Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel immensely grateful for my life.

After all, I was born to a middle-class family and have access to clean running water, shelter, food, and education.

Happiness is not a limited resource. Help yourself, and there will be plenty left for everyone else. Click To Tweet

In a world where nearly a billion people live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day), I understand how extraordinarily blessed I am, as are many people I interact with.

That’s why I was particularly interested in tackling today’s question. Because it touches upon something that anyone with a heart and global perspective can relate to.

When so many others struggle, is it really OK to be happy and do meaningful work I love?

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Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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As mentioned, if you’d like to join our lending team, we’d love to have you!

One of the things I adore about you, and our community as a whole, is that you care.

Not just about “getting ahead,” but about how your behaviors, attitudes and choices impact others.

Make no mistake, your happiness and joyful contribution in this world does make a positive difference.

And if point #5 in this video gets you fired up, please mark your calendar and MAKE SURE you watch next week’s MarieTV.

What’s coming up is the most personally meaningful and important interview of my career. And it dovetails beautifully with today’s topic – particularly point #5.

Now, I’d love to hear your perspective.

Do you ever feel guilty for being happy and creating a life you love when you know others suffer?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

Remember, thousands of bright souls come here each week for fuel and inspiration so leave as much detail as you can. Your insight may be the spark that ignites a meaningful change for someone else.

As always, thank you so much for reading, watching, and sharing.

With all my love,


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  1. Great advice, Marie. Guilt serves nothing.

    I also think it’s important to make the distinction between genuine happiness and gloating. With the amount of compassion Cynthia has, the latter just isn’t the case.

    In my opinion, be as freakin’ happy as you possibly can to be an inspiration to others. Your divine job is to shine brightly so that others may see their themselves more clearly.

    And now I’m going to go dance to “Happy” just because. No. Guilt. Here. None. <3

    • Yes, Emelia! The happier you are, the more you can inspire others!

      “Because I’m happyyyyy!”

    • Exactly my point, Emelia! It is my hope that my happiness inspires others. 🙂

    • Well said Emelia. Living and working from a place of happiness helps you be your best and hold space for others to come into their own light and that has got to be a good thing. Plus, you can’t bring more happiness to the world, if you’ve not got it.

    • Love your response, Marie! I don’t think we should make assumptions about how happy or not happy people are. There are people all over the world with “nothing” in terms of material things or fulfilling jobs (again, that’s our projection) and they are very happy. Also, we all have our stories and different paths in this lifetime. We should be grateful, and let our happiness SHINE so that others will benefit. I HAD a longstanding relationship with guilt and finally, at age 60, have learned just how unproductive it is. It’s a lower emotion that helps no one. Great question! 🙂

      • “The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” ~H.U. Westermayer

    • Paige

      My thoughts exactly, Emelia!
      I’m dancing right along with you – and all the other guilt-free light workers out there. . .

    • Plus, how can we give of our best in the world if we’re not happy? No-one wins – you feel miserable and others will be on the receiving end of that.

    • “Your divine job is to shine brightly so that others may see themselves more clearly”. I LOVE that Emelia – thank you 🙂 and thank you Marie for being inspirational as ever xx

    • Shalini

      Yes joining you in the happy dance.

      • C’mon. Room for all. 🙂

  2. I’ve definitely felt guilty, too, for pursuing what I love when SO many people don’t get that opportunity! But I love Marie’s point that “you can’t give away what you don’t have” — that includes happiness, fulfillment, AND money! The more you create in your life, they more you can offer to others.

    One thing I’ll say I’ve noticed by pursuing my dream: I’ve noticed that I’ve given people permission (just by example) to follow their dreams, too. Previous colleagues, friends, even my mom! They’ve all told me that they’ve been inspired to take a risk and pursue their dreams, too. It’s contagious!

    • Caro Je

      it’s so true Kristen!
      When you allow yourself to be Happy, you are inspiring others to do the same… they think: if she can do it, so do I.

      • beth

        Thank you for that confirmation! I harbor such guilt because my family members have not had success, in career or personal life. I am happy in many aspects of life and I wish the same for them. this is a good point, maybe they can take the lead from me and go out and make something for themselves, right??

        • Chelsea - Team Forleo

          Absolutely, Beth! By doing what you love and what you’re meant to, you inspire others to do the same. You also serve all those people who are looking for what you do and offer. Staying grounded in those ideas really diminishes the guilt.

    • Kristen,

      I love this. It’s all about being brave enough to fulfill the path made for you, alone if need be, and it does, by its own attraction, help others do the same 🙂

    • Agreed. It’s spreading that permission. By being happy, we’re seeding a movement. 🙂

  3. No ma’am, Pam! I sure don’t…

    You see, I’ve suffered long enough. I’ve learned that any suffering that I endured was by my own hand, whether it was because of decision that I made when my intuition was prodding me to do something else, when I chose not to forgive others for causing me pain, and the decision that I made to hold on to negative feelings, fear, doubt, and pain instead of choosing to feel through it, bless it, and let it go. Ultimately, I suffered, (and still do sometimes), because I CHOSE to.

    I’ve decided that I don’t like to suffer and that I deserve the kind of life that I want for myself. I’ve worked so hard to get here. Journaling, praying, EFT, sharing on my blog,, forgiving, praying, therapy, books, podcasts, etc., have all been a part of getting me to this point. I have so far to go still, but I am proud of and grateful for how far I’ve come on my journey. My purpose is to use all of that to help others on their paths,

    So no, I am not going to dull my sunshine because others choose to embrace dark clouds. I hope that they see my happiness, ask me how I got here, and do the work to get to their own happiness too.

    • This —-> “I hope that they see my happiness, ask me how I got here, and do the work to get to their own happiness too.”

  4. Ewa Zmyslona

    Marie, today’ s episode is very close to my heart as I am writing the book about the successful women entrepreneurs with the aim of setting the example of possibilities for others, because although our lovely community know what is possible and how wonderful it is to do what you love, most of people have no idea!!!

    so no guilt, let’s set the new normal!!!!


    • Go, Ewa.~
      Let’s hear it for a New Normal!

  5. Caro Je

    I deal with happiness guilt more than I would like to, but it drives me to do two things: First, To be very grateful for the opportunities that I have, And second: to be the person people look for when they need to raise their mood… so actually, the world needs very contagious happy people 🙂

    • Caro Je,

      I couldn’t agree more… I also experience happiness guilt (sometimes I think it’s the recovering Catholic in me!) quite a bit. However being grateful is so important ~ and yes, recognizing you ARE helping others by being you and doing what you love.

      And why SHOULDN’T that make us happy?!?

      I’m with you ~ all over contagious happy people 🙂


  6. Hi Marie! I love your videos, thank you so much for being such a light in this world and spreading your love!

    I recently graduated from college where I got a degree in international studies. Originally I planned to make a career in politics or journalism, but I learned something very important while studying politics…politics makes me soul hurt. So, I took a lot of classes in writing as well, to give me a break from the politics classes and also because I’ve been a novelist since I was a teenager (working towards publishing next year! yay!)

    I have been working on my novels and getting my motivational speaking work organized…and I love my work. I truly want to make people smile. That is my life’s mission: to help people reinvent their lives so they can live their dreams instead of being caught up in other peoples’ or social expectations. But, sometimes I do feel really guilty about this new path because I got in debt going to college for politics.

    How do I get past that crappy feeling? I remember that every experience I’ve had is what has brought me to this happy place in my life. Without college, without traveling to Africa and Russia in politics programs, I wouldn’t be me. So while I’m not going to be a politician or even write about them, I gained invaluable life skills and wisdom by going to school to learn about the world, international politics, and policies that literally rule the world.

    Thanks again, Marie! Love your thought provoking Q&A Tuesdays! Have a great day!

    • Stacy,

      I believe that you answered your own Question when you said that you wouldn’t be who you are if you hadn’t went to college and had the life experiences that you did. That is what life is about. Living!! Don’t regret it embrace it and be Grateful for the learning and loving that goes on along the way. Pay off that debt as soon as you can and the Crappy feeling will go away. 🙂
      All My best to you on your Book!!


    • Tal

      Stacy, I understand how you are feeling!

      Like you, I went to school for something I really thought I wanted, and then in my final year before finishing up I realized just how wrong it was for me. It’s good that you caught on and decided to change direction. For me, I tried to suppress the feelings, but eventually I decided to hit the brakes when my health was starting to take a hit. It’s amazing how the body will shove you in the direction you need to go when you don’t do it yourself!

      For the guilt, I think you have a healthy attitude to see how all of the studying you did was meaningful, and I think that will minimize your guilt over time. I think the same way about my time at school – yes, I didn’t follow that path, but I did have amazing experiences and met a lot of people I wouldn’t have if I didn’t go there. Plus, you never know when that knowledge on politics will come back to help you in your writing in the future. Best of luck to you!

  7. I don’t do guilt – it was one of the most frustrating things to my mother. She would throw out one of those Catholic Guilt phrases and my response was always, ‘Whatever you think’.

  8. Hi Marie!
    Today’s episode is also very close to my heart. I’m a big believer in giving back to the community and to the less fortunate. One of the ways in which I do this is to give at least 10% of my revenues to charitable organizations – this way my success/happiness has a direct, immediate and positive impact on helping others.

    Giving back is part of my business plan 🙂

    • That’s awesome Shannon. Make sure you watch next week’s MarieTV as it will further educate you on the art and science of giving.

  9. Oooh, wow. I feel guilty in advance, so I end up stuffing myself up before I even get going, just to make sure I don’t have anything to feel guilty about.Doh.
    I love the idea of using guilt as a gift. I’m going to get that part sorted now, so that the minute I have some real, rather than advanced imaginary guilt, I already have a plan in action.

    Thank you!

  10. Guilt is a wasted emotion. You make a decision. It was either a good decision or bad. If it was good, rinse and repeat. If it was bad, learn from it and move on. Feeling ‘guilty’ about something serves no one and only focuses you on the negative with woulda, coulda, shouldas. As far as feeling guilty because you have achieved and prospered and others have not – it diminishes the gratitude you can be demonstrating instead of wallowing in guilt. Guilt – bad juju!

    • Elizabeth H.

      So agree Capiz. Guilt does not put good energy into the world or move anything forward. Learning and giving as you move forward is the only thing good that comes out of it. To get mired in guilts and shoulds and old stuff is soul sucking.

  11. Hi Marie! I spend my life teaching people how to be resilient and improve well-being and much of what I teach are happiness habits. Happiness leads to greater productivity, higher performance and believe it or not, we are even better citizens when we are happy. There are so many benefits to being happy including health benefits. I know I’m helping way more people when I’m happy. Thanks for the great video!

  12. Dealing with mom guilt 6 years ago has helped me address all guilt. I just remember my ‘why’s’ and that I’m building an intentional life.

    And I absolutely agree- you can’t give what you don’t have. Blessing others requires resources whether I’m serving my own children or those far away.

  13. I learned a long time ago there is good guilt ( the guilt turned into practice giving …including yourself ) you refer to Marie, and then there’s the bad guilt, that leads to shame. That really sucks, and I say screw that kind of guilt.
    Gratitude and happiness? They are directly correlated. My level of happiness is proportionally equal to my level of gratitude. and how this is maintained daily. I’m not grateful because I’m happy, I’m happy because I’m grateful. Perhaps easier said than done, but it takes practice and work. I’m not responsible for any one ‘s happiness but my own, and visa versa. We can add to one another’s happiness, but we are not responsible for anyone’s happiness.

    • Elizabeth H.

      Anyone leading a happy, good, loving life is spreading good things into the world and helping others be happier and more hopeful. Being our own true self and being happy AND connected to others seems to be a pretty huge part of the life gig. When a soul radiates happiness it is contagious

  14. Arielle

    Love this and many of your other videos. I will say, that being happy can only inspire and aid in my desire to positively influence and help others. Once I realized how important it was for me to provide good energy to others. Being unhappy places a wall between that natural transfer of energy that can sometimes make all the difference.

    • Elizabeth H.


