If you had to pick just one thing?


People ask me all the time what the secret to happiness is. “If you had to pick just one thing,” they wonder, “what would be the most important thing for leading a happy life?”

Ten years ago, I would have told you a regular gratitude practice was the most important thing—and while that is still my favorite instant happiness booster, my answer has changed. I believe the most important thing for happiness is living truthfully. Here’s the specific advice I recently gave my kids:

Live with total integrity. Be transparent, honest, and authentic. Do not ever waiver from this; white lies and false smiles quickly snowball into a life lived out of alignment. It is better to be yourself and risk having people not like you than to suffer the stress and tension that comes from pretending to be someone you’re not, or professing to like something that you don’t. I promise you: Pretending will rob you of joy.

I’ve spent the better part of my life as a people-pleaser, trying to meet other people’s expectations, trying to keep everyone happy and liking me. But when we are trying to please others, we are usually out of sync with our own wants and needs. It’s not that it’s bad to be thinking of others. It’s that pleasing others is not the same as helping others.

~ Christine Carter, Ph.D.  

Don’t miss the rest of her great post here: Why It Doesn’t Pay to be a People Pleaser



  1. so wonderfully true. so much easier too, to just be. and, I love her last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. excellent and all so very true –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To understand that in being true to yourself, you are not sacrificing others. It’s a life lesson, constantly renewed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds right … Yet I hesitate. Understanding the distinction between being kind – even when you don’t feel it – and not being untrue to yourself..it’s murky to me. And with that said, living a life in one’s truth is unarguable.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Bright, shiny objects! and commented:
    Mmm good…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. down at my NA group my Grand-sponsor likes to say “The truth and spiritual principles are never in conflict”.
    You know what that means?
    Tell the truth!
    Actually, it means more than that, but that’s a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Be transparent, honest, and authentic” Great words of wisdom. If the world could just learn to live by this rule.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I still prefer Hariod Brawn’s term Contentedness (contentedness.net).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christine Carter statement “a life lived out of alignment” to me illustrates our imperfectness. God lights the path and we often step off, to our detriment and we learn and recognize we have an opportunity to make a choice….are we going to be the man with the crooked walk? Will we move forward with a choice, of being mindful? Will a person choose to follow the Biblical guidelines along that narrow, straight road? Mrs. Carter’s says Live with total integrity, Be transparent, honest, and authentic. I agree with that, feeling it is honorable and a good way to live. I think that adding being kind, compassionate, diplomatic, generous, serve others while maintaining a balanced level of self care…Life is a gift…we are not guaranteed happiness, we must continually strive to overcome our unique circumstances . We must examine our motivations, before we act, we must guard what we say as to not put another down, we must lift others up. we must listen, We must be brave and courageous, we must exercise love….We learn from all from all we are exposed to…our experiences shape us and influence the way we interact in this world…We must recognize that we are a fleeting vapor in a vast world..and while we are here a work in progress. Will we honor this gift of life? What is the legacy one wants to leave? /// Christine Carter has another article that is worth the read: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/32_tips_for_my_daughter_before_she_leaves_home /// Dk I don’t usually notice you replying to the comments during the day…I hope you are not home ill, but enjoying a day of ease. Kindly, Christie


  10. adding these thoughts: None of us has this figured out…we do our best to be better…I think that fear of rejection plays into not being totally forthcoming in an honest & diplomatic manner…I hope we all find Joy along the journey and have genuine, enthusiastic thankfulness for the gift of life….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve just read this post today. It is such a good one – even more powerful as she shares the message with her kids.
    Being authentic and in integrity with ourselves is the foundation for all the goodness and fullness that life brings.
    Otherwise we’re eating icing on a dodgy cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with Christie, we please others simply out of ‘fear of rejection’, but what I discovered in that pleasing, is that I am completely rejecting myself; my needs and my authentic self. Funny how it always comes around to face us. There is always a reason why we do the things we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I shared several of your passages with a colleague this morning closing with “and while we are here, a work in progress.”. Your words matter.


  14. Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.


  15. Love this and completely agree. I always say the best way to be is unapologetically yourself 😬

    Liked by 1 person

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