Hello and happy Monday! This is Susan Hyatt and it’s GO time.
This is the 100th episode in a series of GO podcasts designed to wake you up on your Monday morning and get you going.
In this episode we’re talking about what it means to be happy. Like, really happy. And I’m sharing a personal story that happened on my plane ride last week.
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Last week, I was flying back home after leading a retreat in Savannah, Georgia. The retreat had been amazing—incredible women, big goals, so much ambition and creativity in the room. I was still feeling high from that experience.
So I board the plane, settle in my seat, and buckle in. It’s a quick flight—just an hour or so. I’m sitting next to a man in a suit who gives off a very frustrated, exhausted vibe, almost like he wants everyone around him to know, “I Am A Very Important Business Man—In Case You Didn’t Notice.”
I say “hello” and we start chatting. “Where are you from, where are you heading,” that sort of thing. And then—for the entire duration of this flight, a full 60 minutes, without stopping—this man proceeds to complain, complain, complain.
He complains about his work. He complains about his schedule. He complains about how annoying it is to travel. He complains that he doesn’t even like traveling anymore—he’s already seen everything he’s ever wanted to see. Besides, he lives in a private gated community, and everything he needs is right inside those gates.
I can tell, right away, that this is a person with a deeply cynical worldview. For this man, nothing is ever good enough, and life is just a continual disappointment. You could feel his cynicism dripping in every word.
Eventually, he asks me what I do for work. I explain that I’m a certified life coach, and I tell him about my current projects. I mention my new book, BARE, where I teach women how to love their bodies and stop dieting. I mention that I lead retreats all over the world, and I run a couple training and certification programs.
“I help my clients to create what they crave, get more of whatever they want out of life, and feel strong and happy.”
At this, he scoffs and responds with a really insulting tone. He tells me, “Why would anyone pay for something like that? Besides, deep down, nobody is really ever happy.”
OK. At this point, I’ve had about enough. I decide to call him out on his bullshit. So I tell him:
“Actually, I’m very happy. I wasn’t always, but these days, I can honestly say that I’m in love with my life. Most of my clients learn how to experience deep happiness, too. They learn that it’s not about shutting yourself inside a gated community. It’s about taking down the gates around your heart.”
His eyes bulge. He looks at me with a shocked expression. I get the feeling that I’m the first person who has challenged him in very, very long time. Then he asks, “What’s your corporate coaching rate?”
After that experience, I found myself reflecting on what it means to be happy. Like, really happy.
Is it about flying first class? Is it about getting to travel to gorgeous places like Italy and Greece? Is it about having a personal chef and a closet full of Louis Vuitton bags in every color? Is it about having a super-fit body like one of those women from the Olympic volleyball team?
All of those things are great! But if you’ve got a cynical, pessimistic attitude about the world, then you can have ALL of those things—the money, the villa in Italy, the bags, the body, and more—and you’ll STILL feel unimpressed and unhappy. Just like that guy on the plane.
That’s why the secret to happiness, in my opinion, is to STAY AMAZED.
We have to stay in a state of wonder, appreciation, and amazement.
The fact that Champagne exists… the fact that Netflix exists… the fact that the Internet exists… the fact that anybody with a computer can start their own podcast, like this one… the fact that airplanes exist… the fact that it’s possible to wake up in Evansville, Indiana and fall asleep in Positano, Italy… the fact that someone like Beyonce exists, and that I can listen to her music instantly on a tiny portable device any second I want… All of these things are fucking miraculous! No mater how many times I get to experience these things, I vow to myself, “I will never stop being amazed.”
Make that promise with yourself, too.
“I will never stop being amazed.”
When we stop being amazed, that’s when the world begins to feel very tedious, disappointing, and small.
Never stop being amazed with the world.
Never stop being amazed with yourself, and with everything you’re capable of creating and becoming.
Because this—all of this—is a goddamn miracle.
It’s GO time.
P.S. If you wanna be the first to know when the doors open to my new membership community, BARE Daily, you can sign up right here.