Bearj tells us about his decision to leave teaching after 28 years, overcoming negative tendencies, and why choosing happiness makes him happy.
Bearj Jehanian is a maximum performance speaker, trainer and all around good guy. He was super excited to be on our podcast and we were very happy to have him. When asked if there was anything further he wanted to share, he mentioned he has a friend who eats lightbulbs. As in crushes the lightbulb in a bag, chews the pieces until theyâ€™re sand-like and swallows. Howâ€™s THAT for a bring idea? *Ba-dum-CHHH* Moving right alongâ€¦
Bearj shares with us that heâ€™s thought about what makes him happy for a long time. What he found is that he makes himself happy. In fact, heâ€™s of the mindset, for everyone, that only â€˜youâ€™ can make â€˜youâ€™ happy. And, he believes, it is your choice to wake up in the morning and decide to be happy or not be happy. Bearj tells us that it is scientifically proven that happiness is not a byproduct of things that happen or you receive. It is not something you are born with or grow into. Instead, he believes that if you approach life with the mindset of happiness and joy, you will get what you need and will be happy.
How many times have we experienced moments that bring us joy? When you graduate from college, for example, there is generally a lot of happiness surrounding that life moment. Bearj shares that we are conditioned to equate happiness with monumental life events when in fact we can find happiness in any situation, even the negative. He shares the example of a Minor League Baseball Player who was involved in a gym accident that left him blind in one eye. As depth perception is so important while playing baseball, he could have easily taken this opportunity to be negative. Instead, the player chose this opportunity to state how grateful he was that he was that nothing more severe had happened to him. Bearj believes this young man has great things in store for him, whatever he chooses to do in life, because he opts to see life positively.
Bearj defines happiness and joy as a perspective. In general, he feels it is difficult to assess what happiness means as it changes per person. He knows, however, that it is something generated within, the attitude to look at everything positively in life, and the decision to do this every day. He also believes that most people who are happy are cheerful. And, if not, just smile. He also shares that the muscles moved in your face when you smile equate happiness.
How do you even begin to be happier? Bearj believes affirmations have a lot to do with it. Following the thought process of Shawn Achor in his book The Happiness Adavantage, you can change your life by constructing a new reality. This means building an affirmation of what you would like to be. You then speak this affirmation, out loud and using gestures, as if you were already this new person. Once you begin to create this new atmosphere around you, Bearj believes this will lead to your happiness.
This is not to say that he believes you can always be happy. In fact, Bearj knows there are moments in life that when first encountered are difficult. Itâ€™s not the original reaction to the situation that defines us, however. It is the mindset we choose to have in dealing with what happens long term. By nature, Bearj says heâ€™s a â€˜doomâ€™s dayerâ€™. He is negative but is winning the battle, none the less, by choosing to have the mindset to be positive.
To have this mindset, Bearj says you have to change a few things in your life. You literally have to take the emotions you feel during really happy moments and place them into everyday life. Not only will this help you confront difficult situations but your positivity will attract others who will want to be around you. He is an example of someone who was once did not have this mentality. Once unhappy, three years ago he opted to make a giant leap towards what he wanted to do in life.
A music teacher for 28-years, he found himself mourning the loss of his summer vacation as he started his last year of teaching. At the time, he didnâ€™t know it was his last year but decided it would be after a meeting involving 300 teachers and school administrators. An administrator giving a presentation shared that the ratio of required reading in schools would change to 70% Non-Fiction/30% fiction. In a world where Google, Apple and other like companies are looking for the next generation of creatives, he had a huge problem with this new â€˜initiativeâ€™. When he spoke up, no one listened which prompted him to make the decision to create more happiness in his life.
Bearj is happy to wake up, turn off the news, meditate, exercise and recite affirmations each morning. After 28 years of teaching, one can argue this took him a very long time to accomplish. This is because, like many people, Bearj was happy in his comfort zone. So, getting out of there was a matter of moving into his success zone. Now, when he holds a belief, he goes for it, full force and does not quit. He does not â€˜tryâ€™ things. In fact, he believes this is one of the dirtiest words in the English language because we use is it as an excuse to not see things through. He believes we should decide, which is finite. In this way, we have control over our lives and truly move into what we are meant to do.
Bearj inspiring you already? We can thank his mom. She was known at the â€˜go-toâ€™ person for others in her life. When she died, Bearj and his siblings received many cards and letters showing an outpouring of love and gratitude for all their mother had done for others. She spread herself thin to so many and never once did her children feel that she was not there for them. It was this feeling of helping others and having such a major impact on peopleâ€™s lives that inspired Bearj to be a motivational speaker far down the road. He believes this is his path towards freedom and living life exactly as he wishes.
What else makes Bearj happy? His nieces and nephew, memories of being a kid, being his authentic self and feeling free. You can catch more of Bearj by visiting his website, Break Down The Wall, and watching his motivational speeches on his YouTube Channel.
Links / Read / See / Hear
The Happiness Adavantage, Shawn Achor
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.