The article below is reposted from from a piece written about the book Pivot by Jenny Blake.  It captures the essence of my beliefs on how to take control of your happiness and create a meaningful life. It is brilliantly written and I hope you gain wisdom and insight from this article. Enjoy 

Can happiness be as simple as x+y = joy? Not exactly, but our expert, a former Google career development manager and the author of Pivot, shows you how to create your own personal equation for self-satisfaction and well-being.By Jenny Blake.

One morning, I was sitting at my desk, bleary-eyed after returning from a week of travel. All of a sudden, I had an out-of-body experience as I watched myself angrily slam my fists on my desk in exasperation because my wireless mouse got disconnected for the umpteenth time. It was a cartoon moment: Every item—books, papers, speakers—jumped 2 inches in the air and scattered back down.


I am not normally an impatient person, but that morning my fuse was short, if not completely blown. I couldn’t fix my mood with mental gymnastics or ignore it—clearly that had not been working.

Then, it occurred to me: It had been five days since my last bout of vigorous exercise. My eyes darted from my clock, to my to-do list, to my email in-box. I didn’t exactly feel like I had the time for a short run, but I certainly didn’t have the time for hair-trigger frustration and a sour mood the rest of the day either. Everything on my list could wait the 20 minutes it would take to get some endorphins flowing. I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door. Sure enough, after a run and a cup of coffee, my mood and productivity bounced back.

One of the keys to being agile in life is knowing how to quickly find your way back to equilibrium. It is difficult, if not impossible, to pivot from a place of anxiety or unhappiness. Your ability to navigate change will be severely hampered if you are weighed down by people, habits, an environment or activities that drain you.

Your happiness formula is the unique mix of environmental factors and activities that are most likely to invigorate you and reset your energy batteries when they are running low. When you search for a place to stay on Airbnb, you narrow down the choices with criteria such as price, location, size and amenities. Your dream room might be someone else’s nightmare. Think about your happiness formula elements as life filters, the search criteria that help clarify your priorities and rules of thumb for making you most fulfilled in a given day or week.

Think of your happiness formula on a micro level—day-to-day routines and 5-to-20-minute habits—and on a macro level of bigger choices, like where to live and work. What micro and macro elements are most important to build into your life?

3 Steps for Finding Your Happiness Formula

1. Reflect your current morning and evening rituals. How did the past few days go? Rate how you feel about your overall balance of activities on a scale of 1 to 10. What’s working best in your life at the moment? What’s missing? What would a 10 look like?

2. Aim for quantity as you fill in your chart. Don’t censor yourself; just go with whatever comes to mind. Make a list of three to five activities that energize you most for each section. What daily activities and morning routines are must-haves for your happiness formula? What macro lifestyle factors are most important? For both categories, note what you are doing well and what you may be missing. (To get your creative juices flowing further, fill out this more in-depth Ideal Day Mad Lib.)

3. Express your happiness formula as an equation by identifying elements across the three M’s:

  • Must-haves: Choose three items from the lists above that most energize you (and that help save your sanity in stressful times).
  • Multiplier/s: Choose one or more booster elements that supercharge your day or week.
  • Minuses: Choose one or more elements to subtract that are no longer serving you: habits, fears, mind-sets or shoulds that you want to let go of.

These elements combined look something like this:
[(Ritual 1 + Ritual 2 + Ritual 3) x Booster] – Barrier/s to Drop = Daily Happiness

Personalize your formula until it fits. The goal is to capture your most critical foundational elements. You can even give it a fun name or label, the result on the other side of the equal sign, that serves as a shortcut for how you want to feel when enacting these routines.

For example, I have one to two hours of windup rituals before I sit down at the computer. I meditate, journal and then read a nonfiction “brain food” book with tea. After that, I make a list (or double-check the one from the previous day) of what top three strategic and creative tasks are most important to complete in my morning sprint before meetings start. By the time I sit down for work, I am focused and ready.

Following this ideal day structure, my happiness formula is:
(Reading + Meditation + Journaling) x Exercise (Yoga, Pilates or Walk-and-Talk with a Friend) + (Creative Deep Work) — (Email Anxiety) = Morning Ninja

Here’s another example from author Bill Connolly.

His formula is:
(Creating) + (Friends and Family) + (Traveling) — (Being Scared) = Meaning Over Money

And from painter Michel Karsouny, whose formula is written in sets of three:
(Meditation + Reading Art Books + Drawing) x (Gym + Wake Up Early + Time with Partner) — (Junk Food + Toxic People + Procrastination) = Spiritual Warrior

Your happiness formula doesn’t have to be set in stone. Think about it as recipes—pick three ingredients at a time for an energizing morning or relaxing evening routine—and keep tweaking until you find a few standbys that consistently activate your best self.

