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Year of Willingness“When someone tells me that they want to change the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time… and asks me to participate… I say yes!”[1]
(Scott Barry)

In just ten days, another year of Happy Living comes to an end, and wow, has it been exciting, creative, and fun. My annual theme for this year was Willingness.[2] My goal was to pay attention to what the Universe was offering me. I tried to plan less and just be more. For example, on Tuesday, November 28, I started my workday focused on completing a few tasks I’d left undone the day before. I then learned that it was #GivingTuesday, so I adjusted my plan based on what the Universe had presented. I spent the greater part of my day learning more about the history of Giving Tuesday, creating a social media promotion for my two favorite charities, and marking my 2018 calendar so that I can plan in advance for the next international day of giving.

Throughout my professional career, I’ve cultivated a practice of developing strategic partnerships by matching the enthusiasm of another interested party. That long-time practice, combined with my annual theme of willingness, helped to make 2017 a wonderful year of creativity, innovation, and partnership.

Matching Scott’s Enthusiasm

I re-met Scott Barry towards the end of 2015. We hadn’t seen each other since losing the Division 2 National Football Championship game way back in 1982! When we re-met, I was on a business trip in San Francisco, and Scott was also there, performing his show, Rise: Finding Love the Hard Way. I wasn’t able to see his show unfortunately, but we made time to visit.

I was impressed that Scott was living his dream of being a playwright and actor, so I asked him if he’d do a Something Significant interview[3] with me. He said yes. Shortly after the interview, I had the idea to combine his show with a talk I was giving to a group of black-belt candidates in Cottonwood, Arizona about turning inspiration into action. I proposed that he perform his very intimate, one-man show about his battle with impotence…in a Tae Kwan Do studio. He said yes.

Scott’s show was amazing. He’s really good at what he does, and watching him, I could tell how much he loves it. That weekend, it became clear to me that I wanted to collaborate more. As I considered our work and mission at Happy Living and Scott’s creativity and theatrical talent, I came up with a creative little accident called Blog Theatre™,[4] a first-of-its-kind mash-up of blog posts and theatrical performance. I asked Scott if he would read our most inspiring blog posts, interpret them from his perspective, and then bring them to life with rousing, theatrical, one-man mini-shows. He said yes!

We published the first Blog Theatre on January 9, 2017, and to kick off the upcoming New Year, Scott is now working on episode number twenty-four, based on My Philosophy For Bringing Resolutions To Life.

Scott kept on saying yes, and I kept matching his enthusiasm. I wasn’t done. Up next, I asked if he’d let me re-purpose the content of one of his plays into a book. If you haven’t guessed by this point, he said yes. We published The Greener The Grass in the spring of this year. It’s an exhilarating journey into self-realization based on the autobiographical solo show Scott wrote and performed to the acclaim of critics. Now, his book is receiving five-star reviews from readers.

As I began integrating The Greener The Grass with our other book promotions, a marketing idea came to me: what if we combined our book-signing events with a live performance of Blog Theatre? I asked Scott (the actor) if he’d join me (the businessman and author of The Belief Road Map and Turning Inspiration Into Action), my dad (the professor and author of Love Letters From the Grave), and my friend Frank Shankwitz (the homicide detective and author of Wishman) at events to sign his own book and to offer a live performance of A Businessman, Professor, Homicide Detective and an Actor Walk into a Bar… He said yes.

When I asked Scott to join me in Portland for the World Domination Summit to give a live performance of Are You Drinking Toxic Wine? he said yes to that too. Then I asked him if he would give a live performance of his entire book on stage at the beautiful Geery Theater in Mid-Town Sacramento at an event we called Night of Theatre, Wines & Books! He said yes, once again!

I love the creativity, innovation, and easy willingness of my partnership with Scott. Early next year, he’ll begin working on the audio version of The Greener The Grass. I’ve also asked him if he’ll help me create an innovation to audio books in which the narrator interacts with the reader. He said yes.

Other Enthusiastic Partnerships

Reciprocal enthusiasm sparked a few other partnerships in 2017 that I am also super excited about.

My connection with Joe Jacobi produced this inspiring podcast interview[5], this motivational video[6], and brought Joe to the pages of Happy Living as our expert in Personalized Performance Coaching[7]. What’s next? I’m planning a trip to visit Joe in La Seo de Urgel, Spain, to further explore synergies and strategize on taking our collaboration to the next level.

A chance conversation with Todd White[8] of Dry Farm Wines sparked an unexpected partnership that has changed my diet forever[9], expanded our affiliate program in a way I could never have imagined[10], and enhanced Happy Living events with delicious, natural wines[11]. I spoke with Todd recently about another collaborative idea I’m excited about: I’d like to send a bottle of Dry Farm Wines and a Happy Living book to social media friends as their birthdays pop-up on my Facebook and LinkedIn feeds. I hope we’ll have a Birthday Bottle & Book program in place early in the New Year.

In October, we published our fifth book, and that experience reconnected me with Karen Conover[12]. The book is called Inspiring Women, and Karen is chapter five. To celebrate Karen and to market our new book, we hosted a dinner party[13] in Karen’s honor. Friendship, fun, and enthusiasm were flowing all night…along with a little wine too, of course. Karen was very excited to be included in our book, and when I suggested that she should write a book of her own about the impact martial arts has on transforming lives, she was struck with inspiration. The dinner party was on November 12, Karen watched our video about the Happy Living (Fun) Way of Book Publishing on November 15, and we had a conference call to discuss her book and our publishing process on November 16. We signed a contract to publish her book on December 5. Easy, willing enthusiasm.

Priorities for 2018

As we transition into 2018, I intend to keep paying attention to and playing with whatever the Universe offers me. I plan to double down on my strategic practice of matching enthusiasm with enthusiasm. My top priority for 2018 is to wake every day enthused and to continue the daily work of creating the life of my dreams: doing things I love, with people I love, in places I love. After all, love is what gives meaning and purpose to life![14]

Happy Holidays

This is our final post for the year. It’s time for me to shut down, disconnect, and pour love on my family and friends. 2017 was another awesome year at Happy Living, and we appreciate you for joining us[15] on this incredible journey.

I wish you and yours every joy you can imagine this holiday season! See you in 2018!!!

Love, Matt

[1] Blog Theatre, Episode #9: A Businessman, Professor, Homicide Detective and an Actor Walk into a Bar…

[2] The Map of Consciousness – David Hawkins

[3] Something Significant: Scott Barry

[4] Binge listen to all 23 episodes of Blog Theatre™ on iTunes or at www.happyliving.com/blog-theatre

[5] Something Significant Podcast: Joe Jacobi

[6] Wishing You Every Success in Life That You Can Imagine!

[7] Read how Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi became Happy Living’s expert in the specialized field of performance coaching

[8] Something Significant Interviews: Todd White, Dry Farm Wines Pt.1 and Pt.2

[9] Read why I stopped drinking toxic wines

[10] Who would have ever thought Happy Living would be selling natural wines

[11] Watch the video: Happy Living Presents a Night of Theatre, Wines & Books

[12] Something Significant Interview: Karen Conover

[13] Happy Living Celebrates Inspiring Women (Sedona event)

[14] Watch the video: Matt’s Philosophy of Love

[15] Receive Blog Theatre, deeply moving Make-A-Wish videos, and inspiring, five-minutes-to-read posts about creating a more meaningful, successful, and happy life… all delivered right to your inbox once a week

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Dry Farm Wines curates only the highest quality natural wines from small family farms that meet our strict standard of purity. Unlike today’s commercialized and processed wines, this is real wine. Nothing added, nothing removed.

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