As you consider the tough truths, you might begin to feel overwhelmed. I understand. You’ve got a lot going on. So let’s just agree that you’ll start by focusing on the ones that are most important to you. Or, perhaps, the ones you resist the most. Chances are you need to do them first.

So let’s give those truths a quick review, yes?

  1. Happy people are happy a minimum of 70 percent of the time. No matter where you are in the process, I do recommend beginning…at the beginning. Your own happiness ratio. Give it a good, hard, honest look so you know what you’re dealing with and what parts of your life to focus on first.

  2. Happy people know that you have more choices than you think you do. Know and embrace the fact that you have the power to make yourself happier…that, in fact, this is your job and nobody else’s. Believe…really believe…that you have more choices than you think you do.

  3. Happy people don’t should on themselves. Pay attention to the beliefs that drive your decisions, the ones that create your shoulds, the ones that are not fact. If they don’t serve you or your happiness, change them.

  4. Happy people refuse to believe their own myths. Recognize the stories you tell yourself and others that allow you to stay comfortably stuck in your unhappy situation. Poke holes in them. Get rid of them.

  5. Happy people are brave as hell. Know that letting go of the less-happy stuff isn’t easy. Have the guts to do it anyway. Then celebrate your courage. Because you’re worth it and your happiness depends on it.

  6. Happy people get what they want by explicitly asking for it. Have the gumption to clearly and unapologetically ask others for the happier things you do want in your life. See what happens when you are explicit, straightforward, and respectful.

  7. Happy people are curious. Retire the word hope and get curious. Set your vision and goals, then proceed with wonder about how things will unfold. Rid yourself of the pressure of a super-specific, hopeful outcome. The unexpected might just delight you more.

  8. Happy people don’t talk smack about themselves. Pay attention to how often you put yourself down to others. Know that it’s not funny…for you or for them. Respect yourself enough to stop.

  9. Happy people don’t compare their insides to other people’s outsides. Know that the other guy is in the midst of his own journey, and is feeling all kinds of emotions every single day. Stop comparing your insides to his outsides. In fact, stop comparing yourself to him at all.

  10. Happy people know they will NOT be Oprah. Take heart that you almost certainly won’t be globally famous or revolutionary. Embrace it. Focus on being the best (and happiest) you that you can be.

Now that feels a bit more manageable, yes? If not, if you still feel like you might not be able to do this… let me assure you, dear reader, that you can. I am absolutely sure of it. Because you haven’t quit the book yet. You’ve stayed with me this whole time. Which means you’re ready to be happier, and you’re tough enough to see it through.

And that’s all you need.

“Excerpt from Tough Truths: The Ten Happiness Lessons We Don’t Talk About by Deirdre Maloney ©.”

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  • Deirdre Maloney helps organizations exceed their goals and helps their people sleep better at night. She does it through her work as an, international speaker, facilitator, coach and published author. Deirdre has been a contributing writer to such publications as Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Her books include Bogus Balance, The Mission Myth and the Tough Truths series. Her popular blog is a hit with anyone who likes a direct, authentic style with their morning coffee. Learn more at