Bringing More Joy And Happiness Into Your Life

Pat Garner

In my travels, I see people 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 I was having with my son’s 26-year-old girlfriend who is stressed and very unhappy in her job.

I listened to her share how overwhelmed she’s becoming with her job and she’s not able to express her true talents. She currently works as event planner for a large and busy San Diego company. Her previous job was a wedding planner. I asked what her strengths were, and she shared how detailed oriented she is with helping people prepare for a major life event and how well she connects with her clients, but the money just wasn’t enough to make ends meet here in San Diego.

In her current job she’s bogged down in responding to emails, piles of paperwork, and the self-imposed pressure she’s helped create by her perfectionism.  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 is affecting her relationship with my son and her friends, her health, and her state of mind.

Her previous employer recently approached her to get her back. The ball is in her court to ask for what she wants and do something she really loves. Problem solved. The next step for her is for to do what she knows she has to do to get to where she wants to be. Easy? No. It will be a test of what she really wants and how much she wants it.

We work, work, work to improve our status and income and become a relevant contributor to the lives of others. I had been in a real estate leadership role for the last 10 years and before that, I had a very successful real estate practice. Last March my husband and I were sitting in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ where we made the decision for me to “retire” (I use that word loosely since it’s more of a life change).  How we got to that decision was easy. We went through a process of looking at the advantages and disadvantage of staying and leaving my position. At the end of the process, there were only 2 reasons to stay. Money and great health insurance. Just staying for the money wasn’t enough.

We work hard all our lives by saving, investing and contributing to our future. We spoke with our financial planner and he confirmed we can absolutely do this. I gave my notice to my boss in late March with my last day was June 30. Did we need to make changes to our spending and the way we live, you bet we did. Is it hard? YES!

I have done a lot in my life that has prepared me to take this next step in my life.  I’ve done a lot of inner work that has allowed me to help myself, so I can 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 me, so I can help others achieve what they want in life and for me, that’s where my true happiness and joy reside.

What brings you true happiness and joy? I’d love to hear your story in the comment section below or shoot me an email to





  1. Thanks, Ann. always appreciate hearing from you!


  2. I’m retired and happy with it, but I keep busy. I’m sending this to my daughter who plans on retiring after working at the same firm for 30 years. She already plans on how to keep busy, so that’s good.

    I enjoy reading your article as I have your mother’s “stuff” for years.

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