You know, Taylor Swift is a pretty cool rising star! I’m going to be honest – I don’t qualify as one of her biggest fans… I don’t know all of her songs… I don’t know a whole lot about her beyond what I see in magazine ads, quick posts from others and awards events here and there. What I do know is that every time I happen to catch a glimpse of an interview with this fabulous young woman she leaves a simple yet powerful message from a place of inner confidence… and I LOVE IT!!
This past week, I was traveling and in NYC for a bit. When I’m traveling, mornings are pretty quick for me-getting ready and preparing for the day. Usually, I have music or the television on for background sound. This past week, while staying in one of the hotels in Times Square that affords you the smallest rooms for the most outrageous prices, I was in the shower and could hear the television right outside the door. Taylor was on being interviewed. I’m not sure who was interviewing her but they got to the topic of dating and asked her why she’s so opposed to dating and having “someone special” in her life. She chuckled a bit and shared that she actually wasn’t any of these things. “I just really love my life, and everything that it entails. That being said, I’ve come to a place in my life where I’m just really protective of my happy. That’s just really important to me… more than focusing on trying to get that special someone in my life.”
All I could think was “Yesssssssssss!” She said it so perfectly! And what an important thing for anyone to give thought and energy to in what we know to be just one shot at life. So this got me thinking, of course! How important it is for us to protect our happy, especially in a world where one minute you can be listening to this wonderful message form a beautiful young lady to an interruption from the local news station with “Breaking News…” on the most recent dire situation we’re facing.
So, where do we go from here? How do we actually protect our happy? Well…
1. Choose to be happy…or whatever it is you want to be.
A lot of my most memorable lessons go back to my time as an Eagle on the Heights on Boston College. One of the biggest things I remember learning was that happiness is temporary but joy, joy is everlasting. Whatever you choose as your state of mind and consistent mode of operating, happiness, joy, peace, whatever it is, just make a decision as to what it is. For me, joy just resonates more than happiness. I just feel that for me, joy just has a deeper meaning and comes from more of an inner self-awareness that then allows us to take on situations and experiences that can make us happy for a moment or a season. Either way, just choose and commit to that decision.
What might that sound like? Well, for me, I have decided to be and take joy in everything, understanding that even in tough situations, I don’t have to change this perspective, but I can change the circumstance with my outlook on happiness and joy. Choose.
2. Decide who will be invited and encouraged to benefit from and contribute to your happy.
We all know that the company we keep tells a great deal about us. Our company influences us and how we experience life. Taylor also explained how she decided to host an album preview party with her greatest fans, people she had selected from social media…AT HER HOUSE! The interviewers were shocked asking “who let’s their fans into their home.” She explained that these were the folks she could tell were just for her and had contributed to her success and her happiness, so she decided they would be invited into her space, into her happy, and encouraged to benefit from it. Whoa!
Simple lesson, right? But how many of us keep company that just isn’t good for us…either because we feel bad about shifting our focus from them elsewhere or because we are afraid to let go for fear that they may be the best we’re going to get. Another lesson from my BC days from Dr. Brenda Brown to a group of us on a retreat – “you are not so unworthy of friendship that you have to accept any excuse for it!” Now, I’m not suggesting cutting people off left and right here, but, I do encourage you to decide who will be in your circle? Decide. Don’t let others decide for you.
3. Eliminate detractors to your happy.
I don’t believe this point needs much belaboring but here, my friends, I just remind you that life is way too short to allow people, circumstances and situations to detract from your happy. Some of us have friends we need to let go of. Some of us have to let that guy who really isn’t lifting us up out of our way. Some of us may need to walk away from a current position and look for a new job to fulfill our purpose. I could go on and on but all I’m getting at here is that if there are people, situations and/or circumstances that are not contributing to your happy, again, don’t go cutting people off left and right or just quitting a job, but start thinking about how to shift your focus so that you proactively eliminate the detractors to your happy.
4. Live Fabulously Fierce!
Protecting your happy is all about making your life what you want it to be… discovering every day what makes you you and how fabulous that is… defining how you want to exist in this world based on your revealed purpose, committing to living a life of distinction… living fabulously… fierce!
Protect your happy and for anything that doesn’t hold you true to that? Well… of course, just ‘Shake it Off!’
Farah Bernier is an experienced HR, Sales, and Personal Branding professional. With over 10 years of corporate and independent coaching experience, Farah has developed and leveraged recruiting, analytical, crisis management, executive coaching and consulting skills across various industries, globally.
Ms. Bernier frequently delivers workshops on Personal Brand Building for students of various high schools, colleges and universities as well as professional women and entrepreneurs connected to the Center for Women and Enterprise. She has also served as speaker for various conferences including the Urban League’s Young Professionals’ Network, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and the National Association of Asian Professionals for which she was recognized as Distinguished Speaker. Currently, Ms Bernier serves as the National Talent Management Director for her organization, focused on initiatives to further attract, retain, develop and advance historically underrepresented professionals in the accounting, tax and advisory professions. In her spare time, Farah is committed to Living Fabulously Fierce as a way of spotlighting, encouraging and uplifting the amazing women she finds herself having the opportunities to connect with. Farah enjoys reading, reflecting and releasing stress through intense workouts at the gym. Ms. Bernier is a graduate of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, earned her MBA in Global Studies and Entrepreneurship from Babson College and her Coaching Certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
Meet Farah here… livingfabulouslyfierce.wordpress.com