  15. I used to beat myself up in regards to these feelings. But, as time went on and I grew I decided to be a person that is constantly contributing to the lives of others. When you are making a difference every day even in the smallest way you are sharing the wealth. Examples of sharing the wealth can be simple and yet make such an impact. Such as paying it forward, donating your mentor-ship, putting the cart all the way back so the cart person can stay warm a little longer. Joy is contagious and as long as you look for ways to spread it big and small there is no room for guilt. Do your part and the rest will follow!

  16. Marie-

    Thank you for another wonderful episode!

    I have to say that so far (maybe it’s because I’m not wildly successful yet, but just starting to get my biz going the way I want it?), I haven’t felt guilt in my business. Instead, I find myself wanting to help others go after their dreams. Whether it’s my clients or someone I meet at a networking event who casually tells me of a cool big dream she wants to work on, I can’t help but spit off a million ideas and things I want to do to help them. I think if we all did what we loved, the world would be a better place 🙂 I don’t think anyone deserves to be stuck doing something they hate.

    Even though I sell fitness, I am very lucky because when my clients learn to take time to invest in themselves they end up being happier, more productive, and enjoy having more time to devote to developing their passions into profits 🙂

    Couldn’t be doing what I love without the support and inspiration of other online entrepreneurs though and thank you for the weekly dose of inspiration!

  17. Julia


    I feel guilty for wanting to PURSUE something I love. I have been the family breadwinner for about four years now while my husband goes back to school to become a Physical Therapist. I make more money than he will make with 100K in school loan debt and I only have a Bachelor’s degree! I do not enjoy my job though, and want to do something that makes me HAPPY! My parents said they were disappointed and they think it is a generational thing to try to pursue happiness in a career.

    Thanks for listening!

    • Prove them wrong. Prove yourself wrong since what’s coming up for you is a reflection of the story you’re telling yourself.

      What makes you happy? What could you do all day for free without getting bored of it?

  18. Natasha

    Hiya, I have guilt issues but no longer about the general population but rather between myself and my partner. Although he has a job he enjoys he works for awful ever critical bosses. Unfortunately he can’t leave because his visa is tied to it. He lives in daily fear that he may be fired and be separated from me. Mean while I remain positive and am currently having an ever increasing business model working as a herbalist and bringing people joy. Today I received my first bouquet of roses from a patient who got pregnant after 12 unsuccessful attempts of ivf. I don’t know how to have my joy inspire my partner. I think he is inspired by suffering to fight his way through things. I don’t think he responds to happiness, he thrives on stress.

    • Be the example, and when he sees that there is a happier and easier way to live, he will most likely join you. It’s hard, but don’t wait for him, he’ll step up when he’s willing. xx

      • Natasha Richardson

        Yeah I know this is the right path for me. I try to just be supportive and let him get on with his journey. Maybe one day we will be in the same place 🙂 The more I earn the more achievable that becomes.

  19. Carla

    Thanks Marie!! Love #4…
    Always wondering why I am so happy and how I can give it away. Tried to give it away to my family but they enjoy a big slice of gulity pie for dinner and dessert! Growing up in my house there was alot of implied guilt and an enormous amount of control. Learning to live in the present, practice gratitude, and leave the baggage at the airport.
    I’m having more Happichino this morning!!!

    Thanks again Marie

  20. I find a gratitude practice helps immensely with managing guilt! Writing down at least five things I’m grateful for each day has helped so so much.

  21. Great subject today! Here’s my question: when my grandmother past away she left pt me a small chuck of change. Nothing crazy but nice indeed. I used that money to “create a life and business that I love” by taking Bschool, moving my business an expanding it, and lastly buying a small but cute fixer upper house in cash so I can live happy and free of house payments to fully focus on my son ( single mom) and business. I’ve started doing so e life coaching on the side but I feel guilty or like a fraud a tiny bit bc I was given some help to get where I am. How do I erase that guilt and carry on giving and rocking life? Thank you!!

    • Roshni

      Hey Megan!

      Firstly, thank you for sharing and for being vulnerable with us. I totally understand where you’re coming from… perhaps it would help to reframe it like this: The Universe wanted to help you with your business and house payments, and this is the avenue that it chose to help you through. We are all at some point, in some way or the other, given help to move forward for our highest good (even if it’s not always obvious- even if it’s just the fact that we are given air to breathe!), so, in my humble opinion, no need to feel guilty about receiving help, in whatever form that help is given. The Universe wants to help us, and sometimes it chooses unlikely or less obvious avenues to give us that assistance. You never know how the people around you have been helped, so no need to judge yourself based on assumptions that you have been given help and they haven’t!

      Hope that helps, and let us know how you get on,

      • Thank you Rossini! My heart smiles. Great advice. Xx

      • Roshni, this was a spot on and beautiful reply. Huge thanks 🙂 Xo

  22. Love these reminders. I also remind myself that the vast majority of us started somewhere less-than-ideal ourselves, and made conscious choices to move out of those situations and into something that holds greater meaning for us. This in turn, enables us to pay it forward, as you say. Not to say that I ‘blame’ anyone for their circumstances. It’s just to say that we all have to make choices, and we all have the option of moving toward something else. It usually takes time and baby-steps…. The journey is a big part of it all – not just the destination or end-results. Where we come from often influences and impacts us in unexpected ways as we strive for more. We’re continually evolving. If we can then help others evolve too – all the better! I’ll have a guest-post in the near-future on the very topic of guilt from a writer-friend. Can’t wait to share! This topic touches everyone on some level. Cheers to living a life of Vitality!

    • Hey Denise! Thank you so very much for your comment as you sparked something I really wanted to share. It’s so important for us to remember that for billions of our fellow humans, they have almost no choices to make. They don’t start on equal footing and it’s extraordinarily difficult to break out of cycles of poverty and inequality – despite their talent, ambition and hopes. This article by Nick Kristof illuminates it best And yes – I fully agree, cheers to a live of vitality 🙂 XO

      • An Thys

        Dear Marie, thank you for posting the link to this article. As a Caucasian little girl I grew up in Africa and in my early twenties I traveled to a little over 40 countries on 4 continents, including countries such as India and different African countries. I can personally testify from what I have witnessed that a lot of people have indeed almost no choices to make, and this is especially true for girls and women. As an adult I went on to work as a therapist in Europe and I witnessed a lot of pain and trauma from childhood abuse and domestic violence in that setting.

        Although sometimes I do have an occasional “bad” day where I am not happy or grateful most of my days I am happy and grateful even if only for the most basic things; a roof over my head, nutritional food on the table for me and my family, clean water, being able to read and write, health care and medical assistance at a ten minutes distance from my home, and the reassurance of safety meaning that armed militia will not invade my home in the middle of the night. These basic things are lacking for most of humanity.

        It was with great expectation that I watched this episode of Marie TV. Because of what I’ve witnessed sometimes I feel overwhelmed by guilt when considering to further pursue happiness because it almost feels greedy. Yes my background is Catholic

        • An Thys

          Oops somehow my comment was cut short.

          So yes my background is Catholic

          • An Thys

            and adding an emoticon makes the rest of my comment disappear when I press comment. Sorry with my third reply I seem like a crazy person by now. But I’ll just throw in a little perseverance (without an emoticon).

            Where was I?

            Through this episode you reminded me that I can only give wholeheartedly when my cup overflows. Me feeling guilty over being happy or pursuing happiness is not serving anyone. It was what I needed to hear. I am on the brink of an important professional decision and you offered me a passage to clarity.

            Still thank you through your comment above with the article to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice in this thread. So divinely graceful of you.

  23. Roshni

    What a great episode, Marie!! I 100% agree with what you said… I grew up Catholic and my parents used to say ‘Don’t be too happy/proud/whatever, because there’s people suffering around the world!’

    Ofcourse I bought that as a kid, but after tonnes of EFT/Tapping, TAT, self-help, therapy and god knows what, I now realise that we can only give to others when our own cup is overflowing. To be guilty serves no-one. If anything, when I see people suffering (in third world countries, for example), it makes me even more determined to fill my own cup so that I can then help them. I know that I am not of any use to anyone if I’m sad or guilty.

    Having said all this, it is *so* easy to feel guilty if you’ve been brought up in a household that taught you that… so no judgement here, only compassion. I hope that this episode and all the comments have made you feel better, Cynthia! And you sound like a caring human being, and we could always use more of caring people like you in the world 🙂


    • Cynthia

      Why, thank you! And, yes, Marie’s video and the comments here are all very helpful. And now I have Pharrell’s “Happy” running through my head- always helpful!

  24. I find #1 and #5 to be important bookends. The first point, “your misery doesn’t serve anyone,” is something I remind myself of time and time again.

    You know how some parents force their kids to eat all their food, telling them there’s starving kids out there? Someone needs to tell them that their misery (and overly full bellies) doesn’t serve anyone!

    That’s why I like this point bookended with #5. Feeling guilty doesn’t help the world, but there are many concrete ways we can bring more happiness to others.

  25. I love this one! I too have suffered from happiness guilt, but what I do now, and what I teach my clients to do is, “Bump it with a trumpet”! I share all the happy things going on in my life, not as a way to brag, but as a way to inspire others to live their purpose. I honestly believe that Marrianne Williamson was right, about sharing your own light so that others can shine.

    I also believe that giving is the best way to counter act the guilt. I grew up poor, raised by a single mother, so I had to work through a lot of issues and mindset shifts about money and greed. Giving my time and my money to help the lives of others instantly breaks the guilt I would feel about making more money than I was accoustomed to.

    Thanks, Marie! As always, right on point!

    P.S. I’m on an event planning committee here in KY for young (20-40s) leaders. We’re looking for a key note, and I’m planning to advocate HARD for the committee to consider you! It would make my year!!! 🙂

  26. Guilt only imprisons our joy and creativity. Love the idea of breaking free with a “happy coffee” … have you tried adding coconut?

  27. Loved your answer! Guilt is a HUGE issue with my clients (mostly women – guilt and women, shocking, right?). I always say guilt should be reserved for when you have done something truly wrong, and with malice, not for living your life to the fullest. So my advice for turning that guilty feeling on its head is this – when you love your life and allow yourself to truly revel in it, you are modeling behavior that empowers others to do the same. And that’s something noble and righteous.

  28. I hadn’t even thought of happiness as a resource before, thank you for this perspective.

    I’d also like to add that as much as I love Kiva and aim to financially help so many women in this world, not just through my Build a Soulful Business program, but through philanthropy, it’s really important to honour where you’re at.

    And if you’re broke ass can’t afford Kiva, don’t do Kiva! Giving doesn’t have to include money, you can also give time and resources that are available and dispensable to you.

    There a line between giving too much though, and don’t spend all your time working for free because you feel the pressure from guilt to do so, but commit to visiting the dog shelter to donate an hour or two to washing and walking rescue dogs, or give away a free reading, or maybe offer a free client session with someone each month and use that as a list building tool.

    Get creative, honour your situation, be smart about it and THRIVE!

    Totally love Kiva by the way, it’s such a rush making that selection of who you can help, and so much inspiration to be more successful to help more people.

    Thanks Marie for a great Q&A. Big love,

    Phoebe xx

  29. Cynthia, what do you do?!

    LOL — great video Marie, as always. I look forward to every Tuesday being able to watch and then read all of the comments. What a great community! Hugs!

    • Cynthia

      I’m making costumes for cosplayers and Steampunk enthusiasts.

      • Katy


        I’m still very much in the guilt cycle. Something that’s struck me about you following your passion though, is that we can never really know what we’re doing in the world. We can never truly, in solid, absolute worldly terms, understand or know the depth of anybody’s suffering. Perhaps you are currently providing a service for people who have never felt understood, or okay in their own skin, and these people may have come from any corner of the globe. They may have experienced exactly the kind of disempowerment you described in your letter, and now you’re providing something that speaks to their souls. Should they feel guilty for enjoying the costumes you probably do an amazing job of making? Or perhaps I’m wrong – but we can never know. We really are all connected, so if you followed a non-passion in an area you considered to be a helping field, maybe people would sense that. Maybe they’d feel patronised, or somehow bereft, whilst instinctively/unconsciously knowing that you were not where you wanted to be.

        When that *thing* inside you goes *ping* at making costumes, that to me says that you’re where you need to be, with whom you need to be with, providing the service that you’re providing. If you weren’t, then you’d do differently. At the end of the day, guilt is not a true motivator, and everything we do is just surface stuff. It’s the heart beneath it that people invariably respond to.

