Taking Happiness Into Your Own Hands: A Lesson from Nataly Kogan

If I get this promotion, I’ll be happier….If I meet Mr. Right, I’ll be happier….If I lose 15 pounds, I’ll be happier.

These are things that many of us tell ourselves on a fairly regular basis. We’re searching for happiness, and, in the process, are placing our happy hopes and dreams in the hands of others. The problem with this, according to Happier founder and CEO Nataly Kogan, is that true, lasting happiness comes from within.

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Nataly spoke to the Castle team about happiness as part of our Spirit Week Wellness day and, since her presentation, I’ve been thinking about the coveted emotion in a new way. Instead of searching for someone or something to make us happy, we need to start figuring out how to find happiness within ourselves.

Nataly explained that she spent a good portion of her teenage and adult years counting on personal and professional achievements to make her feel happy. And those achievements did make her happy, but only for a short time. Soon enough she was right back where she started, striving to achieve something else to bring back the feeling of happiness. Sound familiar? This pattern definitely rings a bell for me.

As a teenager, I constantly felt like I needed to plan out my life and start my path to “success.” Graduate from high school…get into a great college…find my dream job at 22…climb the corporate ladder….meet a man and marry him….have children before I turn 30. If I did these things, I would have a happy life. That was 15 years ago and my path to success didn’t go quite as I had planned. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy! In fact, just letting go of my grand life plans made me feel happy because it took away a lot of the pressure I was placing on myself. I started appreciating the great things that I do have, like a job I love (that I found at 26) and an apartment that feels like home (sans the husband and kids).  I’m not happy 24/7, but who is? To quote Nataly, “Genuine happiness isn’t a void of negative emotions.”

happier websiteThe premise of Happier isn’t to deliver to you the super-secret to a lifetime of unending happiness; it’s to help people find the good things in their life that they can appreciate and be grateful for. And we can all do that. Whether it’s arriving to work early to leisurely read the newspaper before starting a busy day or making the conscious decision to unplug from your phone and email over the weekend and reconnect with someone you care about, we can all create happy moments.

If you’re interested in learning more about Happier, I encourage you to check out the Happier website.  I hope you find their content as inspirational and encouraging as I do.

Peace, Love and Happiness!

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