Life Experts

Happiness is something that we all want to live and feel on a daily basis. Sometimes we go out of our way to search for happiness and sometimes we look to others to help us find that happiness. There are people all over this World that are helping people with life, whether it be in their personal life, their business, or their community. I’m a massive fan of exploring how successful and happy people live their lives and I have been keenly involved in observing how a number of different people have been fulfilling this. The awesome thing is, they’re all so different!

What I decided to do, was to get in touch with some of these experts and big personalities and get their insights into happiness. All of these individuals are living absolutely awesome lives and making a huge difference in the World, touching the lives of many. I wanted to ask them a question on happiness, however I didn’t want to ask them the ‘run of the mill’ question such as “what’s your one piece of advice for living a happier life”. HOW BORING! 🙂 I wanted to gain more of an understanding of the lives of these individuals. What do they actually do, physically or mentally that helps them create happiness in their everyday life? What challenges are they currently facing and what do they feel as though they need to do to maintain happiness in their lives?

So I asked the experts a slightly different question that made them focus on how they would Start the Happiness in their own lives.

“If you could make ONE change today in your life that you think would make you an even happier person, what would it be and why?”.

The responses just blew me away… what I love about every single one of these individuals is their pure honesty and transparency. It helps you to realise that happiness is different for everyone and it depends upon how you are currently living your life. It’s a matter of being aware of your mind and your surroundings and understanding what it is that uniquely makes you happy. We are all different, all with completely different backgrounds and completely different preferences.

I thank each and every one of the below individuals for their contribution, and I hope that they have made that one change and implemented it into their own lives with success! The question that will remain is, I wonder what’s next? 🙂



Chip Conley

Built a Hotel at age 26

New York Times Best Seller

TED Talker


“What I know both intuitively and based upon many global studies is that the fastest and most effective means of feeling more happy is to experience and express gratitude. Thinking of gratitude as a practice, something that you do in intentional ways like a conscious habit, is something I’ve done for periods of my life, but I can’t say I’ve done it consistently every day. If I were to take the practice of gratitude more seriously, it might mean that I would give two authentic and spontaneous expressions of gratitude daily in a fashion that would completely impress the receiver of the gratitude. And, if I didn’t do my two on Monday, I would be responsible for four on Tuesday. Additionally, it could mean that I do a gratitude round-up, at minimum, once a month to just list all of the things for which I’m grateful and then to go out and say thanks to a few people who made them happen.”


Chris Guillebeau

The Art of Non-Conformity

Providing unconventional strategies for life, work and travel.


“If I could make one change for greater happiness, I would worry less.”




Sean Stephenson

Time to Stand

Motivational Speaker and Author of ‘Get Off Your But’


“I would create a new vision board. I’ve achieved almost 100% of the things I wanted on the vision board I made for myself 5 years ago. Focusing on where you are headed is inspiring and when I’m inspired it’s easy to be happy. :)”




Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha

Taking Simple Wisdom and Applying it in our Lives


“This is actually a well-timed question for me, as I just made some major changes in my life: I signed up for an acting class and a painting class, and I also started working on fiction writing (as opposed to the personal development writing I do on Tiny Buddha).

I found/created these new opportunities after realizing I needed more balance in my life. I needed to spend less time online, and more time expressing myself creatively. I know these choices will make me an even happier person, because they’ll allow me to explore other parts of myself and open me up to new possibilities and adventures.

Balance, I’ve realized, is the most important thing for my happiness, because it allows me to be so much more than any one role I play. Ironically, I’ve learned that focusing less on personal growth provides me with far more opportunities for it.”



Pat Flynn

Smart Passive Income

Helping people achieve financial freedom through effective passive income strategies


“I’d get rid of a lot of the unnecessary, excess stuff that we have lying around the house. I have a hard time throwing things away and there’s only a limited amount of space in the house. Although we’re not even close to hoarding status and everything has it’s place, it’s just more stuff to worry about and knowing that we’ll probably move in the future means we’re going to have to eventually move all that stuff, or choose to throw it away later anyway.”