        Thank you for being yourself – it’s given me the opportunity to articulate myself.


  30. Thank you, thank you for tackling such a toughie! This comes up in conversations all the time with people and it’s something that I happen to grapple with due to a HUGE shift in my life track. I switched my entire career from one focused solely on social justice through organizations & institutions (very near & dear to my heart) to one that fuels my spirit as a creative healer and entrepreneur. I’ve been waiting for an answer to this for quite some time. The Universe always knows what we need exactly when we need it…

    So much Love!

  31. Great episode, Marie! Love the turn of guilt as indulgence. I had never thought about it that way before. Guilt is putting your thoughts and feelings at the center of the universe and projecting onto others. Smackdown. That truly put guilt in a whole new light for me.

    Also appreciated turning guilt into giving as an expression of who we are. I agree that giving back in whatever way we can is an important part of being human and elevating the humanity in ourselves and others.

    I use my GLAM Time method to handle guilt and any other emotion/thought that is not productive.
    Ceaseless Gratitude
    Come from Love
    Be Authentic
    Flow in the Moment
    Build in Time

    Looking forward to your next episode!

  32. Hi, Marie

    This topic is so tender for me, that I needed to watch it 3 times to really hear what you were saying.

    I have the experience of my family encouraging my ‘misery’, while, when I’m successful, they frown and distance. I will assume that they are just worried for a path they don’t understand, while they want to be supportive when I’m not doing well.

    However, their reaction makes me feel guilty for my success as an entrepreneur (I literally design my work and life), and feeling an ‘upper limit’ that it’s not easy to deal with.

    What I do about it: I take on training to become aware of my patterns and break them, I read a lot of books that help support me, and I go to courses (like Josh’s workshop) to be here and make the choices that my heart wants.

    I know that this is just a phase, and it will be something I’ll smile about later, when I’d proven myself the sustainability of my choices and lifestyle.

    Thank you so much for this – I had no idea it was so touchy for me.

  33. Hi Marie,
    Great video– thanks.
    Some Buddhist teachers echo your observations — they teach that there’s actually three types of suffering — “the ouch, I stubbed my toe” type (suffering #1 aka regular suffering as in pain and suffering), the “oh my, too hot, go outside, now too cold, yikes, go back indoors” type (suffering #2– aka the suffering of change), and the “even my biggest happiness will still have a tinge of unhappiness included in it” type (suffering #3, aka all-pervasive suffering). Despite the fact that there’s no “pure” happiness (that’s a shout out to all you perfectionists out there, waiting for the perfect happy!), the suffering of change shows up when you decide to drop the guilt. Guilt is uncomfortable, diminishing and a pain in the #@s, but you know it. To change and stop feeding the guilt means you’ll encounter some “suffering of change”. Definitely worth the temporary suffering to get rid of the guilt, once and for all. Thanks again Marie for a great video.

  34. Michele Parker

    Something I read years ago has stuck with me – guilt has only two functions, to hurt someone or to control someone…whether it’s you or someone else trying to make you feel bad…that’s it. I used to feel almost apologetic for being ‘bubbly’ when people would say to me, “You are just way too happy…” at the office in particular (very serious place)…so my advice, if you want to lift people up, keep feeling your joy and expressing it cause guilt won’t get that job done.

  35. I know that everything has a frequency, including myself. If I’m happy, I am radiating a very high frequency which adds to the collective in a powerful way. Being joyful is a way for me to contribute to society!

  36. It takes more effort to be happy than sad or negative. If you are feeling happy, appreciate and embrace the feeling. People wonder if I feel down in my line of business ( but helping people on their grief journeys by helping them find perfect resting vessels makes me happy and fulfilled.

    • Irina, your website is beautiful. What wonderful items you have available. And what a great service you provide, to those who have experienced a loss, making it possible to purchase such lovely, meaningful items.

      • Kay, thank you for your kind words. I do love what I do and find it very rewarding on both sides: working with talented artisans and supporting them and interacting with my wonderful customers.

  37. Marie, thank you for a great episode.

    A special reply for Cynthia who asked the Q at the beginning of the segment – she talked about misplaced guilt as possibly being part of “being raised a woman”. First, thank you for bringing up the subject of misplaced guilt. Also, here’s something I wish more people knew: the vast overwhelming majority of us men are also trained to feel this misplaced guilt. And yes, it sucks. If more people understood that they would go “O…M….G….I had no effing idea……” Thank you, Marie, for helping us all overcome this bad programming.

    • Cynthia

      I can’t find my original email, but I believe they added that sentence in. I never had a nanny (I had a babysitter, but don’t remember mentioning her….)

  38. This is awesome Marie! Great episode. So relevant for me and my husband. He works his a$$ off in a job that he likes but is mentally draining. I also work my buns off but in a job that gives me energy and feeds my soul. We are so lucky to have each other and support one another. If I’m happy I’m more able to cheer him on and make his days a little more full of positive things. Spread the love!

  39. Who gives us the right to NOT be happy?

    It is my obligation, duty, etc. to be happy in this world.

    When I look at my three grandchildren, I know they see me as an example. So, I’m happy, fun, a little crazy when it comes to them and truly enjoy life.

    Why should I not?

  40. Thanks Marie… I feel this topic is so helpful to so many people.

    I find that even though many of us are living at a time of much greater freedom to express ourselves, it seems to come at the cost of not having the self-worth to know we deserve that happiness innately. We live in a culture (Western) that promotes the idea of needing to “deserve” things and often that comes with the idea that only that which is difficult or has put you through difficulty has shown that you are now “deserving” of happiness. Not that we cannot enjoy working hard but it does not need to be difficult!

    Our happiness is our birthright as a perfect reflection of being a Child of God/Source…. our silly egos get all sorts of ideas that get in the way of experiencing that! We never need to prove we deserve happiness or peace, the means to receive that experience are built right into each of us!

    I feel it is SOO immensely important to demonstrate to one another that life is meant to be GRACEFUL & MIRACULOUS and when we show that it is possible it sub-consciously gives permission for all of us to accept the same. Personally I feel that this is going to be a topic and mechanism for world peace/change as we truly need to get away from this struggle-minded orientation that we project onto ourselves and others. It is not helping anyone!

    Yay to happy lives and lighting the way for us all to experience new levels of self-actualization!!

  41. You can never get sick enough to make anyone well nor can you ever get poor enough and make anyone rich. Being your best happy you is the only way to help anyone. There’s no limit to the abundance of the universe.
    I do what I love and definitely hear people say how they wish they could too.. but I never feel guilty because I know they could make it happen if they really want to.
    Thanks Marie for all you do with your shining light!

    • Mieke

      Thank you so much for your answer. Your thought that I can never get sick enough to make anyone well nor that I can ever get poor enough to make anyone rich helps me to tackle my thoughts that cause guilty feelings.

      Marie I want to thank you also for your playfull answers. They are educational and entertaining. So more able to remember them.

  42. Anabel

    Hi everyone!
    I think this is such a great topic. I have experience this guilt maybe times before but I always remind myself that we all have the power within us to be happy. We can control how we feel every day of our life. I choice to be happy. My grandmother who died when she was 100 used to always say ‘happiness is the only thing life can’t take from you’. I remember she was always happy even when she lived in such poor conditions as she did.
    I truly believe this. Often I have found that the more happy I feel the more I brighten people’s life and after all that is the purpose of life or at least it should be! To give back what you have most of and if that is happiness then so be it!

  43. Great insight Marie. I totally agree with your idea that being happy allows me to give more to others. Same thing with making money. Now I have the resources to give to other organizations that do great things.

    Love you, Marie.

    Kim Rocke
    Pasadena, CA

    • That’s really great Kim, you’re using your happiness for the greater good. Welldone.

  44. Speedboat Dave

    Letting go of the built in, long term, mental paradigms that cripple most people is the hardest thing to do. But, living a life on someone elses terms, be it family, spouse, work colleagues or friends is CRIMINAL.
    The world needs ‘Light’ workers. And Marie, your light shines girl.
    My favourite statement of the mo is “What anyone thinks of you is NONE of your business”. Be fearless, but care.
    Fear controls us. Fear of running out of money the number 1. But decide to stop fearing and see the light come in. Rock on MF XXX

  45. Madison Wise

    I’ve felt guilty in the past about all the privilege that has been handed to me – the lucky lottery of the life I was born into. In fact, I battled depression because I didn’t feel I deserved to be so blessed (with a loving family, middle class income, safe community) and my self esteem plummeted. What helped me was discovering I’m not alone in this feeling and asking myself – is this mindset helpful? would I respond this way if someone else came to me with the same problem? or would I tell them to be happy and to make the most of what they were given? Once I started putting my happiness first, it all fell into place. My happiness serves the world. Thoughts and energy are felt all over. We serve just by being. What are you being?

    thank you, Marie TV gang!

  46. I’m going through this right now!! I live on an island where the women make just over a dollar an hour, and I try to do my best to balance where I spend my money ( so as to help support local businesses, make sure to tip as much as possible, continue going to mom and pop stores, etc). This makes me feel like I’m doing the best I can but still, there is a part of me that feels guilty.

  47. Tal

    I struggle with this so much! There are times when I feel the happiness guilt by myself, in my own head, when I’m thinking of pursuing work I would love to do. Then, there are times when I really do feel good, and then I’ve had people say things to me or ask me questions that trigger guilt. The biggest one that’s been haunting me is “how could you quit your job in an economy like this to pursue your dream job?? Don’t you know how lucky you were to have a job to being with?” I hear that one a LOT still, especially since I’m still working on things and not really showing my work just yet. I’m glad you posted about this Marie, because it just shows how many other people trying to do great work are going through the same thing. Thank you!

    • I get that one from family and I realized it is because they really care and worry about me. The best thing you can do is love them for that.

  48. Lakshi Perera

    Hey Marie,

    I love you very much for sharing your ideas as always and a big YES I used to give more to other when I m really happy from inside and that comes automatically.


  49. Thank you Marie! I actually woke up this morning with that exact question on my mind. I bring wealth into my life by imagining myself giving it. This morning I wondered if my imagery was genuine or just a way for me to alleviate guilt and feel more worthy of my wealth. Your comment about using money to express who I am came to me at the very time I needed to hear it. Thank you so much! You are awesome! I am back in the game!

    • Cynthia

      Donna, you wrote, “I bring wealth into my life by imagining myself giving it.” What a useful visualization, thanks– I’m adopting it immediately.

  50. I used to feel I was ‘obligated’ to help others, but the motivation was guilt. Now, my motivation is to spread happiness and help others to work through difficult times… I have found that those with the least materials and choices are sometimes the happiest and I can learn from them!

  51. Brittany

    Warning: totally unproductive comment coming: Jams is hilarious! We want more Jams cameos!!!

  52. Attitude do spill over, so make sure it is positive, joyful and harmonious. It’s the best gift you can give anyone in your vicinity.

    ‘Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow – perhaps it all will.’ – Albert Einstein

  53. Felecia Campbell

    I believe doing what you love can isolate those who have told themselves that they can’t do what they love. What we tell ourselves can make us unhappy.

  54. Guilt is a man made ego invention created to control others. If one is living in the light this ‘guilt’ word has no place or power. Learned behaviors can be a challenge to overcome, but it can—and must be done– to acquire a higher perspective, and freedom from shame.

  55. While I think this is a great reminder when you’re feeling guilty about your happiness/success/progress/etc, I actually think there are plenty of instances when guilt is a great reminder. Shame is a different story (guilt at being), but guilt of a specific action is our moral compass and let’s us know when we’ve stepped away from our own sense of integrity.

  56. I don’t have happiness guilt but I am kind of struggling with guilt for not being stressed out?! Yes, seriously! I spent my entire adult life struggling financially, always rushing – to work, at work, back home etc and currently, I’m staying with family and finding that I have much less stress because I always have relatives jumping in to help me when needed. I spent most of my life being fiercely independent and assuming I only had myself to rely on so this is kind of foreign to me and I actually spent a great deal of time putting pressure on myself to rush out and jump into the rat race of a new city, new job etc. I think sometimes feeling content, happy or relaxed can be so foreign to us that we automatically assume something is amiss and rush to throw ourselves back into a chaotic state.

