3 mistakes strong people can avoid to be happy​.​


Strong women and men, do you want to be happier? Strong, defined as you get up early, grind out work all day, and help others to get better through your generosity? Strong meaning an inner toughness that gets the job done, often at your expense? Here are three mistakes to avoid to increase your time, energy, and happiness.

Avoid the illusion that you need to do it all yourself.

When I attended a cool new thing called a middle school, “I Am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel was considered poetry. I recall trying to drum up deep feelings of isolation but failed. It seemed to me at the time, and it still does, that being a rock island is grim rather than strong.

There is a lot to admire about being strong. Others depend on you. You get the job done. You make the world a better place. In this lies the risk of isolation by default. To believe there is no one on whom you can depend. To feel you’re the only one who can get the job done.

Ask, “Can I delegate this task?”

Ask, “Am I self-imposing this task or this deadline and can I drop it or change it?”

Ask, “Do I need help and where can I find it?”

Avoid doing work that others can do for themselves.

As a mother, I quickly learned that just because I can do my children’s work, doesn’t mean that I should. I can pick toys off of a floor faster than a two-year-old girl. I can wash dishes better than a seven-year-old boy. Decidedly, I can clean a bathroom better than a teenager.

That’s not the point.

Experiencing firsthand the shenanigans that children create to avoid their work is eye opening in how it mirrors behaviors in adults. Consider the worker who feigns an inability to meet a deadline. Or the relative who is chronically confused about their contribution. Or the friend who takes more than he gives. Where do you draw the line?

Start by helping the truly needy to include young children, the mentally ill, addicted, physically challenged, poor, elderly, marginalized, and grieving. More commonly, the key is to stand firm at the personal responsibility level of those involved. A healthy and capable two-year-old can pick up toys. A seven-year-old can wash dishes. A teenager can clean a bathroom. Young adults can earn income. Co-workers can meet deadlines. Relatives can understand. Friends can be generous. Respect their abilities and let them be competent.

Ask, “Is my spouse able to initiate and complete this task?”

Ask, “Is my co-worker paid for and responsible to meet this deadline?”

Ask, “Is my friend willing to bring fun, creativity, generosity, or depth to this relationships?”

Avoid neglecting your well-being and self-care.

The one-two punch of default isolation and doing the work of capable others is common, dangerous, and costly. Stress, mood, energy and weight can go from manageable to unmanageable:

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.
  • In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.
  • More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.While we don’t always know the exact causes of mental and physical problems for an individual, we do know that symptoms reduce with proper support from others and improved self-care.Well-being includes your highest calling and relationships, your inner life, your work and the space you inhabit, your social life, and your physical body. Self-care includes tending to each aspect of well-being and a high-impact place to start is taking care of your body. Exercise regularly; I like to run. Make peace with food and eat well. Sleep tight but no need to obsess.

    Ask, “Am I giving to others to the point of depletion and exhaustion?”

    Ask, “Are symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, and unhappiness increasing?”

    Ask, “If I asked for help or let others do for themselves in one area of my life, would my happiness increase?”

    A strong character, determination, and work ethic is a powerful gift to share with the world, a gift that can sneakily deplete you. By avoiding these common mistakes and asking yourself these insight-catching questions, your happiness will increase, and you will be stronger than ever.

    I’m Angie McIntyre, and I believe that care leaders merit support, running is better than complaining, and wellness is for everyone. Do you? Sign up for my Angie Mc Now newsletter and gain the wellness and care you deserve.


25 reasons why I run and hope you will

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As a tween, my friend’s older brother, an avid music fan, insisted that we listen to a bootleg cassette of a guy he heard perform at the Jersey shore, we listened. This brother was around eighteen years old and I was flattered to be included if not exactly feeling the need for more music in my life. I was perfectly content with the bubble-gum pop that filled my young heart with song. Yet, this cassette was to transition me into more serious rock-n-roll and I’m glad I stepped up to the moment. It didn’t hurt that I was listening to Bruce Springsteen, well before he was The Boss, and I was swept away.

Good friends (and their brothers) are like that; they share their hard-earned love in the hopes that others will love it too. And good friends give you the benefit of the doubt when you look a little crazy.

Marc Parent, column writer of Newbie Chronicles at Runner’s World, shares:

How does a rational person choose discomfort over comfort, time and again? In other words, how do you stay crazy? There are many compelling reasons to run – some universal, some personal, some obvious, some obscure. The trick is to keep those reasons at the front of our mind. You make a list of these reasons – a convincing list of arguments for why you run. You refer to the list when you are weak and the cake is strong. The word fun isn’t on this list. If running is fun for you, you don’t need a list. The rest of us do. We need reasons to run. Really good reasons.

Here are some of my really good reasons.

  1. Check exercise off the list. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day is recommended by… everyone. It’s empowering to say to everyone, “Yes, I exercise at least 30 minutes a day.”
  2. Personal responsibility. I could no longer lean on my past youth, or anticipate “when my kids are older”, or medical cures. The time is now.
  3. Running is inexpensive. No gym, pool, field, or class necessary. A pair of running shoes that fit well and take you where you want to go helps.
  4. Running is efficient. More benefits are received in a 30-minute run compared to a walk of the same duration. (Walking is awesome, too.)
  5. Run most anywhere. Walk out your front door and run. Run on city streets and rural trails. Run in your neighborhood and anywhere you travel.
  6. Run most anytime. Morning, midday, night, weekdays, weekends, holidays, seasonal, and year-round (with the help of treadmills.)
  7. Running heals my gut. After a lifetime of digestive and circulation issues, running is an integral part of why I feel better.
  8. Running lifts my mood. The tap, tap, tap, tap calms and soothes.
  9. It’s simple to begin and a challenge to master. I’m constantly being tested by the finesse and nuances involved.
  10. Run with siblings on RunKeeper. My brother hits the streets in Pennsylvania and my sister tracks her miles in Texas, yet, online we run together.
  11. Sweet high-performance clothes and shoes. Mix and match vibrant colors and sleek textures.
  12. Run for the love of food. Manage weight, eat more and eat better for fuel and celebrating.
  13. Set and meet goals. Personal bests. Finish lines. Winning.
  14. Run to be engaged in my community. 5Ks are a blast and often raise money for charity, too.
  15. Runners inspire me. Each has a story, a tenacity, a goal. Each is beautiful.
  16. Improved vitality and stamina. Chronic exhaustion is awful. Energy is wonderful.
  17. Improved strength, strong core, and lean mean arms.
  18. Better sleep. Resting and running go hand in hand.
  19. Practice patience. Gradual results counter the tendency for immediate gratification.
  20. Quality time alone. Take a break from life’s demands.
  21. Listen to music. I adore Spotify playlists.
  22. Time to pray. Amen.
  23. Creative inspiration. Business ideas. Blog posts. Family projects. Problems solved.
  24. Look forward to something positive. A plan and a purpose for each day.
  25. I run for those who won’t or can’t. Because I can.

As a recovering super-hater of running, decidedly not a Born to Runner (could not resist the nod to Springsteen), I’m grateful and glad that I gave running a try two and a half years ago. I quickly realized that much of what I believed about running, and myself as a runner or athlete, was flat out wrong. Sometimes it’s wonderful to be wrong.

Running is a life-giving privilege.  I believe that, while running may not be for everyone, it is for anyone who wants to give it a try or who wants to increase their wellness, to include happiness. As an avid fan of the benefits of running, give my reasons a listen and I hope you get swept away.

Need more convincing? Check out these articles:

I’m Angie McIntyre and I believe that love is action, running is better than complaining, and wellness is for everyone. Do you?