Tripp Lanier

Host of the New Man Podcast, Coach, Consultant and Entrepreneur


“The biggest challenge I see for others and have for myself is to remember to be thankful for the life I already have AND own my desire to make improvements. There’s a tendency to make it one or the other — we either settle for less or we dismiss what we have and pin our happiness on some future achievement. I feel greater peace of mind when I remember all of the great things that are already in my life while also creating opportunities for new experiences. This practice keeps me off of the hamster wheel — a perpetual cycle of chasing things without ever feeling satisfaction.”



Sibyl Chavis

The Possibility of Today

Opening Up the World to the Possibilities of Today


“One of the things that I committed to changing awhile ago and continue to work at everyday is to move through the day as intentionally and thoughtfully as possible. I really try to focus on being thoughtful with all my actions, words and thoughts and when I am able to do that, I am always happier. It just keeps the right type of energy continually flowing.”



Neil Pasricha

1000 Awesome Things

Author of the New York Times International Bestseller “The Book of Awesome”


“I would scoop myself a giant bowl of ice cream. In fact, I think I’ll go do that right now.”



Celestine Chua

Personal Excellence

Personal Development Guru


“I would identify something that has been blocking me for the past period and address it right away, rather than let it drag on to oblivion. Issues that do not get resolved do not disappear; they merely lie dormant in our subconsciousness, ready to resurface whenever we least expect them to. By not dealing with the issue that has been blocking me right away, I would merely be carrying unnecessary baggage everywhere I go and weighing myself down. On the other hand, by facing the problem immediately, I’m confronting my issue once and for all, and relieving myself of any future concerns.”



Tyler Tervooren

Advanced Riskology

Helping people take smarter and more beneficial risks in their lives


“I’d get better at living my life the way I want to with incomplete information about the future.




Colin Wright

Exile Lifestyle

Moves to a new country every 4 months and maintains an income while living that lifestyle.


“Something I try to do every day is take a moment to remember that this is a significant percentage of all the days I have to make use of. Ever. Keeping that in mind really forces me to decide if what I’m using my time for is meaningful to me, and if it’s worth the incredibly valuable portion of my life I’m spending on it. Invariably I end up either changing direction toward something that I enjoy more, or feeling even better about what I’m doing, knowing that it’s exactly what I should be doing.”



Maren Kate

Escaping the 9 to 5

Taking the Unconventional Path


“The one change I would make would be to actively work on being more fearless in every aspect of my life. I have realized as of late that fear is at the heart of almost everything that holds one back.”




Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis

Professor of Psychology at University of Virginia and Author


“I’d get together with my gang of friends more regularly. Not just one on one — there’s something really special about being in a gang, especially a single-sex gang.”



Tess Marshall

The Bold Life

Author of ‘How to Be Bold’ and ‘Take Your Fear & Shove It’


If I could make ONE change in my life to make me an even happier person…The one change I AM currently making is to balance my life more with face-to-face and flesh-to-flesh connections with people (especially) women in my community. I think being online so much has caused me to isolate myself. The question I’ve asked myself recently: “Is this the way I want to spend my next 20 years?”
My answer was no.



Joe Wilner

Shake Off the Grind

Author and Life Coach


“If I could make one change that would make me a happier person it would be to live with total self-acceptance. This would mean not comparing myself to others and living a humble life. It would also mean staying grateful for all that I have and remaining patient as I work toward self-mastery.”



Barrie Davenport

Live Bold & Bloom

Author and Career & Life Coach


“I would exercise more. I love my work as a writer, coach, and blogger — but it means I spend a lot of time sitting in front of my computer. It’s so easy to get caught up in my work and neglect serious exercise. I know how important it is to my overall health and energy. And it is important in creating balance in my life so that the work I love so much doesn’t overtake all of my hours. I have just committed to an exercise program with my daughter. So I hope to remedy the problem over the next few months!”



Jodi Ettenberg

Legal Nomads

Former Lawyer Eating Her Way Around the World.


“I think the one thing I’d like to change would be to stop sweating the small stuff. I’ve succeeded in doing less of it than before, but years of law school and then working as a lawyer means that my brain is trained to think through all the little things to their natural end, even if they’re things I cannot control or change. I’ve been working on letting those things go more and more, and I think doing so would be a positive direction for my life. Other than that, a bit less time online! I’ve been building out some fun and exciting projects but it’s left me on my computer for hours and hours on end every day. Eventually, I hope to build out more time for balance.”



