How to be happy - no matter your circumstances -Kelly Mae

How I learned to be happy – even in the midst of tough circumstances

Note: This is a guest essay by Kellie May

Do you believe the following:

Happiness can be found daily – no matter your circumstances.

For me the answer would be yes!

I prefer to live happy, and it is a preference I work on, though not as much as I used to.

I’ve always been optimistic, a resilient sort who views the glass half full.

Just as I went from running to becoming a runner, I nurtured my optimism and grew into a full blown optimist.

The quiz I took even says so! (LearnedOptimism by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD)

There have been events, situations and people along the way that have shaped my positive perspective.

Most have come in the form of challenges.

Namely my sons and their disabilities.

Plus my own battle with breast cancer.

Others have come in the form of inspiration – such as Ellen Degeneres, TeamHoyt and YouTube sensations like Kid President and Arthur, the paratrooper turned yogi .

I also use what I like to call inspirational quotes, aka words of wisdom.

Just a few of the right words can…

  • give an attitude adjustment in just a few seconds.
  • set the tone in a classroom, opening young minds to endless possibilities.
  • give perspective on life or compassion for the life of another.
  • bolster strength and fortitude in order to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

I would like to share some words of wisdom that summarize how I evolved from being optimistic into being an optimist.

In her book Instant Happy, Karen Salmansohn says:

“Much of the pain in life comes from having a life plan that you’ve fallen in love with, but that doesn’t work out. Having to find a new life plan hurts. The trick is not to become attached to any particular life plan and to remember that there is always a better, EVEN-HAPPIER life plan out there somewhere.”

It wasn’t in the plan to have two children with disabilities.

But it happened.

It wasn’t in the plan to have breast cancer.

But it happened.

Over the course of a decade, I learned that I cannot count on any plan, best laid, well-intentioned, or fool-proof.

What I can count on:

my ability to patiently and lovingly embrace any plan as it unfolds in front of me.

To illustrate…

Two years ago I put in for a transfer which I would call blind.

I was requesting to leave one school, and with that request I had to be okay with ending up wherever they found a spot for me.


I didn’t just throw caution to the wind, I threw my hat in the ring.

I signed on the dotted line. I was all in.

I was a little taken aback at colleagues who were afraid for me.

Why be afraid?

The new prospective job did not scare a little ol’ optimist like me.


Because I knew I was taking me to go do it!

Written and shared with love by Kellie May. You can read more about Kellie May by clicking here now!

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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