After you’ve crafted your happiness formula, remember: Happiness—the way we traditionally describe and seek it—is elusive, like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. We chase and chase, never quite catching the peace we seek, by the very nature of being in a mode of pursuit. The more we chase happiness, the more it escapes us. So don’t fret. Trust your formula and enjoy creating a routine out of what makes your heart sing. You will be most fulfilled by pursuing meaning, growth, impact and connection directly, thereby letting a calm, purpose-filled happiness emerge as a natural byproduct.

Pivot by Jenny BlakeThis adapted excerpt was taken from Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, by Jenny Blake. Find out more about Blake at

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Our History

The Women's Heritage Walk is a life-affirming trek inspired by the worldwide history of women who walked to feed their families, bring water to the villages, trade goods and services, and migrate to safer, more hospitable lands. Women have been on the move for centuries, often reacting to the weather, food, and resources.

The Walks was a natural corollary to the three-day Wellness Seminars established in and around the mountains of Garmisch, Germany, in 1992. This format expanded to Poland, Rome, Italy, and into schools to meet the growing need to address the social and emotional need to cope with increased stress, particularly bullying in schools. Women's Heritage Walk, established in 2015, has become an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women.

The Women's Heritage Walk is an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women. It is rooted in the belief that women empower each other, their families, communities, and themselves through growth, learning, and pushing their limits.

Preparation begins three months in advance with a curated program to prepare walkers mentally and physically for an arduous, exciting adventure. This experiential journey captivates all the senses and enhances each woman's physical strength and internal fortitude while enhancing an individual's personal health and wellness path.

This adventure allows walkers to immerse themselves authentically in the local country's cultural heritage. Daily programs stimulate a more profound understanding of our foremothers' life experiences and offer a new appreciation for the habits and customs borne from the hardships of early life.

Participants forge deeper bonds with themselves and each other through physical, mental, and emotional development. Shared hardships endured with common goals create lifelong attachments, increase mutual understanding, widen tolerance parameters, heighten mutual respect, and reinforce shared values. Once accomplished, it accentuates individual strengths and potential more fully.

This transformational endeavor impacts the Walkers and their network of friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Each person learns vicariously from the participant's persistence, perseverance, lifestyle changes, growth, reinvigoration, and heightened knowledge.

Each year brings a new adventure and opportunity to connect as we obtain the most up-to-date research to augment and improve upon the four pillars of Culture and Heritage, Health and wellness, Strength and Leadership, and Community Connection.

We employ an overarching approach encompassing all human needs. We focus on physical and mental health, joy and balance in relationships and spiritual and intellectual curiosity.

Tolerance, perseverance, self-awareness, and cultural respect are themes discussed in the Wellness Component. These become more relevant as the event brings women from multiple nationalities together. The journey provides an open forum for the women to discuss culture, values, and traditions and to learn from each other without judgment. Through it, they discover more that unites them than separates them.

Each woman takes a chance by overcoming fear and disrupting their life momentarily, hoping to find something special inside and outside themselves. Through connections to others unlike themselves, they learn and grow.

"A heart afraid never learns to dance and never takes a chance." Bette Midler

Fear isolates us and diminishes our opportunity to live our best lives by finding our best selves. We must be challenged to do this, and the Women's Heritage will challenge you. Complacency and walking through our lives on autopilot does not. When we think of adventures, we think of exploring something outside ourselves. However, in this Walk, a large part of this challenge and any arduous struggle happens inside ourselves. This Walk challenges you to go outside your comfort zone in all areas.

This program is guided by integrity and honors heritage. The Women's Heritage Walk develops personal and collective strength. Proximity and shared hardship build not only tolerance but respect. By finishing, they teach our daughters, families, and community that difficult does not mean impossible. The challenging walks teach us to persevere with compassion, humbly appreciate nature's power, and draw on inner strength to keep moving forward when weary. This gift of struggling fortifies a heightened and profound belief in oneself and gratitude for the support given.

Along with her in-country cultural experts, Jody continues to develop a modern and ever-growing tribe of a global 'sisterhood.'

26-year-old UAE national Waheeda Al Hadhrami participated in 2017 and said about the event, "Walking through our beautiful deserts and reconnecting with our past was life-changing, although it was physically and mentally challenging. The experience allowed me to meet many women from different backgrounds and walks of life, and I enjoyed the cultural exchange. I loved every step of the journey!"