"Happiness is an inside job; if we're not happy within ourselves, life can be pretty miserable." (2023)

"Happiness is an inside job; if we're not happy within ourselves, life can be pretty miserable." (1)

Because happiness is an inside job; worldly success is an inside job; and peace of mind is an inside job. Love is also an inside job. Ultimately, we all live in our own minds, in our own bodies, in our own hearts. If we are not happy within ourselves, life can be pretty miserable.

I had the pleasure of interviewing BJ Gallagher, who is a popular speaker and author with over 30 books. His international bestseller “A Peacock in the Land of the Penguins” (Berrett-Koehler) is published in 23 languages ​​worldwide. Her books for women include: Everything I Need to Know I've Learned from Other Women (Conari Press), Why Don't I Do the Things I Know Are Good for Me? (Penguin/Berkley) and oil for your lamp: women who take care of themselves (simple truths). His new book, Your Life Is Your Prayer (Mango Publishing), is due out in April 2019. BJ has been featured on CBS Evening News, Today Show, Fox News, PBS, CNN, and other television and radio programs. She is widely cited in numerous newspapers, women's magazines and websites including: O the Oprah magazine, Redbook, Woman's World, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Orlando Sentinel, Financial Times (UK), Guardian ( UK), MSNBC.com, CareerBuilder.com, CNN.com, Forbes.com, among others.

Thank you for joining us! I would like to start by asking you to tell us what led you to this particular career path.

When I was little, my favorite game was school. It's still like that today. I love everything related to learning: books, folders, papers, binders, blackboards, whiteboards, classrooms, conference rooms. I love being a student and I love being a teacher. I love to write books and I love to read them. I love discussion and debate, exploration and experimentation in life. I love learning new things, especially about human nature, and I also love helping others learn. So my entire career has been one of continual learning, continual discovery, and continual growth and development.

Are you currently working on exciting new projects? How do you hope they can help people on their journey to self-understanding or a better sense of well-being in their relationships?

A new book will be published in April: "Your life is your prayer" (Mango Publishing). My goal is to help people discover the spiritual power in everything they think, say and do. What you eat is a sentence; their conversations are sentences; how you spend your money is a sentence; Your work is a sentence; Self-care is your prayer; his driving is a sentence; your thoughts are prayers; In short, your life is your prayer.

Do you have a personal story to share with our readers about your struggles or achievements on your journey to self-understanding and self-love? Has there ever been a turning point that triggered a shift in your sense of self-acceptance?

When I was 51 I adopted my first dog, Fannie. Until then he had always been a cat lover. One day I was walking with young Fannie when my neighbor Peter stopped to say hello as I walked by. Peter is a spiritual guy, a member of Self Realization Fellowship (SRF), and I've always liked him. We chatted for a few minutes and he commented on how cute the dog was. I told him with the pride of a new pet parent that I had enrolled Fannie in dog school. "I promise to be a good dog owner," I said.

Peter nodded and smiled as he said, "Remember...dogs respond best to loving training, just like humans." Then he said goodbye and went on his way. But his words have touched me ever since.

I thought about how many times I'd been hard on myself over the years. My inner critic seemed implacable. I held myself to a high standard...but often fell short. He always verbally abused me.

Peter's words changed all that. I've been thinking about your message. I realized, "I would never talk to my dog ​​the way I talk to myself. I would never yell at my dog; I would not verbally abuse her. I wouldn't tell her she's stupid or useless. However, I've done this to myself many times. Peter's advice made me realize that if I were wise, I would raise myself and my dog ​​with love, compassion, patience, and kindness.

After this conversation with Peter, I started to change my internal conversation. I discovered better ways to develop new habits. And I promised to raise myself with love as I raise my pup.

According to a recently cited study inCosmopolitanIn the United States, only about 28% of men and 26% of women are "very happy with their appearance." Can you name some of the causes and the consequences?

There are various reasons why people worry about their appearance: some are programmed, others are learned. Humans are social creatures, beasts of burden to be exact. However, most people ignore our animal nature when trying to understand our own behavior. But when we study other social creatures - wolves, elephants, lions, dogs, dolphins and others - much of our own behavior becomes much more understandable.

