On International Day of Happiness, Here’s How to Wake Up Happy Like Michael Strahan

The former NFL player shares why being successful wasn't enough to put a smile on his face

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Michael Strahan (Via Twitter)

On this International Day of Happiness, we’re taking inspiration from one of the happiest and most successful African American celebrities we know: Michael Strahan, who literally wrote the book on how to wake up happy.

The NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion is now better known as a television darling, as a co-host of Good Morning America and a FOX NFL Sunday analyst.

But even with the bubbly personality and easy smile we’ve all come to associate him with, he wasn’t always happy.

I spoke with Strahan back when he was releasing the New York Times best-selling book Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life, and here’s what he said:

“Football was hard. I didn’t know it was going to be so hard to make it in New York. For years I hated football. I had all this success and realized I didn’t enjoy any of it. So I started to go out there and play for fun. I didn’t care about sacks, I didn’t care about records. I just wanted to have a good time.”

“And that changed my life. Now, wherever I am, I find the joy and happiness in it and pull it out.”

As Strahan wrote in the prologue, his goal was to “share with you what I’ve learned about developing a winning attitude and putting your most productive habits to work to craft the life of your dreams.”

Here are a few of Strahan’s rules from the book to help you wake up happy every day as well:

  1. Listen to other people, but don’t take their opinions for fact. Have your own experiences. Draw your own conclusions.
  2. You can’t change other people but you can change how you act around them. Usually, that’s more than enough.
  3. Don’t pre-judge. Help can—and will—come from the most unexpected places. Be open to everything around you.