How to Lead a Joyful Life – Martha Beck



What’s the secret to a life of joy? Martha Beck, bestselling author, speaker, and life coach reveals the simple, yet often forgotten solution to the thing that makes us happy. She also explains how to recognize your essential self vs. your social self, why your definition of “everyone” creates a huge roadblock, and why you should do nothing.

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  1. If there’s something you hate so much that it makes you sick, do less of it. If there’s something that makes you happy, do more of it. It’s that simple.

  2. You can’t hide your essential self forever. Listen to your body, because it’s trying to guide you.

  3. Don’t waste your life for the sake of 3 to 6 people. They are not “everyone.”

  4. Practice thinking the alternative. Create a different circuit in your brain until it becomes a belief.

  5. Take mouse steps towards your eagle vision.

  6. If you’re not willing to jump into a new square one, you’ll never make a change.

  7. No one else can make what you make. It’s desperately needed. And it’s your duty to give that to the world.

  8. Do nothing. Enjoy the stillness.

  9. Take a risk by doing one thing a day that scares you. When it stops scaring you, go bigger.

  10. You are infinitely loved, you are always safe, and there’s no possible way you can make a mistake.

  11. If you trust yourself, you’ll know how to live.



  • Follow Martha on Facebook for her Gathering Room videos

  • Join Martha’s writing course,

  • Quote: “Beauty is its own excuse for being.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Martha’s books, including:

    • Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming The Life You Were Meant to Live

    • Finding Your Way In A Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature To Create The Life You Want

    • The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices For A Happier Life

    • Leaving The Saints: How I Lost The Mormons And Found My Faith

    • Expecting Adam: A True Story Of Birth, Rebirth And Everyday Magic

    • Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening

  • Essential self vs. social self

    • Essential self: genotype, true nature, what you’re born to be

    • Social self: response to the culture that raises you

  • Myelination in the brain

  • Quote: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal

  • Dante’s Inferno

  • Quote: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.” – Dr. Eben Alexander

  • Elizabeth Gilbert, Martha’s good friend and amazing author of Eat, Pray, Love



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