The biggest and most complex obstacle you will ever have to overcome is your own mind. Overcome that, and you can overcome anything!
Of course, that’s way easier to say than to do, especially when life as you know it starts falling apart…
Just over a decade ago, Marc and I had to deal with several painful life changes. These included:
- Losing my brother to suicide
- Losing a mutual best friend to death
- Financial unrest following a breadwinning employment layoff
- Breaking ties with a loved one who repeatedly betrayed us
It all happened so quickly, too! The pain of those experiences compounded on one another in quick succession, knocking us down and driving the wind right out of our sails for a couple years straight. At times, we felt like we had absolutely no strength left to push onward.
But, as we navigated our new reality one step at a time—facing the pain instead of distracting ourselves from it—we stumbled across morsels of strength and wisdom that we began to collect and build on. We gradually learned how to catch ourselves in negative states of emotional turmoil, so we could overcome the emotions that had once overcome us. All details aside, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could to take one tiny step every day—one journal entry, one 10-minute workout, one honest conversation, and so forth. It wasn’t easy, but the tiny steps were manageable and we gradually grew stronger.
And with each passing day, we saw more beauty hidden in life’s most painful changes.
You see, the most painful changes in life—even deaths—are simply endings, which are all a necessary part of living. And all endings are necessary for beauty, too—otherwise it’s impossible to appreciate someone or something, because they are unlimited. Limits illuminate beauty—they are reminders that we need to be aware of this beautiful person or situation, and appreciate this beautiful thing called life. Every ending is also a beginning, because while we have lost someone or something special, this ending, like every loss, is a moment of reinvention. Although heartbreaking, it forces us to reinvent our lives, and in this reinvention is an opportunity to experience beauty in new, unseen ways and places. And, of course, every ending is an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful, ever-changing journey we’re on, and to be grateful for what it has showed us and taught us along the way.
Getting to this point of understanding—changing your perspective—again, is far from easy. But it’s honestly worth every bit of effort you can muster, no matter how many times you need to remind yourself.
We all need a reminder sometimes…
Because we so easily forget how important it is to face the unexpected losses and painful life changes we’re going to encounter no matter how much we try to avoid them—to face down our pain and negative thinking and leverage it to get back up and take the next step. Yes, we need to be reminded to actually get up and DO the hard things we need to do to be happy again. The things that frighten us. The things others can’t do for us. The things that make the difference between existing and living—between knowing the path and walking the path—between a life of empty promises and defeat and one filled with renewed happiness, possibility and peace.
And that’s why Marc and I wrote our brand new book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs, to be that daily reminder for anyone who’s struggling to change their situation for the better. It’s a dynamic and actionable guide for taking life day by day and focusing on the little things that make a lasting difference. This book represents the culmination of hundreds of hours of work with course students, live event attendees, and lots of one-on-one work with each other, too…
And, here’s why Alyssa Milano happily wrote the foreword…
“With the help of Marc and Angel’s hard-won insights, we can always find a way to pick ourselves up, reframe our mindset to see the bigger picture, and take that first step back to happy.” —Alyssa Milano
Yes, that’s a quick snippet of what Alyssa Milano had to say in the foreword to Getting Back to Happy.
But, why did a famous, renowned actress and activist like her decide to write this foreword for a couple of coaches and authors like us?
Perhaps another slightly longer snippet from her foreword will clarify things:
“In my own journey to uncover who I truly am, and to find—and use—my voice for what I believe in, I’ve been lucky enough to meet many kindred spirits along the way, many of them online. Marc and Angel are among the fellow travelers I’ve come to value the most. Their honesty and clarity, and the generous way they share what they’ve learned for themselves, are gifts I’ve truly cherished. Sharing their ideas with others online is a way of paying forward what I’ve learned, in the hope that others will gain some insight and strength, and in turn spread the word even further. The pain of self-doubt and the isolation of modern life can make us feel like we’re the only ones struggling, while everyone else is picture-perfect. That’s why it’s so important to share not just our triumphs but also our setbacks, to “show our work” when we’re in the thick of tough times. Marc and Angel do just that—keeping it real, and creating a community of kindred spirits that gathers together in strength, growing and learning along the way.” —Alyssa Milano
In life our insights are often hard won, as Alyssa points out. And, ten years ago, when Marc and I were desperately struggling after losing two loved ones back-to-back to suicide and illness, we decided to be transparent about our story, our struggles, and our depression. And we also decided to share the tiny daily steps we were taking to cope, to heal, to grow, and ultimately to get our lives back on track. We shared all of this online via Facebook, Twitter, email, and our blog, and Alyssa was one of the people who resonated with our story and followed our journey right from the get-go… because she found personal value in what we were sharing.
