Name: Kellie Grill
“Little baby steps can lead to huge significant changes in your happiness and your life.”
Kellie is a professional songwriter with her twin sister, as well as, a successful motivational speaker and author. She speaks on the topic of happiness and has a new audio book called Happiness is Here--simple strategies for staying happy. Kellie, her husband, Dave, and Doug Binder, co-wrote the inspirational book, Send Me A Sign, a personal memoir of their love story; a beautiful relationship that grew out of the ashes of pain, loss and grief.
1. Finding happiness can be a real adventure. Why is it so difficult for so many of us?
Happiness can be difficult for many of us if we don't do the number on strategy that I think is the most crucial for us to achieve and maintain happiness and that is to LOVE OURSELVES, or as I call it "have a love affair...with YOURSELF! :)" Life is meant to be one big adventure and happiness is meant to be in your life. Learn to really love and accept yourself--flaws and all and your with have a harmonious, joy filled adventuresome life!
2. Happiness seemed effortless and everywhere as a child, but seems to be an effort to find as adults. Why?
When we are children life is so care free and full of fun adventures and joy. It was effortless and we were happy even with the simplest things like blowing dandelion seeds into the wind. We are all born happy! :) There are no little babies that come into this world unhappy--it is our circumstances, situations, and environment that can tarnish and change us but we are all born happy. We all deserve happiness, it is our birthright. The best way to be happy in life to expect it like a little child just expects it and make sure that you are being 100% aware in your life and really using all 5 of your senses-touch taste smell sight and hearing to really appreciate and enjoy all the wonder your life has to offer .
3. Do happy people have less problems or a different way of dealing with them?
I think actually a little bit of both! :) Happy people deal with adversity in a much more positive way. They know that bad things will happen--bad things just do happen to EVERYONE, however they also know that there is much more good than bad in life and that they are very blessed by the good things and their positive attitude and grateful appreciative nature helps to get through the toughest of times. I love the quote "If God takes you to it He will get you THROUGH it". You can endure and your will get through but you have to stay strong and keep the faith. A negative person will tend to "attract" negative, people, places and things. They say "success breeds success" and I believe that "negativity breeds negativity". If you tend to always look at the glass half empty you will continue to have a "half empty" life. It is simply "the law of attraction" You must change your perspective in order to have positive results in your life.
4. Does happiness ebb and flow in our lives? Can we ever make it a constant?
Happiness does ebb and flow in our lives but only because there are definitely times when we will have sadness and hardship occur. There is always darkness after light and there is always winter after summer. Life will have its difficulties so no one can ever stay in a state of constant bliss and joy. However after saying that let me say that we all CHOOSE each and every day-- 365 days a year whether we will be happy today or not. It is a choice. Just as you choose what cereal you will eat in the morning or what outfit you will wear you can choose your attitude--positive or negative for that day. You can choose to be happy or grouchy for that day. We have all heard the saying "it's not what happens to us but how we react to what happens that determines our success" It applies to happiness too. However we choose to be is how we will be. I make a CONSCIOUS choice each and every day to choose to be happy. I have done it so often now it is truly second nature and only when really bad things happen like illness of a friend, or death of a loved one, or loss of a job divorce of family members, etc. do I ever let myself get down and be unhappy. However even then I dust myself off and get back "up"! I refuse to stay down for long! I don't go there! I WON'T GO THERE and no one else should go there either! :)
5. Is Happiness contagious? Do happy parents produce happy children?
Yes! Happiness is contagious! If you are a happy go lucky person and you come into contact with other people, studies have shown that the people you connect with become happier and more joyful and in better moods just by being around you. If you want to test it you can go into a crowded room or elevator or even a train/subway station and smile at people. They can't help but smile back and they probably will start a pleasant conversation with you. Happiness rubs off on people so therefore if you are raising a family and you are happy, loving, and positive parents your kids will tend to be happy, loving and positive because children live what they learn and imitate adults. That is also why harsh, negative and harmful situations for children to grow up in are so disastrous and destructive to them in their formative years.