For example, the biological imperative to perpetuate one's genes in the gene pool manifests itself in our mating behavior: the stronger the male, the higher his status in the pack; in women, the younger, healthier, and more fertile they are, the higher male status they can attract, thus securing their own future and that of their offspring. According to our brain programming, certain physical traits are associated with health, vitality, and longevity, so we are instinctively attracted to those traits of the opposite sex. Those who display these traits are less attractive, reducing the number of potential mates and making it less likely that their genes will be passed on to future generations. This fear of mating potential is experienced as dissatisfaction with appearance. From a sociobiological point of view, this all makes a lot of sense.

Human men compete with other men for the most attractive women; and human women compete with each other for the men of the highest status. So we are all very aware of the state. We are chronically concerned about how we compare to others in our pack. It's an integral part of who we are: painfully insecure about our status and concerned about our social position.

Various aspects of modern human society simply reinforce our natural concern for our appearance: advertising, career aspirations, peer pressure, etc.

As cheesy as it may seem to really understand yourself and "love yourself," can you give our readers a few reasons why it's so important?

Because happiness is an inside job; worldly success is an inside job; and peace of mind is an inside job. Love is also an inside job. Ultimately, we all live in our own minds, in our own bodies, in our own hearts. If we are not happy within ourselves, life can be pretty miserable.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give our readers in this regard?

Oh god, there are probably a million reasons people stay in mediocre relationships: financial reasons, emotional reasons, social reasons, family reasons, spiritual reasons, and combinations thereof.

Probably the main reason people stay in unsatisfactory relationships is indolence: a body at rest tends to stay at rest. It takes energy to leave a relationship, especially a long-term one. It takes energy, time, determination and persistence to get out of a relationship. It's often easier to sit still and not make any changes.

Peer pressure also plays a part: Worrying about what others will think can keep you in a relationship you'd rather end.

And fear keeps many people in mediocre relationships, especially fear of the unknown. Many people believe that "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know." When you end your relationship, how do you know your next relationship won't be even worse?

Your pain tolerance also plays a role. If you have a high pain tolerance, you can stay in an unhappy relationship much longer than if you have a low pain tolerance. As a wise friend once said, "Some people change when they see the light...but most people only change when they feel the heat." For many people, the pain of sitting still must become unbearable before they can change . It's the pain that finally pushes her out the door.

When we talk about self-love and self-understanding, we don't necessarily mean loving and accepting ourselves for who we are. Self-understanding often requires that we reflect and ask ourselves the difficult questions to perhaps recognize where we need to make changes in ourselves to become better not only for ourselves but also for our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that transcend the safe space of comfort that we're fond of cultivating and that our readers want to ask themselves? Can you give an example of a time when you needed to reflect and recognize how you needed to make changes?

If things don't go that way, I first look in the mirror for answers. I wonder:

- How did I contribute to the creation of this situation? what is my role

- What's the conversation in my head? What stories am I telling myself?

- What kind of people do I attract into my life? How do they reflect aspects of me...aspects that I'm not aware of?

- What can I learn about myself from this?

- Who do I contact with this problem?

- Are there ways to make this situation work for me instead of against me?

- Are there blessings and gifts here that I may not see?

- What steps can I take to start troubleshooting this issue?

These are just some of the questions I would ask myself. I would also pray for discernment and guidance. And I sought help from trusted advisors.

Many really don't know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have and practice this ability to truly be with ourselves and alone (literally or metaphorically)?

People live with a lot of existential agony. Deep down, we all have three main fears: (1) the fear of being incompetent, (2) the achievement of being insignificant, and (3) the fear of being unlovable. We experience these fears all the time, whether we are alone or with other people. But for many people, loneliness amplifies these fears. When they don't have friends, family, co-workers, or other people around to engage us in the interaction, their fears seem to grow, making the anxiety unbearable. Hence, these people go to great lengths to ensure that they are never alone.

There's nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with loneliness or having a strong desire for companionship and connection with others. But the aversion to loneliness may be worth investigating, simply for the sake of self-knowledge. Hopefully, the more we know ourselves, the more we can grow in our self-acceptance and the more comfortable we feel in our own skin.