  57. Wowza, do I understand Cynthia’s question! Just this past Saturday I began a journey in giving back to keep that guilt at bay. We have just taken in Miss Molly, a beautiful furry mom-ma *to be* from Kentucky. She will be hanging with us until she and her unborn puppies are ready to find their forever homes. We are sharing Molly and babies journey to help rescue dog foster parents learn how to set up their foster dogs for a joyful life with their new families.

    I believe being happy and loving my work can be channeled to help others minimize suffering too. Many that work in rescue see suffering up close and personal. Creating hope for change can ease that pain and turn guilt into action.

    Thanks Marie, each week your topic speaks volumes to me and helps keep my perspective where I need it to be.

    If you would like to follow along on Miss Molly’s journey, please join us:

    smiles and wags

    ~ Jody

  58. Lidia Cortina Karras

    Love your white dress! So pretty! Thanks. For sharing the video I am finally back to doing what I LOVE doing! All that you say is so true.

  59. Getting down and dirty –professionally, that is–with garden as a career, I have learned that pretty much everything important can be related to garden. After all, in nearly every culture on Earth, it is a human-perfect place! In reference to feeling guilt for happiness, consider the idea of abundance, as Marie said. When I drill a small hole and plant a bean, or plant a flower seed, I know and fully believe that plant will make more than one bean or flower! The plant, from that one seed, will make dozens of beans, dozens of flowers–my contribution is to ensure that it thrives because I love it and tend to it. Happiness is like abundance. And abundance comes from an “attitude of gratitude,” not from guilt.

  60. Trevia

    Wow! Spot on! I was just thinking this today in the store when a lady I know came up to me and asked how I was. My response was ” I am great”. However in the back of my mind I was feeling a twinge of guilt over being content, happy and successful in an expat community in Saudi Arabia where many women local or expat struggle to find true meaning and contentment in their lives. Great timely video! Keep rocking it!

  61. Thank you so much for this video, Marie. I struggled with this one for a long time and it did definitely not serve anyone. I truly believe that the best way to serve the world is to make yourself happy first, and then share your happiness with others, just as you said. I love your work Marie! Thank you so much for sharing and doing all that you do. Lots of love, Anna

  62. Marie: Esteemed Greetings!
    Your effervescent personality and presentations are exhilarating!
    For several years my son was using our homeowner’s line of credit to “flip” houses. Yes, it was the misfortune of many that allowed him (and us) to make some wild money. But my joy was that we did that to give the money away. It is hard to express the good feelings my wife and I enjoyed as we sat down each month to decide to which organizations we would give the money! YES! No regrets! ~~~NEAL

  63. So so so loved this episode. And yes, I have experienced guilt ALOT once I started going for my dreams. For a long time I struggled with this. I asked myself alot whether it is egoistic or selfish to go for my dreams. Luckily I got over that. I loved reading books by Martha Beck – especially “Steering by starlight” – and I worked with a coach. Today I am certain that if all people went for their dreams the world would be a much better place. I even posted a (guest)post on my blog just about that topic – my guestposter gave 5 awesome reasons why it is not selfish to fulfill your dreams. Thought maybe some people here might find it helpful, as I have met a few people struggling similarly:

    Thanks for such a great video Marie! And love your take on giving back!

  64. Hi Marie,

    Thank you for another great answer to a complex problem.

    In my work, teaching people how to be hunter-gatherers, barefoot and happy in beautiful wild places, I remind my groups that there are 70 million people in Britain, most of whom don’t know anything about wild food. I remind them that in inner cities 3 out of 4 women are on anti-depressant drugs and the second highest killer of young men in our country is suicide. I tell them that I bet those young men would have loved being hunter-gatherers, if only they’d known about it.

    How to help? Just go out for a walk with a basket and gather wild food, people who cross your path will always be curious about what you’ve got in there and what you’re gathering so let them look in your basket, let them taste your wild delicacies and sure as anything they’ll go home and tell their family what they saw and so it will spread.

    As the Cherokee Grandmother said in Forrest Carter’s book The Education of Little Tree “When you come on something good, first thing to do is to go out and share it with whosoever you can find, that way the good spreads out where there’s no telling how far it will go.” Which is right, I reckon.

  65. you do not lift up others with pity, you uplift people by showing them love and happiness and grace in your own life. we can all use reminders that the way to success is paved with examples of living abundance and true joy.

  66. Daniela

    Hi Marie,
    greatly said: THE MISERY LIKES COMPANY?! C”mon!
    how true and sad the fact that in a world of 7 billion precious people just few of them are blessed and had hard worked to achieve HAPPINESS

    which in fact must be a birthright!

    Cynthia guilt is soo sensitive! but must not be that way!

    Just imagine the whole world having the capacity to deal with the people education in such a way that anyone can be helped to achieve his peack and completeness spiritually mentally and heartfully busy with what they love! ok, as long is not hurtfull, unlawfull but serving the community they belongs to!

    Just imagine a world of happy people!
    sharing they”re joy and resources in order to help others be happy!

    Just imagine a world where you can teach a child in Africa one hour via internet and for free! or set in motion people and resources for a cause ..


    that mean people in need, like in natural disasters or wars

    an open interactive data base the REAL WALL STREET where people can check all the information s, invest every single monetary unit in the complete development of the area! homes industry farming turism..when the area is able to run by itself it share the ROI in small procents and one by one tell me which country would suffer the misery?


    Thank you Cynthia, Marie for such a loverly share of your souls and thoughts …

    • Cynthia

      Yes, happiness does love company! What a great perspective. 🙂

  67. I can’t say I’ve ever felt guilty for being happy but I have experienced other issues around it. Frequently, when I’ve been in a good mood and very happy for no reason at all, something happens to upset that good mood, something that brings me down, almost like I don’t “deserve” to be happy; maybe it is subconscious guilt. It doesn’t happy so much anymore, thankfully.

  68. Oh yes, this has been a recurring dilemma in my life, feeling guilty not only about work, but about people suffering from lack of food and living resources, disease, abuse, war conditions etc. around the world. I know it sounds silly, but when I think about the people in these situations I feel very sad, and guilty about not helping, selfish for wanting my own gratification in life. This does make me stop in my track, in my pursuit of my own happiness, my career, my own success.

    But your reply, Maria, was to the point, and in reality, by feeling guilty I’m allowing me to feel sorry for myself, by stopping pursuing my happiness I join the ranks of the miserable and make an excuse for inaction and self pity, instead of taking a proactive role in bringing happiness to my own life, thereby also bringing it to the life of the people close to me, and affecting the world positively with the ripple affect. Thank you for this post Maria, it was inspiring!

  69. Marie, I love this topic so much.
    I grew up with parents who used guilt to say “why don’t you want to be a doctor, don’t you want to do good?”.. while I suffered through medical school – trying to overcome deep unhappiness – until I finally quit and held on to my fledgling belief that doing something I love is not bad – it can only be good, if not just for my simple happiness.
    To this day friends and family still judge and try to conjure up guilt – saying not everyone can do work they love. They all think I’m crazy.
    That’s why I am SO in love with a community like this that supports following your bliss and letting that be a gift to the world.

  70. Hi Marie,

    What you said is so true! You being your happiest means that you are doing what you are born to do, using “that special gift that world needs” as you would say. Such an expression of yourself not only makes the world a better place but is also inspiring to others around you.

    After all, true happiness is not a right or a privilege, it is a state of mind. Nobody should feel guilty for feeling and living it.

  71. Nikki

    My fiance and I are successful in our Network Marketing Business, and we’ve struggled with feelings of guilt because not many make it…

    In fact I will confess that when we started making multiple 6 figures AND I finally found a relationship that had me overjoyed, I started to gain weight because I wouldn’t allow myself to “have it all.”

    (been changing this over the past few months!)

    Let’s be real- much of this world is unhappy- just take a drive in traffic- how many smiling faces do you see? I’ve been to more than one restaurant where people stare because we are overjoyed in laughter…to stay unhappy you “fit in.”

    I also think sometimes we mislabel “guilt” for an awareness of our Reality and our Identity Changing! If you suddenly become happy and in alignment with your work, you may feel uncomfortable as the vibrational reality of the “mundane” starts to fall away…

    You may become aware that certain people in your life may not be able or ready to be ok with seeing you happy, because of their own judgments about themselves, the world, or even you…

    -When you become happy, you Inspire some people, and you also upset some people- you Invalidate their “excuses” and reasons for being unhappy!

    I have actually lost a few “friends” who preferred me being in agony about my relationships and money…because seeing my suffering made them feel more superior and better about themselves…it hasn’t always felt “good” to lose people and that’s why becoming happy takes COURAGE!

    About #5 Marie, I think the KEY is to not be doing this out of guilt- I see quite a few people in my business reach that Multiple 6 &7 figure mark, and I can intuitively tell when they’re building wells in Africa because they have been judged for making that much money, they’re *expected* to give back, and they have “rich person’s guilt.” I think we should give where it truly inspires* us and expands our Joy and Happiness! So for me, it’s taking my mom on a vacation, it’s giving back to her and my family. And it’s mentoring my clients and team members…I’m not feeling the call to donate to charities yet, but if and when I do, it’s cause it’s going to make *me* happier!!!!

  72. Just Me

    This is a great video, but I am not sure if it addresses my two main “happiness guilt” issues. Which is:

    1) Sometimes, I feel that in order to be happy/get a grip, I have to actively hide from the people who need my help. This makes me feel so mean… but not as mean as I would feel if I helped them every time they looked for me. Maybe I am filling my Happy Bank back up so I can give them more happy later, but it also makes me feel selfish and childish when I know they need help.

    2) I got my degree in something that I felt would be super helpful, which I enjoyed (yay!). Except that in practice, once I got to the ‘real world’, it turned out to be mostly a desk job which is not for me. I have tried everything to make it seem better over the last several years, since I like my coworkers and I like the work itself, but finally had to admit that this type of work will always feel mediocre because I don’t like sitting around. I am developing plans to segue into a more active career that makes ME happy over the next few years, but I feel guilty/disappointed about it because anything else, anything I feel I would really enjoy, won’t be as directly beneficial to others as what I am currently doing.

    So I guess my guilt comes less from “I should be unhappy because other people are unhappy” and more from “I should focus on making other people happy and benefit society, but that seems to conflict with things that make *me* happy”

  73. This was a profound discussion for me. For years now I have struggled with the guilt that I survived an accident that I was not expected to survive. In 2010 I slept walked into a pool and was in cardiac arrest for 27 minutes. I’m alive and I’m not in a vegetative state like the Dr’s said I would be if I lived. I defeated all the odds. Meanwhile, I go to so many funerals every year and get so depressed because I see family and friends struggle to move on while I got a second chance and they didn’t. I almost feel like my presence at a funeral looks like I’m bragging that I lived. The guilt at times is unbearable. It never dawned on me that I can move on in their honor. My guilt is not benefiting anyone. My happiness on the other hand can – and will – effect millions! How powerful Marie! I need to meditate on this and implant this in my heart and make it a belief.
    This is life saving material.

    • Hi Charles. Thanks so much for your share and I’m so happy this gave you a new perspective. Your life is precious and you’re (still) here for a reason. 🙂 Let your love and happiness be light for all. xo

  74. Hi Marie,

    today is actually the first time I’m leaving a comment – because this topic is a very sensitive topic for me:

    I was a pediatric nurse before I started my online business, working on child cancer and stem cell transplantation units and I had a hard time letting go of the guild.

    Leaving my job (which was giving and caring all day – but eating me up every minute of it) was a big step and sometimes I feel guilty about not working in such a social profession anymore.

    I’m trying my best on focusing, how I can make the lifes of my audience easier, better and happier, so that in some way I’m balancing out me leaving my job.

    You are helping me getting better at that with every post, video and newsletter, so in the end, I’m just commenting to say:


    Best wishes,

    • Thank you for commenting Carina and for sharing so honestly. Know you’re following this new path for a reason. It may not be 100% clear yet, and that’s OK. Stay engaged. Let the adventure unfold. Feelings are the language of your soul. If they urged you to move on, there’s a reason for it. XO

  75. Currently, I’m in my mid-twenties and I am not able to do work I love full time yet. I am working really hard outside of my day job (which I do not enjoy at all) just to sustain myself financially until I get to the point where I can do what I love. Many of the people in my profession (B2B sales) work tons of hours (in evenings after work and on the weekends) just to meet our expected responsibilities. I know the expectations from our management is really unreasonable, plus I am focused on my future goal to have a career that I love, so I don’t always put in all of those extra hours with the enthusiasm that my teammates have.