6. Women often put off traveling, and adventuring until "tomorrow". Likewise, people often set aside their happiness until an unspecified future date. Does it take courage to decide to be happy?
I think it takes determination, faith and COURAGE to decide to be happy. I have a "Kellieism" that I haven't seen in any of the self-help/happiness books I've studied for over 25 years and it is this: I believe that HAPPINESS IS MANDATORY! Yes just like water, food, shelter and clothing, I believe that Happiness is Mandatory for us all in life. I think it is our right and that we all deserve happiness--no matter what!! Yes you have to be courageous to say I want it --I deserve it--and I WILL HAVE HAPPINESS--no matter what! As for putting off traveling, being adventuresome and waiting until this or that happens before I can be happy, I say don't you dare fall into that "trap" of the "I'll be happy when..." game. EVERYONE deserves happiness right here and right now!! Live is a VERB so get out and live life!! No one is guaranteed tomorrow--happiness needs to be NOW!!
7. Many women don't think they deserve to be happy. Why?
Until I became a mom by adopting my three children who had lost their mom to breast cancer I never understood the true meaning of what it was to be so busy and have as hectic of a life as a "mother/wife" leads.
I was truly dumbfounded by the frantic pace of our busy lives and how much it takes to keep a household running. I think that as women we believe we must constantly care for EVERYONE else and therefore we continually put ourselves last! When in actuality we NEED to put ourselves first. There's an old southern saying that goes "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and I think there is much wisdom in that little piece of advice. No one on earth deserves more happiness and joy and peace than women do! Yet it almost seems that we are "brainwashed" to think that if we actually do things for ourselves we are selfish or not very good mothers/wives/sisters/daughters/friends etc. Women MUST finally realize that we are no good to anyone if we are unhappy with the person who matters most and that is OURSELF! We must do for ourselves the things that make us happy or we (and all others around) us will only suffer a life of uncertainty, unhappiness, and disappointment.
8. Does happiness require making a commitment or plan? Similar to learning to rock climb, scuba dive or any undertaking of a new skill.
Happiness DOES take a commitment and plan--especially if you tend to be an unhappy or a unfulfilled person. Just as you would need to have lessons to rock climb or scuba dive you can teach yourself lessons on being happy. First off you could read or listen to books on happiness, joy and positive attitude. You could also dedicate yourself to writing a gratitude journal and jotting down at least 3 different things you are grateful for each and every night. Getting into a habit (which it takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit) of CHOOSING to be happy each and every morning while you are brushing your teeth--even if it takes sticking a smiley sticker on your calendar day each day--just to highlight the point! Committing to learning to being happier and growing into joy and love are some of the best lessons you could ever teach yourself! :)
9. What can a woman do to take the first step on the path to happiness today?
My best advice as a first step on the path to happiness would be to take a horrible four letter word from their vocabulary and their life. That 4 letter word is LAZY! NO ONE can afford to be LAZY!! It is a word (and action) that destroys happiness. No remember there is a BIG difference between the word TIRED and the word LAZY. Tired is a totally different thing and we all need sleep (preferably 8 hrs/night) but being LAZY is just unacceptable. It robs us from our hopes, our goals and our dreams! If you are not LAZY you will notice a difference in your weight, your career, your bank account, your love life, and the list goes on and on! Being productive and putting out positive efforts will always result in positive results! GET THINGS DONE AND GET HAPPY! :) It is as simple as that.
10. February is the month of love and Valentine's Day is our romantic holiday. You co-wrote "Send Me a Sign". Do you really believe we receive signs in life?