How does reaching a certain level of self-understanding and self-love affect your ability to connect with others and deepen your relationships?

The more comfortable we are in our own skin, the more comfortable we can be in authentic relationships with others. We will not feel the need to wear a mask or armor, or to please people, or to protect our thoughts and feelings. We can be vulnerable because we know that vulnerability is a strength. We don't feel the need to protect our hearts. When we learn to tell ourselves the truth about who we are and who we are not, we can more easily share that truth with others and help them do the same.

In your experience, what can a) individuals and b) society do to make people better understand and accept each other?

More than a thousand years ago, the Oracle of Delphi admonished people: "Know thyself." Today we are fortunate to live in a time and place where we can take many avenues of self-knowledge and self-acceptance: therapy, self-help books, Psychology courses, workshops, seminars, wise teachers, support groups, hypnotherapy, journal keeping and other types of writing for understanding and perception, dream analysis, art therapy, silent retreats, travel experiences, therapeutic medicines, spiritual advisors and much more. Individuals and societies can engage in whatever form of self-enquiry they find most fruitful and beneficial.

And I want to make a suggestion: if you are striving for self-knowledge and cultivating self-acceptance, ask for help. Get help from people you trust and whose wisdom you respect. Remember...no one can do it for you, but you can't do it alone.

What are 5 strategies you use to maintain your connection and love for yourself that our readers can learn from? For each one, could you please provide a story or an example?

1. I meditate for 20 minutes every morning and every evening. I practice Transcendental Meditation (TM). After my morning meditation, I also read some spiritual literature. And I say a prayer of thanksgiving as well as a prayer for guidance through the day.

2. I participate in various self-help groups. I have learned: "What is divisible is bearable". Sharing my life with others helps lighten the load, especially of painful events and feelings. Support groups also give me the opportunity to learn from the experiences and perspectives of others.

3. I write a lot, especially when I'm angry, resentful, or dealing with other negative feelings. After writing, I usually call a friend or spiritual advisor and read aloud what I've written. I ask for feedback; I ask for judgment; I am asking for additional perspectives on my situation.

4. I have a great sense of humor and use it every day. When I make a mistake, get in trouble, do something stupid, I say to myself, "Oh BJ, you really have a weird way of life." So I laugh to myself. I see how flawed I am, how stupid I can be at times, and how often I make mistakes. And I laugh a little more. I love this quote: "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly." I consider myself light... very light.

5. I set myself up for success. I set small, achievable goals. Without big, great and impossible goals: you will doom me to frustration and failure. I set myself humble goals that move me in the right direction. I treat myself like my dog: I use "gradual approach" to achieve my goals. Example: A few years ago, my friend Karen decided to go to the gym. He got in his car, drove to the gym, parked the car, got out, walked to the door and looked out the glass window. He saw all the skinny women in leggings so he turned and went home. When Karen got home, she patted herself on the back and said, "Good girl! You went to the gym. Maybe next time you'll walk through the door. Baby steps in the right direction: that's the name of the game.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you like about each one and how do you like it?

Over the years several books have deeply influenced me and changed the direction of my spiritual/emotional journey:

- Gifted children's drama by Alice Miller

- Hide and seek, by Corrie ten Boom

- Man's search for meaning, by Viktor Frankl

- Night, by Elie Wiesel

- Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood

- No More Codependents, by Melody Beattie

- Women Who Buy Too Much by Carolyn Wesson

- When society is addicted, by Anne Wilson Schaef

- The Wounded Healer, by Henri Nouwen

- Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman

I'm also a huge Byron Katie fan. I attended a weekend workshop with her a few years ago. She gave me the keys to unlocking the prison of my own stories: about my parents, about the men in my life, and about the nature of love. I highly recommend Katie's books, CDs and workshops to anyone seeking emotional freedom. I love her question: "Who would you be without your story?"

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring about the greatest good for most people, what would it be? Maybe we can inspire our readers to get started...