    Sometimes I feel guilty about that because I feel like it’s selfish of my to not want to devote my free time to being a superstar in my day job. It can be really stressful juggling the two things, but to keep myself going, I just try to keep in mind that I have a goal for where I want to be in the future and if I spend all of my free time working towards something I don’t really want, I’ll only end up regretting it later, plus I will not be of much service to others by staying in an area of work that does not suit my natural gifts/talents.

    We all deserve to be happy in our work because, ultimately, what we all do in our work is a service to others. Why force yourself to serve others in a way that sucks all of the life out of you? Like you said in the video, you are doing no one any favors by being unhappy or feeling guilty. We should definitely give ourselves the permission to serve in the way that fills us up most with happiness and fulfillment.

    Thanks for the video, Marie!

    • Keshia, I hear you! I totally feel that professional guilt, as if 100% isn’t enough. For me, the flipside of feeling guilt is over-working and feeling resentful for only getting paid 100% when i give 300%. I think, ultimately it’s better to have boundaries (and a life) than being co-dependent with your career.

      Yesterday was the first day back in a similar position i had a few years ago where I did put in the 300% and thought i was climbing some imaginary ladder. I feel totally resentful just being back in the same building thinking, wow, they sure had me for cheap that year, it’s not going to happen this year! Like you, I’m juggling my passion on the side. At some point I will need to make a decision to jump and leave the profession behind. Good luck!

      • Yes, we will have to make the decision to leave at some point! Doing both the day job and passion work on the side can be hard because I’m always feeling super busy and exhausted from the day job. However, I know it’s something I’ll have to do for a better life in the long run. That day when I can make the jump will be SUCH a happy day! lol. Good luck to you too in your journey!! 🙂

  76. Jenny

    Great information, thanks Marie! For me, that feeling of guilt over having a great life has a lot to do with how much love and compassion I am giving to myself. When I’m actively practicing self-compassion, I feel more deserving of the life of my dreams.

  77. Yes!!! Excellent advice. No guilt for sharing the positives here. I’ve experienced others who were more then willing to share their personal misery with the world, who were not able to count their obvious blessings and watched with amazement when they were turned on to a gratitude practice or effected by someone’s infectious positive spirit. Spread the love, the Joy, the HAPPINESS!

  78. I just had the biggest Aha moment!

    I got this email and another one from an online personality that I follow, both around the same topic. Giving back. And it hit me!

    Often I have felt that, even though I love what I do, I feel frivolous. I’m a lifestyle photographer. And while I know that capturing moments in time of my clients and their lived ones or images for small businesses to help them grow is a calling that is important. But too often it feels hollow to me. I have totally had the thought “Who am I to live this life and be so happy photographing the wonderful lives of others when there’s so much suffering in the world.” I’ve thought about trying to be a photographer for NGOs in developing countries, but often that doesn’t pay or if it does, it’s quite hard to break in to. Not a solid business model for longevity.

    But hearing from two people who are leading their industry on the same day about giving back is what it took for me to wake up!

    My life can be about happiness and joy and building a business that fuels and FUNDS my ability to give back to the world in ways that I wouldn’t if l stay miserable and stuck. My job – my responsibility – is to build a business and life that I love so that I can create opportunities to help the world in ways that I can’t even imagine right now and to inspire others to do the same!

    I have already seen how my choices to work hard and go for my dreams have inspired others to take actions in their own lives. But now I see a need to up my game! I’ve been playing too small and asking the wrong question! The question is NOT “Who am I to be great (and happy and productive and financially free)” but to paraphrase Marianne Williamson “Who am I NOT to be GREAT and HAPPY and PRODUCTIVE and FINANCIALLY FREE!”

    By playing small I am robbing the world of my happiness and my contribution to the causes dear to my heart. It doesn’t have to be in direct connection to my work (I don’t have to be the next “Pencils of Promise) but as a direct RESULT of my work!

    I feel like I have a new purpose for this work that I do! I am to use my skill to bring happiness now and to generate the finances for and the culture of giving in my world.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Marie for using your happiness and your work to inspire this in me. I will continue it in my world.

    With Eternal Gratitude,


    • Laura – you MUST must must watch next week’s MarieTV! It’ll blow your mind. And while you’re here – go by the new book A Path Appears on Amazon and start reading it – pronto. 🙂 XO

  79. Anne Liebert

    I only feel guilty that I have learned from many spiritual teachers that you get what you think about. Believing in abundance and well being instead of lack and ills has taken me to a wonderful place in my life. I am so grateful for those who lead me in that direction.

    I try to teach and inspire so that others so that they might begin to change their beliefs and find the well being and happiness that I experience daily! Choosing peace and love is always the answer.

  80. You must be tapping into my brainwaves Marie!
    I’ve been thinking about this exact thing.

    I’ve recently been repeating this new mantra before I go to bed.
    I give myself permission to be happy
    I give myself permission to feel better, look better, succeed and win!!
    I just keep picking things I want and giving myself permission and letting it settle into my solar plexus for it to resonate and be true for me.

    It’s so important to be OK with doing well and I’m the only one who puts the brakes on it (subconsciously sabotaging).

    Changing my self-identity has had a big impact on breakthroughs this year (losing 40 pounds and doing my business full time) but I can go higher and higher…

    Thanks MarieTV 🙂


  81. YES I HAVE!!!
    My husband and I are very blessed to have been able to travel and serve God in full-time music ministry almost all of our adult lives. There have been lean times for sure, but we’ve also been afforded the opportunities to travel abroad, sharing our gifts and helping others connect with God on a deeper level.
    My sister on the other hand, has had a very hard life. Married an alcoholic, had three kids then finally divorced him, he went to jail for drunk driving, and since being out has been a total dead-beat dad, leaving his family to fend for themselves on my sister’s very meager income, living in subsidized housing. 🙁
    As I’ve often counted my blessings, I have felt SO GUILTY that I have this life and my sister has her life.
    On SEVERAL occasions my husband and I have shared with her by giving her money to buy gifts for her children at Christmas, and many other acts of benevolence, to try and share the love.
    After all these years, I’ve finally resigned to enjoy my life and not feel guilty that hers is the way it is. Seems a bit hard-hearted at times, but it’s how I shake off the guilt.
    Thanks for the episode!

  82. Michelle Anita Wirta

    This is SO timely! Thank you:) I recently admitted to myself that I get off on struggle and pain, negative expectations, and the old shoe dropping syndrome WAY more than I care to admit. It;s also my sublte way to stay in inaction and doubt.
    I have made the choice to just be OK and grateful for joy and inspiration and to appreciate it. I’m so tired of wasting energy on my habit of fearing the worse and feeling guilty for my heart centered dreams. That’s just silly:P

  83. Joseph

    I’m 2nd generation Irish-Catholic…of course I do! lol
    Yes, it’s something we all deal with.
    Great topic. Thank you 🙂
    Joseph @LoveNotesMaggie

  84. yes, let’s all join you in a happichino and I <3 kiva!!

  85. Jon

    When the world started to go insane a little over a 13 years ago, I dug in and started looking for answers because I was truly concerned about my country (America) and for my family. Most people think it is enough to go back in history (HIS-story) to our founding of our nation for answers but the true answers are not there, you have to go all the back to the beginning, back to Genesis for true understanding as to what is going on in the world today.

    Have you ever considered what a blessing it is to be born in the United States of America? The fossil records on earth prove there was an earth age before this one we are living and that is exactly what the Bible says as well. God knows us from the first earth age and we are born into the place and situation we deserve by and from our conduct in the first earth age. God destroyed the first earth age because of the perversion that happened there and we are seeing it again in this generation but these same people are here today in this generation for a reason.

    I don’t care what your color, your station and/or your situation in life, anyone can make it in America and America is the melting pot, the land of milk and honey whereby we truly reap what we sow. If you don’t put any effort or work in, you will never receive anything back and that’s true anywhere in the world as that is God’s natural law but man (no gender bias) has perverted God’s natural law for equality’s sake or for the collective as the Liberals call it. That is a total perversion of what God stands for and man does that to co-op groups/races/nations of people to bring them in and under control for voting blocks to create a false crutch or false sense of security which hijacks the natural laws of God. When you tell enough people that they can’t make it on their own, over time they begin to believe it and become dependent and we can see once proud people, races and nations destroyed by the welfare/entitlement state of mind and that is pure evil… people become dependent and rely on a system and that is all by design…

    Have you ever considered the successes of the greatest nation on earth, in the history of the world (America), compared to the rest of the world? And no, I’m not apologizing to anyone for being white and living in America. The United States of America has been blessed of God and that is a fact… American’s gave 335 BILLION dollars to charity last year, who else in the world would do that? NOBODY!

    Who are God’s chosen people (Genesis 35)? The 12 tribes of Israel are God’s chosen people and there are 12 tribes of Israel not just 1 tribe as everyone tries to lump together today. Did you get that, there are 12 tribes! The tribe of Judah = the Jewish people/race in the little nation of Israel but the tribe of Benjamin also settled in the Promise Land. So where are the other 10 tribes scattered abroad? We hear foreigners crying foul or colonialism, “those evil white races and nations”. Well, what is it about the “evil white race” nations that makes them so successful? First of all where are they… the 10 tribes scattered abroad = Europe, Australia, Canada, America. What do we have in common with each other? We all worship and believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. Most other peoples and nations on earth worship false religions (one in the billions), Scientology, star worship, statues, fish gods, sun gods or some other form of “traditions of man” or dead inanimate objects. GOD DOES NOT BLESS THAT! Do I feel sorry for them? In part but most of us have access to the Word of God today but very few people will pick it up and read let alone study the Love Letter God gave us, it’s easier to believe and trust in what “a man said”.

    Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD: Cursed be the man (no gender bias) that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm (strength/power/knowledge), and whose heart departheth from the LORD. That is what false religion and false teachers accomplish, you fall away from God. Bible note*- any time LORD is in all capitals, that is God the Father (YHVH) and any time Lord is capital L ord that is Jesus Christ the Son (YASHUA) and very few people… even preachers don’t know that.

    I hear jokes about the Bible and that “men” wrote it… Ha! There are absolute proofs in the Bible that prove God wrote it… every number in its position has a meaning, every name in a verse has a meaning pertaining to the verse in the context of the subject. The acrostics of the Bible are absolute proofs that God dictated the Bible and 31,102 verses interlink with each other from the old contract to the new contract and man could not do that over the 1600 year period of time that man scribed what God dictated through the Holy Spirit. The Bible carries the same meaning and flow from cover to cover and if there is, what seems like a contradiction it’s because the King James translators made over 2300 translation/transliteration errors… no such thing as a unicorn… another discussion for another time… I know because I study the Bible in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.

    Do I feel guilty for being blessed in America when there is so much suffering in the world? Absolutely not and especially if you understand the generation of time we are living. In America there 90 MILLION people out of work and that is because of who is and has been intentionally running the nation of America into the ground. Everything that is going on in the world today is in the Bible but God did not put the information in alpha numeric or chronological order. God wants to know who has read and studied His Letter as there is an ultimate test in the flesh that we are all facing in the very near future. No, not rapture! Rapture is satan’s lie working in the world to deceive Christians and churches, God is not a respecter of person’s and we will all face what is coming equally… those who have read, studied and understand the plan of God will breeze through.

    666 is a time element and the number of a man Revelation 13:18 but the entity/man (Lucifer/anti-christ/satan) will be supernatural… he is a fallen cherub/arch-angel Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14:12. anti/christ will arrive to the earth playing the role of Jesus Christ to deceive people which will murder their soul. Not a flesh death, a spiritual death which is waaaay worse than a flesh death. The anti-christ will never be born through the bag of waters (a woman’s womb) because satan is an arch-angel. Arch-angels will never be born in the flesh.