Corbett Barr

Expert Enough

Helping People Become Experts


“I constantly make little changes every day towards becoming a happier person. If I knew the secret to happiness I would share it, but for me it’s a constant quest and challenge to remain mindful.”



Rob White

Mind Adventure

Philosopher, author, teacher and successful entrepreneur inspiring people to accomplish their life goals


“If I could make ONE change today in my life that I think would make me an even happier person, that would be to rid myself of the painful NO’s that still howl in my mind; those NO’s that negatively affected me in childhood moments of failure and fear, and still show up to haunt me subconsciously.
Why would ridding myself of howling NO’s of my past be the one thing that I would do? Because the truth about happiness is this: Happiness is not an exciting or pleasant feeling that comes when things are going right; happiness is a feeling of inner contentment that comes in the absence of painful feelings that come with fear of rejection or fear of failure or fear of loss of love.
In other words, happiness is a most natural feeling, and it is not the opposite of painful emotions – it is what presences itself in the absence of painful emotions. Now that’s a big one to digest for most folks, because most folks would say that misery is the opposite of happiness. The truth is that when misery is abolished, happiness is what’s left. It’s not the opposite – it’s the absence of.”



Tammy Strobel

Rowdy Kittens

Author on Simple Living and Entrpreneaurship


“My husband and I decided to move from Portland to Northern California to be closer to my family. The big move is happening on September 1st. I’m going to miss Portland and the community here, but I’m really happy that I’ll be closer to my mom. Since my dad died, I’ve been sad and I believe that being closer to family will help me get through the ups and downs of grief.”



David Cain


Getting Better at Being Human


“I would stop the compulsive thinking and internal dialogues, and spend most of my time just watching things unfold around me. I can usually do that when I make a point of it, unless I’m really upset about something. But I usually don’t because internal dialogues are so addictive and conditioned for me. They don’t necessarily make for stressful moments, but I bet I am missing a lot while I’m watching what’s in my head.”



Lori Gosselin

Life for Instance

Author on Life


“I would operate with the same flow and peace and easing up of pressure that I experience while on vacation all the time.”



Therese Schwenkler

The Unlost

Helping the young and confused find their way


“The one change I could make today that I think would make me even happier would be… simply to stay present in this moment. I don’t need anything else to be happier; I simply need to be where I already am and remember to enjoy the beauty and simplicity and abundance that’s already surrounding me :)”



Tim Brownson

A Daring Adventure

Author and Life Coach, helping people journey to a better life


“If I’m being honest it would be my health. I suffer from chronic fatigue and a condition called hemachromatosis and I feel that sometimes these, especially the former, stop me doing some things I’d love to do. Nothing too profound, but just reading more, writing more etc, as often when I get free time I’m too exhausted to do anything more than nap.

Having said all that, my happiness levels are pretty good and I know that I am very lucky to have a family and a job that I love as much as I do.”


James (JK) Allen

The Hustlers Notebook

Helping People reach Their Potential in Life and Business


“I would totally eliminate self doubt. While I’ve gotten better and better at ridding this random disturbance, there are times when it still surfaces and sets me back. Knowing that it exists allows me to do something about it, but I want to totally eliminate it from my life…forever. This would make me a happier person because it would allow me to totally live up to my immeasurable potential–which then affects everyone around me in a positive way”.



Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Peace & Projects

Simplifying to Live a Happier Life


“Spending more time in nature. As a writer, I spend a lot of time inside on my laptop and sometimes forget that inspiration awaits just outside the door. When I take time to disconnect and go for a stroll and marvel at the beauty of the flowers and trees, I am a much happier person.”