Absolutely I believe in signs! Not in some weird "hocus pocus" kind of way but I think we all receive signs--whether they are from "our angels" or God or our "gut instinct" whatever we want to call them but we all receive little "hints and guidance" that help to steer us in the direction we are supposed to be going. Therefore, these are ways in which we are going to bring joy and happiness into our lives. I love the old lesson in life that we are where we are because we are SUPPOSED to be here doing what we are doing or we WOULDN'T be doing it! So don't ever doubt yourself. Trust your "gut" or your "signs" and go for it! What do they say? "Jump and a net will appear" :) We have to trust our inner voice and know that it is our destiny(and our destiny is to be happy doing whatever it is we are "MEANT" to be doing) :)
11. You believe in love and happiness, but you have also said that if you're in an unhappy, irreparable relationship you need to move on. Where can women find that strength?
This is where the "have a love affair--with YOURSELF" part comes in.
No one on this earth deserves to be happy more than YOU!!
You have to love yourself enough to know that if you are unhappy and in a bad circumstance--no matter what that is --relationship--job--it could even be the town or state you live in--whatever-- you have to love yourself enough to get out. NO ONE is meant to live a life of suffering and unhappiness and only YOU can change that for yourself. It will truly be the most courageous thing you will probably ever do but you have to do it because you DESERVE IT!! Reach into the strength of your very being and find the power to do what you need to do. You are worthy and happiness is your right! Don't let anyone or anything steal away your happiness!
12. Who was your female role-model growing up?
My mom was a strong and supportive person. In fact my identical twin sister Kaysie and I always say "she is our best friend and oh by the way she is our mom too!" She was positive and believed in us even when we doubted ourselves--especially through puberty.
Another lady comes to mind--Dolly Parton. Being a songwriter also I admire her prolific writing and what a beautiful poet and lyricist she is. However, the other amazing thing about her that is so inspiring is how she came from literally "dirt floors" in East Tennessee and is now so successful and such a giving loving happy go lucky person.
I also admire Oprah and think she is a gift to this world! She says her brand is LOVE and I believe it. I think she has made her mark on this world and it is a much better place because she followed her "signs" and trusted her "instincts" and along the way she has found peace joy and happiness.
13. What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Mom always stressed to be the person you are born to be and to follow your dreams no matter how many roadblocks or obstacles stand in the way. I love that she never gave up on us and she always was encouraging and hopeful even when things seemed dark and hard. I work on instilling that philosophy into our 3 kids and showing them there is always a way. If you want it bad enough and you are willing to work hard there is always a way.
14. What do you always pack in your suitcase?
I love this question--it's so unique Beth--just like you--you are so special! :) I always take the usual clothes, undies, shoes, toiletries etc. but some things that ALWAYS go in are: SUNBLOCK (at least 50spf--I'm a red head with freckles and I burn so easy) A BASEBALL CAP (same reasons as sunblock) :) TENNIS SHOES (I love to walk around where ever I am staying as it's so fun to see the place from a walker's perspective) I always take at least 2 of my books I've written and 2 cds of my songs I've written because I usually always meet someone on the trip who asks me what I do and I give them my "books/cd" as a gift, and last but not least I always put in a little business card of mine that says SUITCASE BELONGS TO: and all of my contact info on the business card and then it says (REWARD) so I know if it ever gets lost I'll have a better chance to get it BACK!!
15. What is your dream adventure?
I have 10 horses and own 40 acres so obviously I am smitten over horses. My dream adventure is a trip to Ireland to do all of the "sites" and also ride horses over there in the lush meadows and their gorgeous mountains and beautiful oceans.
I am actually taking that trip Sept 18-28th 2011 and I'm soooo excited!
my twin sister, Kaysie is coming too. It will be a blast! :)
16. What is your motto?
My motto is a little saying I thought up a few years ago. "TAKE A CHANCE--MAKE A CHANGE" if you notice the spelling only two letters are different in each little phrase the T and the C in the first phrase and the M and the G in the second. Which just goes to show you it doesn't take a lot of changes to make a big difference in a sentence or your life! Little baby steps can lead to huge significant changes in your happiness and your life.
For more about Kellie visit: http://www.whirlwindpublishing.com