    We are living in the “generation of the fig tree” (Jeremiah 24) and just as Jesus Christ pointed out in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 we will witness the fulfillment of all Bible prophesy in this generation and they turned 66 years old this spring. How long is a generation in our time… Psalm 90:10… three score and 10 = 70 years and four score by strength = 80. God told us Jesus Christ would visit us in 70 years in this generation.

    The “great raiser of taxes” (Barack Obama) = Daniel 11:20 goes away neither in anger nor in battle but the next gut to arrive on the world stage “the vile one” in Daniel 11:21-24 has the power to slay/murder your soul at 666 and notice that anti-christ/satan/son of perdition comes in peacefully and prosperously… THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN TOLD!!! The AMERO our new world currency for zone 7= Canada, America & Mexico was secretly printed under the Bush administration and distributed and Obama just shipped China 800 BILLION more AMERO’s in February 2014 so we are getting very close to the umbrella of the one world government (beast).

    We are to wait, to stay working in the field as there are two christ’s coming in this generation, one is anti-christ at 666 (6th seal, 6th trump, 6th vial) and the other is the True Christ at 777 which is also a time element and 5 months after 666 = September. If you don’t understand that, you and your family are in mortal danger.

    99% of the replies I get back are people in disbelief as there are many people propagating disinformation on the Internet to confuse the public but I always say…”you’ve heard of the Euro right”? The Euro is zone 1 in the “New World Order” whereby 10 sovereign nations gave up their sovereignty under one currency back in 1994. Life in the flesh is going to end under the umbrella of a one world government exactly as it’s written and this plan has been working in the world since the Garden of Eden…

    Life in the flesh is going to end, the world is not going to end, we have a much better body, an eternal spirit body that will not perish, not get sick and never gets old. Who would want to go through the eternity in a painful old flesh body? Paul explains our two bodies in 1st Corinthians 15:35-58… we have to shed these flesh (alien) bodies (terrestrial/corruptible) and put on a (celestial/spirit) our true body and it will happen in the blink of an eye 15:52.

    Have you read it?

  86. Mary Lou

    Great topic! I realized some time ago that most of the guilt I felt was rooted in the religion I was taught. Took me a while to live free and happy. I still encounter this from time to time but quickly check myself. Got to live life, be happy and spread it around. Pay it forward 🙂

  87. This was really helpful for me! I’m employed and like my job, but I have other ambitions as well and am actively working on them. When I ask myself why I think I deserve a raise or if my having aspirations means that I am ungrateful, I feel guilty. Thank you for reminding me that there’s no sense in feeling bad about these things. 🙂

  88. Concern is a better feeling than guilt. We can not please the whole world but we can help little by little. The best thing we can do with the blessings we receive is to be joyful, and as Marie says to give back… That creates abundance in this world 🙂

    I used to hear more often than not that success and happiness only create hate & envy around you but when those feelings exist they have nothing to do with your actions but the mindset of others. We shouldn’t let that stop us from pursuing our dreams and using our talents to serve others in a larger scale.

  89. Even though Im not making money off my site yet I really do enjoy creating and sharing content to try and help people. I hope to make money off it someday so at the moment I treat it like it’s a job but one that i’d happily do for free!

  90. Great advice.

    It’s amazing to me how many people think that being happy isn’t a choice.

    I did a lot to be happy — doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. This choice that I made with running my business is hard. Yet I’m happier doing this because of the potential. I can help others. I wish I did more of that. It will come.

    Changing my beliefs & feeling really helped me in the transformation. What I have noticed though is that unahppy people seem to want to take me back there. I realized how much had changed when I saw that what this person was doing didn’t affect me.

    I have a right to be happy and I have claimed it.

  91. connie curtis

    I just did b school last year and I have a business its just getting the clients and more stuff up online.. I know people dont get it but this is the happiest I have been even the frustration and fear. I could never do the 9-5 gig where I have no control over my day and how I can contribute to the world. I use to wine and bitch but I find taking what has happened and contributing back to the world which i have before my business. Is everything that you do make a difference even when starting. I am taking on being happy all the time even when things are looking and going how my head says they should. Life life then others will notice and be inspired. Thats how we all go here and why we keep coming back to you marie..

  92. Guilt serves no purpose really, but sometimes it gets on me and I feel as if I have so much within reach and even ask sometimes if I am not asking for too much.
    Thanks Marie, for reminding me that I am not ‘asking for too much – just continue to be grateful for all that I can have.

  93. Great comments/posts. It took me a very long time to get over the guilt thing and I’m about 99% free of it. I realized as everyone has said, it’s much easier to give, when you have. And when people don’t have, most will look toward others to help provide entertainment, guidance, happiness, motivation, etc. Therefore, I look forward to continuing to grow more so I can give more. And Marie, I look forward to the episode about education and giving(? I think that’s what it’s going to be ?). Thank YOU for giving.


  94. Oh my god, this is so spot on! I feel like this is the #1 thing holding me back but it is so engrained in my brain that it’s a constant thing to remind myself that it’s ok. Thanks for the encouraging words once again Marie!

  95. This is so good. I have a friend who seem to be going through a rough time. Sometimes I feel bad that things are going well for me.

    This was really good to hear. Thanks Marie Forleo

  96. YES, this was one of my biggest mental/emotional hurdles for years. I had lived in my parents’ native Iran for 5 years as a child so I saw the suffering during war up close and I had such strong survivors guilt, just to live in a free country. Then trying to create a happy ideal life really did make me feel guilty. I’m still overcoming small pebbles of that. But the thing that got me finally over the hump was realizing that though no one person can save others from suffering, living our best life adds to the hope possibility and positive energy on the earth, which over time will create a world where everyone has unlimited possibilities.

  97. Love it Marie!
    I made a video on this topic awhile back and cited Kiva as a way to empower others and keep thriving. We all deserve to thrive! Thank you for rockin it & sharing your wisdom!


  98. “the more you give themore you live”. Marie I love this. This question stood out,. I don’t think I’ve felt “guilty” fully about my own happiness when others are not but I am sensitive to the matter.

    BTW Marie where can I find that white dress in your video!? Love it!
    serious quesiton though 🙂

  99. This was such a wonderful question and an amazing response from you, Marie! I have definitely had happiness guilt and it has prevented me from taking my life one step further in the direction I really want it to go. Guilt just keeps the wheels turning in my head, but those wheels are stuck in mud and they don’t go anywhere. I’m committing to some courageous action à la Mastin Kipp to finally start up the project I’ve been dreaming about for two years and be unapologetic about the happiness it’ll bring me because I also believe it will serve others. Thank you for this amazing video and all that you do, Marie!

  100. Your timing is perfect for me on this one, Marie! I’m challenged this week to think of abundance (especially financial abundance) as an infinite resource — not like rationing my monthly budget or scheduling out my 24 hours. I’m putting on this exciting thought: when I receive and share abundantly, that energy expands and increases abundance for others. Juicy, juicy, juicy. Your episode helps me stew in these juices. Thanks!

  101. Julieta

    Cynthia, thanks for asking. Marie and team Forleo, thanks for the answer.
    In this moment in my life I am struggling with so much things that guilt can not resist showing up. I was wondering about how fair it is to earn as much money as I want, and about the hapiness. So, THANK YOU! THIS ANSWER AS IMPACT ME AND WILL IMPACT EVERYONE AROUND ME.

  102. I have almost the opposite problem. I feel guilty when I am depressed because I am so blessed and I feel like I “should” be happy because so many people have way less than I do. I guess it’s OK to have our feelings, happy or sad, without guilt. Thank you Marie.

  103. Dear, Marie

    I see sadness everywhere and like to help change that for people!!

    This is an amazing article that has helped me a lot as I am so damn happy in my life and career while so many people do suffer, I do and have helped many people in my life and will always do that and now after this advise I can feel good about my happiness in my life, without guilt, I have earned my life and so with that and this together I thank you for your help!!

    Amazing as always you are!!

    Love and big hugzzz

    Elaine xoxo

  104. Kyle Finch

    Of course being happy is a great thing. Of course we want all beings, including ourselves to be happy. Sadly this dialogue put forth from Marie seems to equate being happy with making money and being able to buy and consume and give back to others AFTER we have gained and they have lost. I think this entire conversation misses a very important point. Could this be yet another way to sell the ‘live in abundance’ doctrine and the book, the video, and the webinar that goes with it. Is there a profit in here for Marie Forleo and all the other ‘self-help’ salesmen/women out there.
    Let’s be sure to fully unwrap this discussion and make it clear that most all of the profit – that is derived from this economic system – comes at the expense of someone else.
    Be happy, but be sure that if being happy to you means making money – your footprint is on the throat of another person or persons with whom you share this planet.
    Nothing regarding money and economics on this planet happens in isolation. We are all affected by the extremely violent game known as capitalism that we so blindly play and for which many pay with great suffering.

  105. Love it 🙂 I have had the same issues with family … I love Kiva I give every month and keep re-lending… giving directly to those who need it is sooooo empowering !

  106. The way I see it, we all have the power to choose our guilt. We can choose are guilt for being happy or choose our guilt for being unhappy.

    But the greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to choose happiness, and it is in every opportunity that we are given to choose to be happy.

    Loved this one Marie and I am sharing with my tribes at The Gay Mans Life Coach, The Coming Out Coach, and The Just Be You Revolution.

  107. Darn it. I missed spelled my name in the comment. Oh well, I’m just happy I commented!

  108. Hi!
    This post came to me just in the middle of a time name “The consequence of guilty”. The first half of the year I was living the life I dreamt. But I started to feel guilty about how happy I was with my lovely boyfriend, how beautiful house I had, how I could travel a lot, how I have a job that gave me freedom. I realize now that I started to desire misery because my friends started to feel uncomfortable to listen to my happy stories. Guess what… I broke one feet, I decide with my boyfriend to leave our house to travel abroad, I leave my job…and backing to our city (in Mexico) things are been really difficult because we need to restart everything again : (.
    So the lesson learnt is that my misery doesn’t bring me anything good even my friends back.
    Señorita Cambios

  109. Alison

    Great advice Marie. It applies to everything, positive begets positive. I find this happen so often in many different situations. I was recently at an Assisted Living home visiting my 94 year old Uncle. Awesome to be 94!! Anyway, there was a lot of negativity and complaining, and he seemed bummed out. I came in cheerful and told him how handsome and great he looked and how excited I was to see him. He perked up in an instant! Guilt is just the same as negative action. It serves no purpose. The best way to walk around is a state of gratitude – I’ve called it “gratitude attitude”. Just being thankful and humble by what we are lucky enough to have speaks volumes. Thanks. 🙂

  110. Hey Marie! Yes, I have felt guilty for being happy and creating a life I love when I know others suffer. When I won three awards for my sketch comedy web series, Vegan 101, I felt sad for those filmmakers that didn’t win. However, I found myself being naturally more giving with my time and complimenting others that night to congratulate them.

    Keep up the amazing work, Marie!

  111. Thank you Marie.
    I come from a very humble background and have worked so hard to forge a little space for myself and my business. Very often I get caught up thinking about the “right” I have to my business and the happiness I get from being lucky enough to following my passion. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by this thought, this guilt.

    Misery doesn’t like company! I feel so empowered by this, and yes the most productive move is then to give! Thank you for helping me get a grip! and let go of the unhelpful guilt! Verity xx

  112. As a white male who grew up in an upper-middle class home and attended university, I have often find myself wondering about those who may not necessarily have the luxuries I had. I wouldn’t say I feel “guilty” about my circumstances, but I do acknowledge the privilege I was born into and use that as motivation to give back to others who may not necessarily share that same privilege.

    Thanks for this video, Marie!

  113. Thankfully I don’t celebrate guilt, but I do think happiness and suffering are relative. In other words, I can think of people who look at my life situation and feel sorry for me or like I need a hand out, when in “my inner world” I understand happiness is as abundant and money-free as air or gratitude. I also am someone who longs to have more nature connection than my culture allows. When someone shows me a photo of a beautiful big house to live in, I’m looking at the undisturbed woods behind it wanting to live “there”. Nature’s feedback loop is abundant in many cultures for free. Travels years ago and tutoring people in other cultures taught me not to assume someone “less fortunate” actually FEELS less fortunate. Often they are the ones with most to give from the heart. I have also had close friends with different physical limitations. Does that make them pitiable and me guilty for being fully abled? Certainly not. The best takeaway for me here is the idea that we CAN choose to nurture our inner self and grow our happiness from the inside. Engaging in work that makes you happy can be one piece of that but it is also possible to be happy spiritually, emotionally and financially otherwise.