Thank you so much to all the individuals above for their contributions, it was fantastic to gain an insight into your own personal lives! I’d like to open up the conversation to all The Start of Happiness readers. If you were asked to change one thing in your life to help you be a happier person, what would it be and why? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 


About the author 

Brendan Baker

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Why?Has has thee been too many trolls? Do sites that rqireue registration get trolled that much less that it makes sense or do you just want to get people to subscribe? Subscribers do add to site’s value if it’s about to be sold.Seeing this gave me a flashback about The Onion’s paywall. I have been coming here for few years and commented every once and a while. It was nice to comment on stuff but I probably never added anything of any value so no one will lose anything. I think I’ll come and click through everything just like always. Just that when ever I see something that I’d like to comment on I will feel a bit irritated that I can’t. I still can read this site unlike Onion. Just that now there’s nothing that separates it from competition.

  2. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading
    it, you are a great author. I will remember to bookmark your
    blog and will often come back sometime soon. I want to encourage
    you continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

  3. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing blog!

  4. Found you on Twitter – I love this roundup! Lori’s answer especially resonates with me – I’ve realized the same thing lately, actually. Been spendin’ too much time online and not enough out there, enjoying life. So I signed up for a ballet class, and spent yesterday afternoon reading and enjoying a beautiful view. =)

    Anywho, glad to have found your blog, Brendan!

  5. brendan, love the website and all that your trying to achieve, great article and inspiring read, keep up the great stuff and keep this website firing, its great!!!

  6. I love reading about people’s personal opinions on matters like starting happiness. Happiness is the way, there is no way to happiness. When we are in a state of being happy, all our thoughts, feelings and actions will be aligned with that. As a result, only happiness can be present in your life.

    1. Hey Justin, absolutely love your comment “Happiness is the way, there is no way to happiness”… definitely something to remind ourselves regularly!

  7. Hi Brendan,

    Congratulations on the new site launch and for putting together such a beautiful, and valuable resource. I feel that it is so powerful to hear from many different voices, as it helps us grow, expand or relate by examining many diverse ideas. This is a fantastic list and I am thrilled to be a part of it – thank you!

  8. YongJue Tan says:

    One thing I’ll do differently to make myself a happier person, is to stop focusing on myself, and
    start focusing on how I can benefit others!

    Thanks Brendan for your informative post!

    1. Love this YongJue! Such an important part of happiness… once you start to focus on the lives of others and the World around you you can start to also see how you can better yourself (nice little circle!)

  9. Hey Brendan, thanks for inviting me to share my take on the question! It’s my honor and pleasure to be on the list. I’ve tweeted it out to the people on my list, and hope the great messages on this list reach out to more people. 🙂

  10. Hi Brendan,
    Thanks so much for including me in this stellar group of happiness seekers! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts. I know how much effort it takes to create a post like this — fantastic work!

  11. Hi Brendan!
    Congratulations on your launch. Great round up! I know how hard round-ups can be (they seem so easy when you see them online!) so congratulations on putting it all together. There are some people on this list I haven’t looked into. I’m glad I could find inspiration here.


    1. Thanks, Liz, appreciate the kind words! Agree that round-up posts can be hard and time-consuming, but I absolutely love these and it’s such a great way to get an insight into the lives of people that are making a difference.
      Well worth the time and effort! I’ve definitely learned something from this… hopefully others have too.

    1. Thanks for the contribution, Tyler! You nailed it simply and sharply when it comes to being able to cope in an uncertain environment… such a key ingredient to being happy.

  12. Thanks for inviting my opinion Brendan. There are some serious blogging heavyweights on this list and it makes me all warm and fuzzy to be included 😉

    Best of luck with your blog, may your comments be many, your readers discerning and your enjoyment ongoing.

    1. Your work is incredible, Tim… I wouldn’t have had it any other way 😀

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for being a part of the Start of Happiness.

  13. Great job with the launch of your blog, Brendan. Everyone has shared wonderful advice.

  14. Natalie Field says:

    What a fantastic post Brendan! You have included some of my favourite bloggers!

    If I was to change one thing, it would be to spend more time with my family. At the moment I feel my life is too busy with career/work which is taking away from family time.

    1. Hi Natalie, agreed! So many people find it hard to spend time with family and friends due to other commitments, where its family and friends that can create some of the happiest moments in our lives. What action can you take to make this a reality?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get your Free Change Your Life Starter Course

Get instant access to the first four modules of my Change Your Life course - packed with over 50 pages of guides, exercises, tools, and templates to help you design and start living your best life.