Get Happy!

Just in case you ever feel its absence…know happiness always returns.

In my new book, Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live, I talk about the path to finding joy in your life. The Ancient Egyptians believed that when we die and are at the gates of heaven, we are asked two questions:

Have you found joy in your life?
Has your life brought joy to others?

I am a firm advocate in the belief that you cannot give what you do not have. If you are not happy (joyful) how can you possibly bring joy to others? If the gas tank on your car is empty, your car cannot take you anywhere, right? The same is true for you. If you are “empty,” you have nothing to give. So how do you “fill your tank?”

Stephen Covey has a great list of “12 things happy people do differently” that has been circulating on Facebook recently. I thought I would share it with you today as a reminder of some action steps you can take to be in a state of joy. (I embellished these a little with my own thoughts.)

1. Express gratitude – be thankful for what you have in your life instead of always focusing on what you do not have.
2. Cultivate optimism – your perception is your reality. Think optimistically and your world will follow.
3. Avoid comparing yourself to others – when you compare yourself to others, the nature of the human mind is that you will always be sure to come up short. The only person who you should be comparing yourself to is yourself in the past. Are you moving forward?
4. Practice random acts of kindness – help someone anonymously today.
5. Nurture social relationships – the nature of your relationships with others tells you a lot about the relationship you currently have with yourself. Our relationships are the things that matter most to us in the end. Make them worth it.
6. Develop strategies for coping – know what you need to do to stay centered. What are those things you do that make you feel better when your external world is in chaos?
7. Learn to forgive – open your heart and forgive others and yourself. Forgiveness is admitting that we are all alike in some way, shape and form.
8. Increase flow experiences – in other words, know your strengths. Do those things that “flow” and come easiest to you.
9. Savor life’s joys – stay in the present moment. Life is about the journey, not the end point.
10. Commit to your intentions – know what you want and commit to getting it. Direct your life in the direction YOU want instead of your life and external circumstances directing you.
11. Practice spirituality – recognize that life is bigger than you are and that there is a higher plan. Get in touch with your higher self and the potential that is deep inside. You know your gifts…practice them!
12. Take care of your body – your body houses the soul. It is your temple. Care for it, honor it and respect it.

Your happiness is your responsibility…no one else’s.

Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~Aristotle


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .


“Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Things Are Not Happening To You, They Are Happening For You

(I have had this story in my possession for many years and do not know who the author is, but it is one of the most beautiful stories I have heard.  Whoever you are, I give you credit here.  Thank you for your words of wisdom – I now share them with all of you.)

 “The Quilt Holes”

 As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was.  They were filled with giant holes.  Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life.  I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me.  Nobody else had such squares.  Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.  I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth.  The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries.  So filled their lives had been.  My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.  I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes.  I had love in my life and laughter.  But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it.  I had to start over many times.  I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.  I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air.  I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.  Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.  He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Our Creator to shine through!

God determines who walks into your life…it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.

What lessons have the moments in your life taught you?

All of those painful moments – the ones that make you hold your breath when you think about them – are the exact moments you came here for.  Those moments are happening for you so you can learn, grow, and have a chance to look at life in a different way.  How else would you learn how to live other than by making mistakes then getting a chance to learn and do it all over again…a different way?  The depth of your past dictates the height of your future.  Just like a rubber ball, the harder and longer it falls, the higher it bounces back.

Affirm:  I open myself to the unknown future in full trust and I release the past with gratitude for how it has blessed my path with joy, difficulty and knowledge.
~Doreen Virtue

Bring it on!


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .


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Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.” ~Nellie L. McClung

Charge!!!   No…not with your credit card!

As fast as life is moving lately, doesn’t it seem that you are either getting a lot done or nothing done at all?  What exactly is the secret to checking off all of the items on that to do list of yours?

The secret to action and getting things done (charging ahead) is not in the “doing,” it is in the “being.”  Focused positive thinking leads to action.  The problem most have is not being able to maintain focus long enough on what they want for it to show up in their lives.  We are too busy thinking and worrying about what is NOT showing up, what is lacking and our suffering.  Life is like a highway.  You can spend most of your time on the side of the street labeled “suffering”, which is an endless loop that brings you back to the same place no matter which way you turn; disappointment.  Or, you can spend your time on the other side of the street labeled “gratitude” where you accept what is (even the suffering that may come) and realize that no matter what turn you take there is always a lesson to greet you that moves you further along your path in a positive life direction.  Once you get the lesson that is trying to be learned and are grateful for the experience that brought the lesson, then the action you need to take makes sense.  It is clear.

Five years ago my father was dying of cancer.  He lived in Cleveland and I lived in Maryland.  I had two teenagers, a husband, a house, and a business to run.  When life hits us with a curve ball or when we have a ton of things on our plate, it is hard to know what to do first?  What is the priority?  The priority is what you SAY it is.  I said my father was my priority.  I did what I had to do (communicated with my immediate family about why I was in Cleveland so much, had back up speakers for my clients, etc.) in order to be where I wanted to be when something occurred.  Knowing your top 3 priorities at any given time is a must for right action.  Balance is not a 50/50 split of work and home time; balance is giving your energy to those things you say are important in your life right now – your priorities.

Take some time today to list your top priorities.  Also, ask yourself this question:  “If God appeared in front of you right now and told you that you could experience only ONE feeling for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  (Happy is not allowed!  Put some meat on the bone!)  For example, mine is inner peace.  Use this feeling when you need to make any decision and ask yourself, “Does this thing, event, or person (etc.) give me that feeling?”  If the answer is no, RUN!  (Just kidding!)  If the answer is yes, move forward.  If you don’t know, wait.  You will know soon.

Allow life to disappoint you and when it does, turn inward, express gratitude for the lesson it is teaching you, take a deep breath, then decide what your next action step is based on the criteria above and charge forward!  Once you understand what the lesson is, the action steps become clear.  Trust yourself that you will make the right choice.  If it is coming from inside of you and is of good intention, it is always the right choice.  You could not have a desire or thought if it was not coming from your own soul.  Trust…believe…act!

Let us remember that within us there is a place of immense magnificence.” ~Teresa of Avila

Charging forward with inner peace,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .