How to Be Happy for Others

Oh, how I love celebrating other people’s success!!

Does that sound goody-too-shoes-ish? Well, it is 100% true. I didn’t previously have the ability to cheer for others- I would plaster on a smile and wish them well but deep down the little voice inside would be whispering in my ear. “Why aren’t YOU that successful?” “Look how hard they worked while you were off having cocktails!” “YOU should be staying up until 2am working instead of actually sleeping!”

The secret to truly being happy for other people is first being happy with yourself. I have grappled with my personal definition of success for years, and when I finally settled on what success means for ME, I was able to realize that it looks SO different for everyone.

Here is a portion of my definition of success, the full definition is constantly changing as I grow and change:

Using my talents and passions to the best of my ability while taking time to enjoy the little things in life and express gratitude.

Notice I didn’t mention money? Likes on Instagram? Comments on my blog? Sure, I might experience a passing wave of “I kinda suck” but I simply remind myself of what matters most to me in life and move along. Also, everyone’s values are different. I value family, sleep and in-person connections/entertaining over perfection, social media, and being everywhere all the time. My success is going to look very different from someone whose values don’t match mine.

Here are my tips on how to be happy for other people:

*Remove yourself (your ego) from the equation. This isn’t about YOU- it is about THEM!

*Understand that success isn’t a zero-sum-game. Just because they are successful doesn’t mean your level of success decreases. There is an unlimited amount success in the universe.

*Use any jealousy/envy as motivation. Wish you were at their level? GET THERE!

*Find the joy in congratulating someone- the simple act of celebrating someone’s success can make you feel better. It feels MUCH better than the icky feeling of envy or jealousy, right?

*Find a way to work with them and/or learn from them. Can you help them with a project? Could they serve as your mentor? This is a two-way street folks- figure out what you can offer each other.

Today, I want to celebrate the success of 2 people that I have worked with over the course of 2017. These women (and I have celebrated men in the past, so no gender bias here!) are truly following their passions, helping others, and are genuinely NICE PEOPLE. Help me celebrate their success and be happy for them!

Lisa Gunderson

Lisa is a warm, patient, and grateful person in addition to being driven, honest and personable.

She created LMG Chicago in 2012, a brand marketing agency that provides social media management, video & photo production, and cloud management. If that wasn’t enough, she recently launched Tea Time Socials, a children’s tea time pop up with a focus on friendship, empowerment, and learning.

I am honored to work with her on an event this January in my hometown- an All Dressed Up Mommy & Me Tea Party (which we sold out in record time- three cheers for dressing up and sipping bubbly & tea). She took my idea of a vintage dress up party and absolutely ran with it, incorporating vintage lace in the invite, vintage floral motif in the backdrop and even vintage balloons. I am so incredibly proud of her!

Julie Hightower

Julie, the founder of A Better Day with Julie, is an absolute force of nature in the best way. Her magnetic and electric personality makes you feel motivated just by being in her presence. Julie is a cheerleader and organizer for numerous causes including Daisie Foundation, which supports programs that uplift women and children by leading to empower, inspire, and provide assistance and opportunities for those in need.

Photo: Rachel Bires Photography

I participated in the Leading Ladies Luncheon last year and fell in love with the passion Julie had for every single person’s feeling of inclusivity and pride. She was able to give 150 deserving mothers makeovers, and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supporting worthy causes. If you missed the lunch, make sure to put it on your radar for this year!

In addition, I will be interviewing successful, helpful people over the course of 2018. Stay tuned!

Cheers to being genuinely happy for others, celebrating their success, and feeling confident in yourself!



  1. January 18, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Love this so much!! You are always a positive light to be around and that's why I love working with you. Keep up the good vibes in 2018! Hugs!

    • January 19, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      THANK you so much for your kind words- it means the world to me!! I adore working with you as well, you are incredibly driven and talented my friend!

  2. January 24, 2018 / 6:01 pm

    Terrific attitude and post! Community over competition is such a wonderful way to live.

    • January 24, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      THANK you so much, and I totally agree. It just feels good to live that way, doesn't it? I found that when I think positive thoughts I am a much happier person (and although I do have my down days as well, getting back up is more important)

  3. January 24, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    Really needed to read these. I have the hardest time with self-depreciation and comparison. As a photographer I am constantly getting those "not good enough" and that "everyone is better than me" feelings.

    • January 24, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      Oh thank you Cathy for letting me know!! In our world where we are plastered with others' pictures of "perfection" it is so hard to realize that we are comparing ourselves to their highlight reel. I definitely get those feelings still as well, but I now try to see them for what they are, just thoughts not reality.
      PS- I took a look at your site and you definitely have a talent for capturing personalities!

  4. January 26, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing this – needed to hear it today! It's can be so tough to feel positivity for others in this blogosphere and world of social media, so I appreciate your perspective and inspiration to focus on your own journey. Have a great weekend!

    XO, Elise @ Belle Meets World