tortilla press!
But tacos are more than just a food to me. They represent Authenticity, one of The Eight Pillars of Happiness that I teach my students. I help them learn how to make T.A.C.O.S. (Totally Authentic and Creative Original Stories) because owning and sharing our stories is key to living a truly authentic life.
So let's embrace our love for tacos (or whatever makes us unique!) and use it to live our most authentic and happy lives.
There's something about James Taylor's music that takes me back to simpler times. I remember long summer road trips as a kid, packed into the family car with my siblings and James Taylor's smooth voice filling the air. It was the sound of hope and possibility.
It was the first real concert I ever attended (I missed a basketball game to be there!).
Even now, as an adult, James Taylor's music has a special place in my heart. When my daughter was born, James Taylor's music was the first thing she heard. And whenever life gets too chaotic, I turn to his playlist to help ground me. It's a small thing, but it's James Taylor has become a way for me to practice the happiness pillar of Feeling, one of The Eight Pillars of Happiness that I teach in my courses.
Because sometimes it's the simple things that can ground us and make all the difference.
"You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend."
If you knew me from the age of 10 to 27, you probably knew Jessica 1.0. Back then, I was still figuring out this whole happiness thing and didn't understand the importance of The Eight Pillars. To be honest, I was struggling with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. It wasn't a great time.
Looking back, I don't blame myself for not having my act together. I wasn't taught the importance of these "soft" skills. Nobody told me that I needed to define success on my terms. Instead, I was just trying to check off all the boxes that I thought would make me happy. And when I didn't find happiness in reaching those goals, I labeled myself a failure.
But now that I understand happiness, it's super important to me. It's why I've made it my life's work to teach the Eight Pillars of Happiness to others. Just because we aren't taught how to be happy doesn't mean we shouldn't be taught these skills.
Science has proven that happiness leads to better health, increased wealth and more connectedness with our world. Shouldn't we all want that for ourselves and each other?
Let me tell you something: I'm a big believer in the power of happiness to make a difference in the world. And I'm not just talking about warm and fuzzy feelings here, I'm talking science. The research shows that when we focus on The Eight Pillars of Happiness, we not only improve our own lives, but we also make the world a better place for everyone.
That's why I'm so passionate about teaching happiness to others. We need more people who are equipped with the skills to create happiness in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. And if you're ready to join me in this mission, I invite you to check out my Sustainable Happiness course. It's designed to help you develop sustainable happiness practices that will benefit you and the world. So let's spread happiness together!
Take a look at our courses and programs and start living your definition of happiness. I'm here to help you along the way.
We are agents of happiness, empowering you to live happier lives and enabling you to add more happy into the lives of others.