  114. Hi Marie,

    Wow. What a gorgeous dress you have on in this one. You look great in it.
    Now, there. Even a compliment used to make me itch, but now that I have grown up a bit and discovered the infinite supply of goodness in the world, giving compliments is so easy….like happiness, it is contagious, generative. This is a disease I want…or please just pass the happicino.

    This week I was at the Social Good Summit at the 92nd St. Y. Tons of really amazing projects, people, and devastating details about the state of women’s lives, the environment, the world and the elephants…lots of pain.

    You remind me that I will be of no use to the work I am called to do- work that aims to alleviate some part of that global pain, work that makes me enormously happy and continues to unfold and grow, if I am only focused on that pain.

    Danielle LaPorte says in the Fire Starter Sessions something about being a force for good in chaotic times by being focused on what you love. I don’t have the quote point blank here, but it really ties in to what you are saying here about guilt/shame not serving anyone.
    I know, this is long. If you and your people have time, check out the work of Lily Cole in Great Britain. She has a really interesting idea about the bounty that you speak of. It might delight you.

    Thank you for a great segment.
    xo Suzi

  115. Marie such good advice. I used to feel guilty, but I started practicing Vedic meditation and it’s helped me understand the nature of happiness. Ain’t no shortage!!

  116. Hi! A quick thought that may help others… one other reason to not feel guilty!
    Consider yourself a role model to others when you enjoy your work, are proud of your contributions and build a life you love. Think of young women in less-than-ideal situations, think of how they need a reminder that a better life IS out there! They could be looking up to women like you, hearing your story and pushing for a better future for themselves.

  117. Lill

    This was your best post! So true. Thanks!

  118. As human beings, it’s our responsibility to be happy, to live happy lives and help others be happy. A simple perspective on the ‘guilt trip’ is: If you really want others to be happy, you won’t be able to do it without being happy yourself first 🙂 And I love Marie’s term ‘Happaccino 🙂

  119. I think that the best thing anyone can do is be happy in their role whether this is paid work or some other calling. By doing this you are giving people permission and inspiration to find that thing one thing that they are here on earth to do. The idea that you can actually be happy at work was a huge realisation for me when I was younger. I always thought that work was a necessary evil – it never dawned on me that if, as someone once said, I did that which I loved I would never ‘work’ a day in my life! Which is why as an almost 40 year old I am currently at Chiropractic College!
    Do what you love and inspire those around you with your actions. Maybe they are just stuck like I was 🙂

  120. Do you ever look crappy?
    Oh. My. Gosh.
    This week’s video was AWESOME as ever!
    Tangent: allow me to point out the obvious: love your style, girl! XO
    You are inspiring in SO many ways!
    Mad love and respect <3

  121. Chuba Jamir

    Sharing is love.

    Thanks Marie.

  122. Quotes-Happiness-Living

    Remember to breathe
    Breathe through it,

    You are entirely up to you
    make your body
    make your life
    make yourself !

    My late mum always said

    Success doesn’t come to you
    You go to it!

    Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life !

    sacrifice + total gratitude = Value

    I think it fair to say and to share that for me myself that I am most grateful for being brought into this world and being taught by my late parents the essential ingredients that have supported my happiness and growth throughout my life to date are

    Respect and Values,

    Happiness is infectious and when connecting with like minded people expanding your mind/goals/dreams is Unlimitless,

    In my past career I have worked and supported many major companies within the world of visual merchandising/interior design it has been am awesome journey where I have met and worked with some amazing people. I recognised my love for my work and how it made me feel ,a sense of joy within myself and when able to mentor others,making a difference at the time was so paramount to me,

    However what else I learned very quickly was how some people just didn’t want to embrace change, hence were just in this job to just have a job,no zest for life and didn’t want to see the bigger picture that was being offered to them to evolve at that time,

    It was over time that I was seeing this pattern emerging in every new position that was presented to me and being a peoples person and always seeing the potential in everyone ,it came to a point where I recognised certain people were draining my energy!!!!!! when you are up against tight time scales this was seriously having a knock on effect on me and my work load,it started to keep me awake at night as I took my career very seriously,it made me see that we weren’t all singing from the same hymn sheet and something had to give,

    Energy to me has always been Key, as without it i just can’t function,I am also told that our lives have cycles of time by where sometimes we grow and other times we are able to reflect ,this was where my awakening happened for which I am most grateful for in guiding me to a New Dawn,

    Looking back I can now see how much I have learned to date about myself and others and that we are all unique individuals that have so many choices that sometimes just arn’t seen,that can make us Happy depending on what happiness is for each one of us,

    I believe that for me my purpose for this life is to continue to evolve with like minded people that keep you in kilter and vice versa,recognise your strengths we all have them along with weaknesses support one another,don’t feel guilty for feeling/being happy this comes from within and can have such a powerful profound influence on your life and those you choose to share it with,

    I believe our – Life/Time on this plain to be so very precious, so enjoy the ride,

    Tick Tock – Happy Wednesday Everyone,

    New Dawn x

  123. Sarah

    It’s so refreshing to be able to tap into your videos Marie and to see the feedback. I too have felt twinges of happiness guilt and wonder if it could be related to a Catholic upbringing. I find yours and others’ insights so reaffirming. Of course we all need to be fulfilling our potential as best as we can and snowballing positive contagious momentum!

  124. “Guilt is not useful and it’s indulgent.” Yes and yes!

    It’s time to break this association with happiness as a limited resource because, in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

  125. Vivian E

    I actually feel guilty not for being happy or having what I have in life, but rather for not being able to do enough at a particular time for someone or a situation…..In times like these, I actually say a silent heart felt prayer to God on behalf of the person or situation I may have just met/witnessed. God sees what I cannot see and knows what I don’t about this person or situation and will definitely handle it better than I have done.

  126. Jennifer

    Hi Marie!

    Cynthia, I am so glad you asked this question it was exactly what I needed to hear! I have (in the past) felt a lot of guilt for being happy and free and earning abundantly for my work because I have watched my parents work very hard and come tired and uninspired in order to feed and clothe and support me and my brothers. They both have good jobs but they talk about the value of working “hard” for money i.e. suffering to make money and so I adopted this framework while going to my own work too.

    It feels at times “disloyal” to pursue a career that actually adds to my happiness, creativity, love of life and energy when many people in the world seem to work from the paradigm that “making money is hard and a sacrifice”.

    Its brave to step out there and create the life and business you love! Cheering for us all to pave the way to a new society based on love and abundance!

    Thank you Marie for being a prime example of this in action!

    God bless, no stress,

    Jenny C xXx

  127. I had a conversation with a friend recently about the very same topic. She was feeling a little guilty particularly about the fact that she was born with a lot more opportunity and privilege, and was doing what she always wanted to do.

    I told her a rule I always lived by – it’s that if you are given opportunities, you should take it and use it. Because being presented with them and not acting on them is a lot more insulting to those that don’t get them.

  128. What I have found that the happier I am and the more proud of my work and opportunities I am, some of my friends who aren’t as happy have sort of fallen off. I feel guilty at times but I have also hustled to get to where I am and haven’t stopped.

    Interesting episode that I think Marie did a nice job of answering the question and hitting the points.

  129. Great video and Thank you for sharing

  130. Priscilla

    Really lovely as always but… I can’t believe you could pass that mention of a “big but” without any joke, lol.

  131. This is a great question, and something I think we all experience in some form or another. We may not experience guilt about being happy, but we may feel it about taking too much time off or working too hard or whatever.

    Guilt is a quality that can come in for various reasons, and certainly one that I deal with. A few weeks ago I was talking to a fellow business owner about guilt, and she helped me see that guilt begins as a thought form, then it manifests in our body and so in order to release it more fully we need to physically release it, and then replace the guilt with a positive affirmation.

    Anyways I was so inspired by the idea of physically releasing guilt as if it was an exercise-practice that I wrote this post that gives a step by step process on how to physically release guilt, I hope its helpful (to you Cynthia if you’re reading this) and to anyone who needs a way to physically shake off the guilt:

  132. Taralyn

    I have been feeling extremely guilty about wanting to pursue a life and career that I truly love. The longing to do so is so painful some days, I literally find it difficult to breathe. But as a single mother, I often feel like I don’t have the right to pursue what I love without the guarantee that I can also provide for myself and my daughter. I think that both fear of failure and guilt about not being “responsible” have kept me from really going after what I want. The irony, however, is that I’m always encouraging my daughter to dream big and go after what truly makes her happy. I feel like such a hypocrite, and I know I’m doing her a disservice by not setting a better example for her.

  133. Marie, Thank you for this video. This is a topic I have been thinking about deeply recently. Beyond the guilt of doing what I love while others can’t, it’s a guilty feeling between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ – I live in a city and daily I see people in the 1% category, dancing/partying/wasting food and resources on the same street as I see homeless people who are scraping by on foodstamps and it makes me cry to see this disparity. The guilty feelings are not doing anyone justice as you point out and pity is not going to solve any problems. Action or understanding of the situation are the best ways forward. Thank you for making this video. 🙂

  134. Erika

    I constantly feel guilty about being happy and being free. I have always pursued my passions and worked hard to achieve my dreams. When I come across others “stuck in a rut” I feel guilty almost to share what I’ve been up to.

    Recently, I’ve turned that guilty energy into curiosity. When I don’t feel like sharing more about myself I ask the other person what they love. I try and help them identify a dream or a goal that they might wish they were achieving.

    Thank you for this and all your episodes. I am saving for B school.

    • Thanks that is a good idea. Ask them instead!

  135. Lisa

    Hi Marie,

    Great topic.

    I felt guilty about success for a very long time, but I recently realized that there has to be a balance. More so than that, I hope that the scale tips on the side of more people feeling joy and living a life that reflects how they feel. It really makes an impact.

    There has to be an alternative to the ISIS beheading, sexual/racial/religious/class discrimination and every other form of hatred that is so prominent in every headline.

    By living positive and letting that characteristic shine, we are giving an alternative to that turmoil.

    Let you light shine!

    Thanks for the great topic!


  136. I know this for sure:
    When you have abundance, share it. There are many who don’t and could use a little extra.
    Time, energy, enthusiasm, money, food, kindness, gratitude, magic and HAPPINESS are often in short supply. If you have extra, there is always an individual, a community or an organization who could use a little of what you have a lot of.
    It guides many of the decisions I make. If you want to make a difference in the world, share your abundance. It also makes you glad you have something to give. We are on earth for a reason. It is to make a difference, not just to keep our gifts to ourselves.

  137. Oh what a pretty dress Marie!

    As always your tips are so succinct & truthful. Perhaps guilt is one of those negative feelings that people feel so familiar with they unconsciously invite it in so they can feel “comfortable” again. A deeper cleansing is needed. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now is all about staying in the now to conquer that familiar pain. I find self love, truth and affirmations around boosting our own worthiness beliefs move all things forward positively as well.

    Happucino, love it!


  138. Hi Marie!

    I loved and needed this post so much !!! I look forward to your q&a Tuesday videos!

    I really needed this because I come from a family of mental illness and addiction. It’s pretty hard because doing well for myself makes me feel pretty bad. I’ve tried to fix people my whole life and put myself to the side for a long time. At 27 I can say I finally feel like I’m headed on the right path for me career wise and spiritually. Tho I feel as something is missing is because I’m not helping anyone but myself. I think it’s time to keep a balance and start trying to help out my family in a healthy way while still doing well for myself. Youre also absolutley right tho that if im mosserable and stuck in unhelathy ways, what good is that doing for anyone and myself either. Thank you so much for this I find it to be a battle within myself but this video really spoke to me.

  139. There was a time that I felt guilty for being happy until i came to the realization of what true happiness is. It’s not about abundance or having things go your way. It’s a choice that you make regardless of what is going on in your life. There’s no reason to feel guilty about a choice that is healthy and beautiful. The guilt should only come in when you’re not giving, whether what you have to offer is money, things, or your understanding.