And then, she continued to follow our work over the years that followed, primarily because we didn’t stop sharing what we were learning.
As Marc and I have learned—and as you’ve probably encountered too—there’s little doubt that our most important insights come directly from our hardest challenges. But we can also take these insights and pay them forward, sharing them with others in hopes that our insights might shine a light for other people who are struggling down their own paths.
The opportunity to pay forward what we’ve learned inspires us continuously in our work, whether it’s through our blog, our renowned Getting Back to Happy course and coaching, our annual Think Better Live Better conference, our books, and everything else we do. And, it’s also one of the biggest reasons we wrote our newest book, also titled Getting Back to Happy, as you know. Everything we’ve learned in the past decade of coaching and teaching others about how to build a happier life is distilled into this book.
Never before have we put it all in one place like this in such an accessible way.
In fact, here’s a sneak peek of the table of contents, so you can get an idea of what Getting Back to Happy has to offer:
- Rituals: Practice Daily What You Want To Manifest Regularly
- Mindfulness: Ease Out of Busyness and Into Awareness
- Letting Go: Surrender Attachments that Are Holding You Back
- Self-Love: Commit to Putting Yourself on Your To-Do List
- Mornings & Evenings: Establish Control with a Thoughtful Beginning and End to Every Day
- Perspective: Find Beauty in Life’s Difficulties
- Situation: Embrace Change and Take Action When Necessary
- Motivation: Harness Your Inner Drive and Keep Moving Forward
- Relationships: Foster the Loving Connections You Deserve
- Happiness: Nurture an Inner and Outer Environment that Fulfills You
When we reached out to Alyssa and shared the idea and outline of the book with her, she immediately said “yes” to writing the foreword. Specifically, she said she was “honored to be given the chance to continue paying it forward.”
We’re sincerely excited…
Getting Back to Happy is honestly the book we’ve wanted to write ever since we started on this journey, one that began with our personal struggle and evolved into a multifaceted coaching practice that has positively impacted the lives of thousands of amazing people, just like Alyssa.
I sincerely wish I could have read it a decade ago. In many ways, it would have saved me from myself. It absolutely would have saved me from intense periods of darkness that were born primarily from my subconscious attempt to take the easy way out of the painful realities I faced.
So yes, this is a big deal, and we’re excited to share Getting Back to Happy with YOU (which will be officially released this Tuesday). In fact, we’re so excited that we’re also giving away over $50 in bonuses to the first 2,000 blog readers that pre-order the book (including One Day at a Time, our 60-day workbook for implementing rewarding, lifelong rituals, and Daily Reminders We Need to Read Every Morning, with prompts that guide you to start each day in a mindful state, so you can focus and get the right things done). You’ll want to act quickly, though, because we already have 1,907 pre-orders booked as of this morning. 🙂
Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out this 2-minute video (the official book trailer):
Above all, what you need to remember is that it’s ultimately your choice…
Yes, it’s your choice.
You are choosing right now.
And if you’re choosing…
to be stuck in the past…
to act like a victim…
to feel insecure…
to feel anger…
to feel hate…
to be naïve…
to ignore your intuition…
to ignore good advice…
to give up…
…then it’s time to choose differently.
But, let me also remind you that you are not alone. Generations of human beings in your family tree have chosen. Human beings around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time or another. And we stand behind you now whispering:
Choose to let go.
Choose to be present.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to see the possibilities.
Choose to find meaning.
Choose to prove you’re not a victim.
And of course, if there’s anything else Marc and I can do to assist you, please don’t hesitate to leave a reply below.
PS. Pre-ordering the new book on or before the official release on Tuesday helps us out tremendously. We’d greatly appreciate YOUR SUPPORT today.
PPS. I’m also excited (and pretty darn nervous) to announce that Marc and I will be on NBC’s Megyn Kelly TODAY show Monday, May 21 to support Getting Back to Happy’s release. Tune in if you’re able…