Oak Communications
February 2012
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Last weekend, at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, I saw the film, Happy. It is a feature-length documentary that takes viewers to India, Bhutan, Denmark, Brazil, Japan, and Southwest Louisiana to explore the mindsets, cultures and habits that lead to happiness.  


They also interview researchers in the growing fields of positive psychology and neuroscience who describe what they are learning about the ingredients for happiness.


The filmmakers have declared February 11 as World Happy Day and screenings of the film will take place around the globe. I recommend the film. Check out the website to find screenings in your area.  


Research findings suggest that we have anywhere from 20 - 60% control over our own happiness. What that means for me, not having been born with the happy gene, is that I must take conscious steps to cultivate happiness.


If the word happy bothers you, choose another word to focus on, like contentment, ease, well-being or aliveness.


The film concludes that we can take active steps to cultivate happiness, such as:


  • Gratitude - Pay attention to the small things that you are grateful for each day
  • Novelty - Try something new
  • Community - Spend time with family, friends, spiritual communities and/or neighbors
  • Flow - Find activities or work in which you are so engrossed that you lose track of time
  • Optimism - Notice your perspective. If you catch yourself being pessimistic, try to turn your thinking around
  • Mindfulness - Practice being in the present moment, rather than in the future or the past
  • Generosity - Help others


Happiness is contagious. So if you live in more ease and aliveness, others around you will too.


To learn more about these and other ways to cultivate happiness, you can read one of the many books that have been written in recent years, watch the film, and work with a coach.*


One way I am going to up my happiness quotient this weekend is through pursuing novelty and community. You will find me in New Orleans at the Krewe du Vieux Mardi Gras parade with friends and family.  


What will you do to pursue happiness today?




Sue Schleifer 


*See resources below


Happy movie poster
Happy movie poster

















Tee Mamou Mardi Gras
Tee Mamou Mardi Gras

International Coaching Week is February 5 - 11.
In celebration of coaching week and Mardi Gras, I am offering a complimentary coaching consultation and $50 off the first month of coaching to new clients who contact me between February 3 - 21 to schedule an appointment.

Curious about coaching? Want to increase your happiness? Then give me a call today!



Ted Talks on Happiness

Here are links to two provocative talks about happiness:

Julian Baggini  Is there a real you? 




Sampling of Books on Happiness 


  James Baraz & Shoshana Alexander, Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness 

  Rick Foster & Greg Hicks, How We Choose To Be Happy  

  Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living  

  Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason




Coaching Services  

Headshot Sue

Have you been thinking about working with a life/career coach? The new year is a wonderful time to begin working with a coach. 


Give me a call to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.   


Below are what some of my clients have said about the coaching experience.


"Since I first hired a coach I have been a happier person and a more successful businessman. My company has become much more successful, our employees have had the opportunity to grow to the fullest of their capabilities and everyone seems to enjoy each day of life much more than in the past."


"Sue truly cares about her clients' goals and brings that passion to her work as a life coach. With her fresh perspective and eye for possibility, she helps me find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

Plenty of professional and creative people would benefit from working with Sue, and I particularly recommend her to anyone who needs to get 'unstuck'."
Medical Editor and Fabric Artist

"Doesn't everyone need a coach? From working with Sue, I'm convinced of it. I am spending more time on the activities that are most important to me and have set aside some old patterns (like worrying too much!) that got in my way. Sue is helping me achieve my interpersonal as well as career goals."
President, High Tech Management Consulting Firm

"If you want to make changes in your personal or professional life, and need coaching to help you find your way and follow through, then I would strongly recommend working with Sue." 
Small Business Owner
"Whether in my work or private life, Sue has an uncanny ability to see situations from many different angles. Her attention is complete; she really makes you feel like you matter. If I circumvent an issue, she brings me back to what is important.  

Sue has become one of my most important teammates. I can tell her anything, never feel judged and always feel supported. It doesn't get better than this!"
Co-Founder, Co-Director, Non-Profit Organization

I would love to be a resource to you too! Let's talk.


Sue Schleifer, M.A.


510.316.3319 - cell
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

510.316.3319 - cell

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