Let’s cut to the chase: I am thrilled to have Tara Sophia Mohr on the blog today.
One, because I’m a big fan of her work personally – so the fan girl in me is all “OH MY GOD TARA AND I EXCHANGED EMAILS!” We’re also Facebook friends. I’m just saying.
But I’m also thrilled for you, because Tara is the kind of woman I want other women to know about.
I consider her book, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message, a must-read for all women. It is practical, encouraging, and was filled with many game changing revelations for me about the many little ways I accidentally undermine myself. It was hands down one of my favorite books of 2014.
Today, Tara shares a little bit about her views on happiness.
How do you define happiness?
The feeling state that results from doing the things that connect you to love.
What do you do on a daily(ish) basis to make yourself happy?
- Do work I love.
- Cross things off the to do list that don’t inspire me and in the end, aren’t that important.
- Hug my baby.
- Talk to my dear friends.
- Write and create.
- Surround myself with beauty…and remember to look at it.
What “shoulds” have you let go of in the name of happiness?
Going to a gym. Doing sit ups. Cocktail party networking.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about happiness?
That we aren’t supposed to be happy all the time – that’s okay. It’s important to pay attention to what makes us happy and cultivate more of those things in our lives. It’s important to notice what those activities tell us about our true nature – about what feeds us and what kind of life we are meant to live.
But our lives would also be much less rich without the insights that come from sadness, frustration, grief, confusion. We don’t have to rush past those times. We learn from them. Those times are also most likely to cause us to surrender trying to do it all and trying to control it all. When we come up against our own human limits, we surrender. When we surrender, we have room to change, see new possibilities, and let more light in.
What’s the last life lesson you learned?
I’ve just had a big book launch – complete with a New York Times article, Today Show appearance, speaking on the stage at Lincoln Center – all kinds of things that look “big” from the outside. It was a reminder that none of that is what makes us happy or brings meaning to our work.
The most meaningful moments of the process for me were connecting with long-time readers of my work, bringing these ideas to women who don’t have a lot of access to personal growth resources, and most of all – doing things – like writing that New York Times piece – that challenged the rantings of my own inner critic.
It was a powerful reminder of what I teach: that playing big is an inner game, and that each woman must determine what playing big means for her. No one else can draw the map of her playing big. Only she can do that. Only she knows what her real dreams are.
You can find out more about Tara at taramohr.com.