The focus of this episode is happiness – how you can learn and practice happiness to create a life by consciously cultivating happy moments which compound over time. I’m speaking with Mark Jaffe, author of the sweet and readable book called Suitcase of Happyness. This book offers a roadmap to achieve and enjoy your happiest life, and create a legacy of happyness. We talk about how to take ourselves from the feeling of lacking something, to a new place that feels complete and whole and rich. A new place that offers joy and elation and bliss and delight along with calmness, serenity, congruence, and harmony. In other words, a place that just simply feels good!
Episode Overview – Practice Happiness
Mark explains why he spells happiness with a “y” – happyness – to distinguish between the short bursts of happiness and the enduring, long-term effects of happy-ness that build over time. Mark’s message is about learning and practicing happiness so it is sustained over a life-time. As a result, the compounding effect of happyness impacts not only your own life but the lives of all you touch.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much money you have. Happiness can be yours even if there are obstacles in your head; and you feel them in your body. Mark outlines real and practical ways to be happier; and, they are easy to do.
If you pack your suitcase of happyness and take it with you on the road of life, you will lead a life that will make it easier to achieve contentment and satisfaction and peace, with an everyday state of being that includes pleasure, fulfillment, and meaning.
Happiness is a Journey
Mark Jaffe, is a former senior executive at The Walt Disney Company. When you learn that, you might think, no wonder he’s an expert on happiness. But it goes deeper than that.
Mark started to be intrigued about happiness from a very young age when he realized that his happiest life was not something out of reach. He studied, observed, cultivated, and ultimately enjoyed an enduring state of happyness through a singular focus on identifying what worked and what didn’t. Along the way, his life perhaps like yours, was a bit like a roller coaster. It went up and down, in and out of relationships, with career successes and career failures. A marriage that succeeded until it didn’t; two kids; a dog; and the learned ability to be very happy, which has kept him happy, consistently, for over 40 years.
The Book – Suitcase of Happyness
What I enjoyed about the book is not only its content, it was also the many personal stories that Mark shares. Stories come to life and connect with us at a universal level. Mark’s candor, and authenticity come through. He shares vulnerabilities which touch the reader at the heart level. He shares the full emotional spectrum that include negative and positive, delight and suffering, some painful and some tender moments.
The overt message of the book is that we can choose happiness. We can cultivate it and it's cumulative. And, it is different for each of us, as none of us is living the same life.
Easy-to-Follow Structure of the Book
Listen in to hear Mark explain the structure of the book, and share many stories that bring each of the three main sections to life:
4 Laws of Focus
5 Barriers to Happyness
10 Pathways to Happyness
I invite Mark to address one or two points in each section, topics of particular interest to me and feed my curiosity, and topics that are most meaningful to him and what he’s finding resonates with his readers.
As an example, I ask about the law of “What you focus on Grows” as it relates to the Constructionist Principle of Appreciative inquiry. In the section on Barriers to Happyness, inquire about “controlling anger”; and in the Pathways section, I learn that the first pathway “The Rule of Yes” resonates strongly with most people.
Creating Meaning and a Legacy when Choosing Happiness
It is so clear from Mark’s enthusiasm that he loves to speak about how it’s possible for us all to create contentment, satisfaction and peace, as well as pleasure, fulfillment, and meaning in our lives. His personal story shows how he moved from disappointments and dissatisfactions to cultivate gratitude and appreciation for sustained happyness – happiness with a “y”.
It’s true we face many obstacles – they may be in our heads and we feel them in our bodies. The good news is there are real and practical pathways to being happy.
When you listen in and read Mark’s book, he’ll persuade you that packing your own suitcase of happyness is not such a hard thing to do and it will serve you every stop of the way as you travel through life.
Links and Mentions
Mark’s Book's Website: Suitcase of Happyness
Mark’s Twitter: @markjaffe
Mark on Facebook: Mark Jaffe
Mark’s Instagram: markjaffe1
Mark's You Tube: Mark Jaffe
Books Mentioned in the Episode
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