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