Bring More Joy And Happiness Into Your Life

Pat Garner

In my travels, I realize people are unhappy with their relationships, jobs, financial situation, health, the weather, politics, where they live, how they live–the list is endless. I was prompted to write this article from a conversation with my son’s 29-year-old girlfriend, who was stressed and very unhappy with her job.

I listened to her share how overwhelmed she’s becoming, and she cannot express her true talents. She was working as an event planner for a large and busy San Diego company. Her previous job was as a wedding planner (talk about stress!). I asked what her strengths were, and she shared how detailed oriented she is with helping people prepare for a significant life event and how well she connects with her clients, but the money just wasn’t enough to make ends meet in San Diego.

Her job had her bogged down in responding to endless emails, sorting through piles of paperwork, and then there’s the self-imposed pressure she helped create by her perfectionism.  So we discussed what’s more important, being happy and fulfilled or having more money? It was a great self-discovery conversation for her.

She shared how her unhappiness affects her relationship with my son and her friends, her health, and her state of mind. Her previous employer recently approached her to get her to come back. So the ball is in her court to ask for what she wants (more money) and do something she loves. Problem solved.

We work, work, work to improve our status and income and become relevant contributors to the lives of others. I had been in a real estate leadership role for ten years, and before that, I had a very successful real estate sales practice. In March of 2018, my husband and I were sitting in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ, where we decided to “retire” (I use that word loosely since it’s more of a lifestyle change).  How we got to that decision was easy. We went through a process of looking at and writing down all the advantages and disadvantages of staying and leaving my position.

At the end of the process, there were only two reasons to visit: money and excellent health insurance. But, just staying for the money wasn’t enough.  We both worked hard all our adult lives by saving, investing, and contributing to our future. We spoke with our financial planner, and he confirmed we could do this. So, in late March, I gave my boss my last day in my 9-5 was June 30, 2018.

I have done a lot in my life that has prepared me to take this next step.  I’ve done a lot of inner work that has allowed me to help myself to help others. While I look at what I’ve accomplished with all the programs, certifications, and schooling I’ve completed, it’s clear I have found my purpose to work on myself, so I can help others achieve what they want in life, and for me, that’s where my true happiness and joy reside.



  1. Joyce L Shafer says

    Thanks, Pat, for the reminder to always personally identify what matters to each of us.

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