I would not start a new movement. I would recommend people to join a worldwide movement that has been around for decades: the 12 Step Movement. The best therapy, deepest insights, and greatest healing I've experienced came from Codependents Anonymous (CODA) weekly meetings for people raised in dysfunctional families, and Al-Anon for anyone who has a parent or... Have a spouse, child, sibling, or close friend who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. The world is full of emotionally damaged, deeply hurt, atrophied, deformed, and insane people, and we all need to confront them—at work, in our families, and in our communities. CODA and Al-Anon are the best sources of wisdom and guidance I have found for living in our crazy world.

Can you tell us your favorite "life lesson quote" that you use as a guide? Can you share how this has been relevant to your life and how our readers can learn to measure themselves in their lives?

Oh god there are so many "life lesson quotes" I use in my life. One of my favorites is: "Angels can fly because they take it easy." by G.K. Chesterton: Reminds me to take life seriously but take it lightly, cheer and laugh and not worry about the little things.

Another favorite: Barry Neil Kaufman's "Happiness Is a Choice" reminds me that I can always choose happiness in any situation.

When life throws horse shit at me, I remind myself, "There must be a pony around here somewhere. find the pony This was Ronald Reagan's advice to his team when something went wrong: "Find the pony".

When someone criticizes me, I like to remind them that "Feedback is the breakfast of champions". Ken Blanchard taught me that feedback is always helpful, whether it's good, bad, or downright ugly. Any feedback other people give me is an opportunity to learn about myself and the other person. Everything is grist to the mill of personal growth.

"Those who least deserve love are those who need it most." I saw this many years ago in a church tent in North Carolina. It's the hardest thing to live, but it's worth it. The people in my life who are difficult are the ones who are suffering; those who act questionably wrestle with themselves. "Be nice, everyone you meet is fighting an uphill battle." (Plato)

And Tolstoy's advice: "Everyone thinks about changing the world, but nobody thinks about changing themselves." Life is an inside job: I start with myself. I have to BE the change I want to see in the world.

It's hard to pick a favourite, but I love it: "Celebrate what is right in the world!" It's a quote from Dewitt Jones, who travels the world for National Geographic photographing the wonders of Mother Nature. When I focus on what is right in the world instead of what is wrong, my day, my world, changes.

And a life lesson quote I've seen so many times: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. Don't put off the good things until later. Enjoy life now. Travel now. Now splurge. Taste the sweetness of life now.

Thank you for your time and your inspiring ideas!


What does the quote happiness is an inside job mean? ›

Taking the phrase quite literally, there are two components to the claim that happiness is an inside job we need to think about. Firstly, that happiness happens inside of us. Secondly, that is a job — in other words, not something that happens naturally to us, but something we need to work at.

Who said happiness is an inside job don't assign anyone else that much power over your life? ›

Don't assign anyone else that much power over your life. -Mandy Hale.

Who said happiness is an inside job? ›

William Arthur Ward - Happiness is an inside job.

How is happiness a state of mind? ›

Happiness is a state of mind. You can have everything and still be miserable, or you can have relatively little and feel great joy. If you focus on what you have, you will be happy. If you focus on what you don't have, you will be miserable.

What are the main points of the documentary Inside Job? ›

A major theme is the pressure from the financial industry on the political process to avoid regulation, and the ways that it is exerted. One conflict discussed is the prevalence of the revolving door, whereby financial regulators can be hired within the financial sector upon leaving government and make millions.

Why finding meaning at work is more important than feeling happy? ›

Separate McKinsey research from 2022 showed 70% of employees say their personal sense of purpose is defined by their work, and when that work feels meaningful, they perform better, are much more committed and are about half as likely to go looking for a new job.

What did Helen Keller say about happiness? ›

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." "We are never really happy until we try to brighten the lives of others." "I take happiness very seriously. It is a creed, a philosophy and an objective."

What did Mark Twain say about happiness? ›

Happiness ain't a thing in itself--it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. As soon as the novelty is over and the force of contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh.

What does Henry David Thoreau have to say about happiness? ›

Henry David Thoreau said, "Happiness is like a #butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

What did Abraham Lincoln say about happiness? ›

Abraham Lincoln said this more than 150 years ago, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be," and it's as true today as when he first said it. Even when we are in the midst of daunting circumstances, there is still so much to be happy about and grateful for.

