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Coach Shari: Choosing Happiness

Coach Shari: Choosing Happiness
Our life coach columnist reflects on her son moving away to college, and how the experience taught her to find perfection in an imperfect world.


After a long summer at home, we moved my son into his own apartment at college. We carried load after load of his belongings across a courtyard and up two flights of stairs on a record-breaking hot day in Michigan. My son had never laid eyes on this apartment; therefore, he had absolutely no idea what to expect. It felt like 103 degrees in his room as the two fans blew hot air on us. As I helped him put away his clothes and set up the kitchen, he turned to me with a huge smile and sweat pouring down his face and said, "Isn't this the most awesome apartment you have ever seen?"

To be honest, I didn't think it was the most awesome apartment I had ever seen but that doesn't really matter, does it? What matters is his perspective on the situation — and he was beyond happy. What I found so fascinating was his ability to deal with the fact that the apartment was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. In his eyes, it was the most perfect place he had ever seen. Here's the bottom line — he chose happiness. He now had his own place to live, which enabled him to be independent. I believe he coveted this over anything else in life. It didn't matter to him if his friends had more or better, he was grateful for everything that he had at this point. This experience was a great adventure for him and the other stuff just was not going to get in the way of his happiness.

I constantly come across articles that explain how all of us can attain a state of happiness. Let's face it: every girlfriend I work with is searching to find happiness in her life. Some of us have known happiness in the past but have hit a snag in life while others feel they have been on a quest to find happiness their whole life. One thing that I do know is that girlfriends that find happiness have a number of similar qualities. They all seem to approach life in the same manner.

Girlfriends who find happiness (and their inner sass) are very clear on who they are and what they need in life. They are not afraid to take risks and go after what they want in life. Women that find joy in life are aware of their strengths and take part in activities that utilize these strengths daily. They realize that "material possessions" make you happy in the short term but certainly don't keep you happy as time goes on. Happy women know that life is not perfect on a daily basis— their expectations are reasonable. Family and friends play an integral part of their life and they wouldn't have it any other way.

One of the rules that happy women consistently follow is this: they are grateful for what they have in life instead of wanting what they don't have. They appreciate their friends, family, and health on a daily basis. They see the possibilities in each situation. So remember girlfriends— life is an adventure! Don't lose sight of your priorities in life and choose happiness!



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