Sitting across the kitchen table, my teenager whispered, "I want to be happy but I don’t know...how." As the situation became more intense in school and at home, signs of depression became more evident and I didn’t know what to do. It rocked me to the core; I ached for a way to help. I asked myself, "Where were the resources, how many more were suffering, and why are we not talking about this?"
This was the beginning of my journey, and the catalyst for starting my pro-purpose, non-profit, Project Happiness. Though my inspiration was personal, I soon found out the issue at hand was global. My vision in finding resources to help my own child soon expanded to the dream of World Happiness Domination!
But, where would I start? Looking for answers, I produced an award-winning documentary on happiness featuring George Lucas, Richard Gere, Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, and the Dalai Lama.
"I ached for a way to help. As the situation became more intense, I didn't know what to do, and it rocked me to the core. This was the beginning of my journey"
Next, I co-authored a book, now an Amazon bestseller, which included all the world-class resources, pulled from science, I wished had been available when I was seeking them. The book eventually generated requests pouring in to create a social emotional learning curriculum, an online course for adults, a global happiness book club, and our social media to reach even more people. Now in over 120 countries and counting, our programs have allowed us to connect with over 3 million people. Our community is amazing!
The good news is that my child is doing great, and we have learned through this journey that happiness is not just a state; happiness is a skill set that anyone can learn. The World Health Organization has officially stated that depression is the leading cause of global mental and physical disability, affecting 1 in 20 people.
Our goal is to impact 10,000,000 lives. Kindness, mindfulness, and all the other tools we can use are not just niceties – they are key to bringing out the best in us, and our society.
The science is strong and the need is compelling. It’s exciting that we can now give those who need it most the tools to take charge of their own happiness, to become more aware, emotionally resilient, and develop the skills to navigate whatever life presents. Happiness, like all emotions, is contagious; for ourselves and generations to come, let’s create a world where everyone can thrive.