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45: “I Can Choose to Be Happy” (with Ruth Soukup)

After going through years of severe depression Ruth Soukup made her way back to a place of light and hope. She said, “I made a choice to be happy and not spend the rest of my life feeling broken.” Fast forward to today: Ruth is a blogger, author, and entrepreneur, as well as the New York Times bestselling author of Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life and the founder of the Living Well Planner™. Through her popular blog,, she encourages more than a million monthly readers to follow their dreams and reach their goals, sharing easy-to-implement tips and strategies for saving time and money while focusing on the things that matter most. She lives in Washington State with her husband Chuck and two daughters, Maggie and Annie.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Ruth:

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is only the courage to continue that matters.” -Winston Churchill

“Life is just a journey that we're on. We have ups and downs. We have highs and lows. And it is just a reminder to me that when things go right, it does not mean that that is the end, and I can be done. And when things go wrong, it is not the end of the world… you've got to keep moving, and you've got to keep going forward.”

“I slowly began to figure out how to live again, and it took awhile. But it was that conscious moment of saying, ‘I am not going to dwell in the past anymore.'”

“There is hope. I think that was the thing that for me, especially when I was in that really dark place. I love my story just in the sense that I am one person that you can look at and say, ‘She was there. She was in that dark place and things got better for her.' There is hope, and believe that there is hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel and hold on to that hope even if you cannot see the last light and you cannot feel the hope for yourself.

“That is really where my heart is: encouraging women to set goals for themselves and to figure out practical ways to handle those other things that keep us so busy, so that there is a little more margin for those things that really get us excited.”

“As humans, we do not need somebody to preach at us and tell us all the things we are doing wrong and the other people are doing it better, but to realize that there are other people out there who have struggled just like we do and maybe have a rough time and have some solutions along the way: ‘Here's what helped me, this might help you too…'”

“Give yourself permission to dream for 20 minutes or half an hour about all of the possibilities and write those things down, and start thinking, ‘Yeah, you know what, I could maybe do this.' I like to encourage people to dream, or to set goals that are so big that they scare you a little bit. Because I think that when you feel that little tingle of excitement inside yourself, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I just said that. I cannot believe that I just admitted that to myself, that I really want to do that…' -that is where you start to like feel that passion, to feel that fire inside. And then from there, once you have given yourself permission to think big and dream big, I really like to encourage people to dream big and plan small. Instead of starting with a day to day thing, starting with your grand vision. And breaking it down to your goals for the years, and then break that down into your goals for the month. And then break that down for your goals for the week. And then for your goals for the day. Doing that makes you realize what is really important. Because the reality for us is that there is only 24 hours a day. We can only do so much and none of us can do everything. You start with your big things, and you make those the first things on your list rather than the last things on your lists. You will accomplish more…”

“That failure has actually taught me so much about myself. Because I realized failing was not the end of the world. I thought dropping out of law school would have been the end of the world but instead it allowed me eventually to… find what my passion is, which is what I am doing now. But I would have never been doing what I am doing now if I finished law school. ”

“Sometimes the process of trial and error, and the process of just putting yourself out there and trying new things allows you to find what you truly love and what you are truly passionate about.”

“Keep doing the best that you can and you will be fine.”

Some of Ruth‘s Favorite Things:

Personal habit: “Getting up early.”

Easy meal: “I love breakfast for dinner. And freezer meals.”

Possession: “Cheese slicer! Gouda.”

Ruth's Favorite Books: The Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggSmarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg, and Good to Great by Jim Collins

Best advice received: “Everybody feels that way and we are all just making it up as we go along. And the best thing that you can do is just keep plugging away and keep making it up as you go along.”

Ruth's Happiness Formula:

“My kids and my husband. Being able to do the work that I do. Being able to get up early in the morning and work at something that I love. Helping people along the way and making a difference in people's lives. ”

A Challenge from Ruth:

“Take the Crushing It mini course.


Living Well Spending Less (Ruth's Website)

Living Well Planner

Crushing It Mini Course

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

Good to Great by Jim Collins

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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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