What did Joseph Campbell say about happiness? ›

The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy — not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.

Did Marcus Aurelius say the happiness of your life? ›

Marcus Aurelius Quotes

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

What are the 3 keys to happiness? ›

The Three Keys to Happiness

Scientists have found that the three things that make people most happy are PLEASURE (doing things you enjoy), ENGAGEMENT (feeling interested in your activities and connected to others), and MEANING (feeling like what you do matters).

What makes a person truly happy? ›

Besides close relationships, there are two other things that predict happiness in people: having a job or hobby that they love and that challenges them and helping others through volunteer work, random acts of kindness or another type of prosocial behavior. All three of these things make sense.

What brings true happiness? ›

True happiness is enjoying your own company and living in peace and harmony with your body, mind and soul. To be truly happy, you don't need other people or material things. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort and living a life of purpose.

What is the lesson of the Inside Job? ›

The essay centers on the movie “Inside Job” directed by Charles Ferguson whose key message is the portrayal of moral behaviours, as presented by the director, in relation to the real-life job scenario. The movie exposes the economic flaws that the US government had perpetrated (Ferguson, 2010).

What is an example of Inside Job? ›

An inside job is a crime, usually larceny, robbery, or embezzlement, committed by a person or persons in a position of trust who is authorized to access a location or procedure with little or no supervision, e.g., a key employee or manager.

What is the main idea of the documentary? ›

Defining Documentary

"Documentaries bring viewers into new worlds and experiences through the presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events, generally -- but not always -- portrayed through the use of actual images and artifacts.

Why are happier workers more successful? ›

The researchers found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues – they are simply more productive within their time at work.

Do happy employees do a better job? ›

Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.

Why is it important to work at being in a good mood? ›

Through the use of good mood, people are able to project likeability and develop bonds with each other that'll help them achieve team success. Consequently, it's also easier to trust people around you. In essence, good mood serves as the icebreaker that helps you understand, accept and like the people you work with.

What is the main idea of the simplest way to be happy by Helen Keller? ›

It all comes to this: the simplest way to be happy is to do good. This is instant and infallible happiness. The surest proof that this is the law of cause and effect is, we may try every other conceivable way of being happy, and they will all fail.

What is the message of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller? ›

The Story of My Life' is based on the value of perseverance. It also glorifies the tireless and undying spirit of overcoming insurmounting hurdles and obstacles in life. Due to sheer perseverance a deaf and dumb child Helen Keller learnt to communicate and interact with the outerward in a meaningful way.

What is the lesson of the story of Helen Keller? ›

We realized this was an important moment to share Helen Keller's extraordinary life story, and the many lessons she left us: perseverance, service, determination, compassion, inclusion, and the ability to change the world.

What is the #1 key to happiness? ›

Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed.

What is Mark Twain most famous quote? ›

"Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well."

What are 5 quotes about happiness? ›

10 Happiness Quotes We Love
  • "Happiness depends upon ourselves." — ...
  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." — ...
  • "The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. ...
  • "Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it." —

What does it's an inside job mean? ›

noun. : done by or with the help of someone in a position within an organization or group. No one knows who robbed the bank, but the police suspect that it may have been an inside job.

What does Marcus Aurelius say about happiness? ›

“Very little is needed to make a happy life,” Marcus Aurelius wrote, “it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” Seneca similarly suggested that the problem is not how little we have, but that we're constantly wanting more. What you must realize today is that you already have everything you need to be happy.

What does Thomas Aquinas say about happiness? ›

Happiness according to Thomas Aquinas is the perfect good which is obtained upon seeing God in after life. The happiness which Aquinas refers to is the perfect happiness against imperfect happiness.

What does happiness mean to Chris Mccandless? ›

To Chris, happiness was discovering himself and looking for all of the answers to life. This happiness consisted of roaming America in search of self-discovery and the separation from society through his transcendentalist outlook on life.

What does it mean to be on the inside? ›

idiom informal. If someone is on the inside, they have a job or position in which they have special or secret information: Who do we know on the inside who can help us?

What is Marcus Aurelius most famous quote? ›

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.

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