Their Secrets to Happiness

Their Secrets to Happiness

We asked around for the names of people who seem both successful and happy. Then we asked those people their secrets.

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There’s no doubt that some people find happiness elusive, even when everything seems to be going their way. But then there are those who hold the golden ticket, who have a fulfilling life and are loving it. We asked around for the names of people who seem both successful and happy. Then we asked those people their secrets.

Seth Goldman

Co-Founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea in Bethesda

“I have a very simple formula, where what you have is greater than what you want. Most people assume that the way to be happy is to have more. But I think the way to be happy is to want less and realize what really does make you happy and have that. For me, it’s being able to have a spouse who shares my values, a family who really appreciates, trusts and supports each other, and having a company that is having the kind of impact on issues I care about—diet and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and economic conditions in the developing world.”

Catherine Ronan Karrels

Head of School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda

“I am fortunate that most of my time is spent doing things I really believe in—taking care of my family and educating our amazing students. It is easy to be happy when you are around young people who are full of purpose and joy. I like to spend a minute, either at the dinner table with my family or with my son as he goes to sleep, to recall moments in the day for which we are grateful. It is so easy to get in a mindset that allows challenges to overshadow the goodness in our lives. A daily reminder of the people or events for which I am grateful keeps me grounded and reminds me of my many blessings.”

Photo by Shawn HeifertPatrice Brickman

Bethesda philanthropist

My connectedness to my family and friends is probably the single biggest factor in how happy I am at any given moment. It keeps me grounded and helps me let go of negative feelings. In recent years, I also have been meditating more. I think meditation can be a catalyst for all sorts of positive things, including deepening my compassion for other people as well as myself. This makes me more accepting and less critical, which enhances my sense of well-being.”

Daisuke Utagawa

Creative Director of Sushiko restaurant in Chevy Chase

“I count what I have; I don’t really count what I don’t have—and that [approach] makes me happy. The most important thing for me is people—having family and close friends around me who wish me well and are happy when I’m happy. The restaurant is an extension of that because when people are being fed, they’re happy. At the end of the day, we’re social animals. I really embrace that.”

 

Eileen Cavanagh

President/CEO of METRiX Technologies, a technology services firm based in Rockville

“To stay happy, I make a point to indulge in life’s little pleasures—having a glass of wine, eating chocolate, taking a walk with family or friends. I also enjoy music, especially local bands and my granddaughter’s piano programs through the Levine School at Strathmore. My faith in God and giving to others in the community—especially through two causes that are dear to my heart, Combat Soldiers Recovery and Family Services—give me perspective on life, which helps keep me feeling upbeat and optimistic.”

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