  140. When we do what we love, our life is in harmony. When our life is in harmony, we are fulfilled and happy. When we are fulfilled and happy, only then are we able to sustainably contribute to the society. Therefore by my logic, the ONLY way to contribute to the world is by getting my own life in harmony. My favorite quote on the topic is by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Here is a link to an essay I recently wrote on the topic

  141. Wayne

    I loved this episode. Easy, simple but deeply profound sitting in plain site at Marie tv, who would have thunk it? Just had this conversation several nights ago with someone who needs to charge for their services and take their show on the road. I am going to refer this to others so keep them coming.

  142. This makes me feel better. A lot of my friends and family members hate their jobs. I’m about to graduate as a yoga teacher in a few days and I’m currently working with children who don’t normally have access to yoga and I love it! Everyone is telling me to get a real job and to stop goofing around. I almost quit school a few weeks ago so I could get a job everyone wanted me to take. It’s a job they have all had and have all hated. Thanks for this.I feel comfortable with my graduation and the possibility of an amazing career I love!

  143. Amber

    Lucky me! I can’t ever remember feeling guilty for my happiness, only gratefulness. On the flip side, when I’m pooing in my pants and fanning it heavily I try to remember the things I’m grateful for (this is the hard part).

  144. Thanks Marie,
    I love watching your videos! You are so wise. : )
    I started feeling guilt as a very young child when I learned about people who were homeless and didn’t have enough to eat. At that time I made a goal to have a home for orphans. In college I experienced it again when I was studying business, as I felt it was bettering myself when others didn’t have that option. I ended up taking a year off from school to volunteer in NYC with City Year an Americorps Program. It was an amazing experience and was wonderful spending a year doing work with children – and giving back. This was 10 years ago now and I wouldn’t go back and change it for a second! And yes, if you are wondering I did finish up school and am now an business coach, real estate investor and I own a property management company. For those who feel that they can’t afford to give as much as they’d like I would suggest they give of their personal time, talents and passions!

  145. Great response Marie. I always enjoy Q&A Tuesday! Love to hear the questionf of others and your wisdom. Thanks. Skye

  146. Thank you Marie for this! I’m immensely grateful that there are people in this world who share and who wants to be a part of making this world better. I think that this topic is important to discuss. It’s far too often we fall into the trap of holding ourselves back, whether it be guil fear or something else. For me it’s fear of loosing everyone if I go too far. But the things that are holding us back are also symptoms of deeper issues in society, so each time one of us pushes through and gets beyond their limitations, everyone wins.

    • So true, Agneta. I keep thinking: “comparison is the thief of joy” and it works both ways!

  147. GUILT
    Give your
    Love &
    That’s the type of G.U.I.L.T. we can all share!

  148. Hi wrote a blog post on a similar topic a little while ago.

    I was sent a cease and desist order, my office burnt down and I was in a head on car accident right around the time of the Sandyhook school shooting. My life felt miserable but I felt so guilty!
    How could I feel sad or be upset with anything in my life when other people have way harder things to deal with? Though this may be true it doesn’t mean that I can’t put energy into turning my situation around. It doesn’t mean I can’t deal with whats going on in my life. It doesn’t mean that I can’t do things that make me happy.
    Thanks for the reminder Marie! Great video.

  149. Whoa – Happiness Guilt? Is that really a thing? I’m one month into my new business and Friday I was so happy! I’m not really making money yet, but I’m having such a good time. It never crossed my mind to feel guilty about it.

    Maybe if I start being that happy every day of the year – then I’ll feel guilty 🙂

  150. kirssis

    Hi. ILove the dress you wear, please you can tell me wear you bay. The show is Is it wrong to do w i Love. Thanks

  151. I loved this topic!

    I’m already a very bubbly person who has learned over the years to tone it down and dial it back. Sometimes though as a young adult, success I experience and the general positive energy becomes a bubble that I’m afraid repels some of my friends and co workers.

    I find myself downplaying what I do all the time, even to my own mother. I noticed that people tend to become expectant when they think you’re doing well financially, or they avoid you if you’re too happy. It’s such a catch 22!

    I like the idea of giving back to the community as Marie said I try to do good deeds, but then I get concerned that I come across as a goodie two-shoes. Again, community service feels like yet another thing I have to hide!

    My focus will be on remaining in connection with bright, energetic, successful people so I can feel at home with who I am, and not like I’m threatening to someone else’s happiness.

  152. It’s really hard for me to feel guilty about something that makes me happy. There are so many awful things in the world, that when I find one thing that makes me grin, it’s hard to stop.
    Great post Marie!

  153. I believe ‘guilt’ is an emotion that simply wastes energy and creates internal frustration which then people around you get negatively infected by – so I definitely agree with Marie about dropping the guilt!

    Also, happiness is an internal choice we make daily so just because someone isn’t doing ‘what they love’ or taking a different path than you doesn’t mean they are happy. You can choose to be happy and passionate in any situation because genuine meaningful happiness is a state of mind, not a product of what you have. This is exactly what I educate my clients through coaching, organisational workshops and conference talks – because it’s the biggest misconception people have.

    Just like guilt is a choice, so is happiness. So if you are feeling guilty about feeling happy, tell others they can choose to be happy too regardless of what they are doing. It’s all about having perspective and appreciating what you have. And the positive psychology science is there to prove it!

  154. Dear Marie,

    I like that you say you cannot give what you do not have. Last weekend I was not feeling well and when I wrote I definitely felt like I was protecting my reality into my writing. And I agree, there is enough for all of us and when we are happy and vibrating on a positive energy level, we can mean much more to the world than when we are feeling guilty. Thank you.

    heart Lynne

  155. I just wanted to give a big shout out to my homegirl from Virginia… woot woot!


    I love that you mentioned setting an example for other people that we all deserve to do work that we enjoy.

    Happiness is contagious. Sort of like the flu but in a god way 🙂 Share your happiness and how you got to that with others so they can do the same.

    With love and gratitude,


  156. I loved this episode! The most inspirational quote for this for me is from Marianne Williamson:
    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

  157. Vesna

    There was a time when I was doing nothing with my self and guilt was around evrything I did, so I did little. After an accident I was so greatefull for life that I have, for every second I’m on earth and for every little thing I can do.I can’t feel guilty for some one else is having less, I just can feel blessed to be able to help and give. Gratitude for everything I am is better than guilt for everything someone else isn’t, and that’s a part of selfishness I will keep for my self. Thank you Marie, you are goldich* 🙂 keep in sight and mind

  158. Hi Marie!

    I really enjoy your videos and always find a great positive take away in each one! I have been going through a time of transition trying to understanding what things make me feel happy and fulfilled and what things do not. A lot of guilt has come along with this. I am not sure if I am not being appreciative or grateful of what I do have, or if the needs that I feel I have, I should try to address?

    Thank you so much!

  159. Hey Marie!

    My boyfriend was born in the U.S., but the whole rest of his family was born in Cuba and immigrated here about 30 years ago. They’ve all built nice, middle class livelihoods for themselves now, but have had to work very hard jobs and long hours throughout the years to get to that point. The problem is- my boyfriend is an engineer right now, but he doesn’t enjoy it. It’s 12 hour days working out in the sun doing something he’s not crazy about. He really wants to explore working in the comedy writing field, and I support him in that. He’s hilarious and that’s his true passion! But when he tells his parents that he wants to explore a career that he’s passionate about instead of a job that’s traditional, they freak out! They say, “You think being an engineer is hard?! Your grandpa in Cuba had to work in labor camps!! You’re lazy…Work is supposed to be terrible. Life is supposed to be hard.” I don’t know how to help, because he gets so much pressure from them to just keep plugging along instead of searching for something he loves. Anyway, I’m going to send him this video, because I think it will help him. Thanks, Marie!! 🙂

  160. Kim

    This is great advice. As someone who has worked in the “helping professions,” I can tell you that being happy is a pre-requisite to helping others. You can’t do much real helping without it. I used to push myself —volunteering and burning myself out. Then one day, someone said “What are you doing? Forget about helping people. Be HAPPY!” He didn’t mean to forget about service to others (he was a yoga teacher). He just meant that I had to feel entitled to my own happiness. What a difference!

  161. Taisa

    Hi Marie!

    This episode touch my heart so deeply! I am feeling like Cynthia too, thinking: who am to do something diferente and follow my heart and be the person I want to be?
    I can understand now with your words that our world needs more people engaged in doing something good for the others. There is this fear that stops me to use my power and do what I believe I am here in this lifetime to do.
    I will use your advices and be follow what my heart is telling me for a long time.
    Thank you so much for being this inspiration and helping me and so many people to believe that we can do whatever we want!!
    Love you Marie!

  162. Ann K

    Thank you so much. I struggle with this.

  163. abhi

    love and belonging are as important as being happy,,,,,,,,,,so i am not afraid of being happy….i am afraid of losing people;s love if i win,,,,the wrath of their jealousy,,,,,,how would you overcome that??

  164. I love this! This is something I struggled with for the longest time, running my own business, being my own boss, even going to uni was so against the norm for my family, I used to always feel like I had to explain why I did what I did, thankfully those days have long gone! 🙂

  165. Great video as always, we like to tell our kids you have to be happy with your own life before you can do anything else or help anyone else!

  166. I read this piece of writing completely regarding the comparison of
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  167. I’m not positive the place you are getting your information,
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  168. Wow…just had this discussion with a few friends…how timely! Do I feel guilty for the blessings in my business and personal life, the answer is no. There’s nothing wrong with loving the life you’re creating!! Share your light. Live gratitude…and try to give that out each day to friends, family, and strangers. Thanks Marie!

  169. A.M.

    Very pertinent info/comments. Ha!!! I was experiencing this emotion the other day – how do I get off to be so happy! I really was. Don’t worry there’s always more misery to bring you (me) down if I want it and it does from time to time. I think that’s part of life.

  170. Zoraya

    I really needed to hear this today. This has been my life’s journey. I have taken so much responsibility for trying to help and save others that I often want to put on the oxygen mask on others while I suffocate. Half the time they are so unconscious that the sacrifice from my suffocation is yet not good enough. It’s time I breathe properly to create the space for those whom also desire to have the same breathing space. Thank you for reminding me of this. I know that O can do this.

  171. Vee

    I have really struggled with the guilt of happiness; “If you’re happy when others are unhappy, you’re being selfish.”
    But i’ve just seen a nice post above–happiness is not a limited resource!!
    We give off what we have. So if i’m happy, i can make someone’s day better! If i’m unhappy, i can bring someone else down. I am therefore contributing to the problem!
    Additionally, someone oaved the way so that each of us can be happy: Jesus, freedom fighters, creators. Seriously, someone sacrificed a social life so that we can use things like a light switch, or a smooth road! We BETTER be happy! A high price has already been paid so that we can all be happy.

    Everyone has access to happiness. You being happy does not take away from someone else–it is an unlimited resource! Plenty more 🙂

    This is day one, and i’m choosing to be happy! I’m going to enjoy every good thing because it is a gift! I don’t deserve it but it’s mine!!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      There’s ALWAYS more where that came from, Vee, including joy and happiness. You keep rockin’ your happy self and sprinkle it around like confetti. We need more Vee’s in the world! x0

  172. Hi,
    Its so nice to read all these lovely comments and watch Maria’s video. This site actually came accross when I was really sunk under the guilt feeling and decided to google.
    Yesterday as I was working with a blind and deaf member 41 year old from TURGOK (Turkish Blind Library) I was accompanying them to receive their prise in the writing contest to İzmir. I felt very guilty after the trip. He lost his vision and his hearing ability only 13 years ago. And during this period he developed his senses at such a level that when we were in the ceremony and I had to write down eveything in his hands, he sad he can sense what actually was going on, and I could stop writing. Which was really amazing, he told me what others could be feeling during the ceremony.
    When I had to leave, he told me a story about one of his friends feeling sorry for him, and how it was also difficult to be in this situation when people pity you. (actually he was refering to me).
    I have to meet with him Friday and I hope to get over this feeling by then. Maria your video rocks! I ll also order your book. I am from Turkey and I am very excited to have come accross your site 🙂
    My initial idea of getting involved in a charity was to give people happiness and hope, it was going well in the begining till I met this guy, then I couldn’t shine to make him happy. I was pretty unhappy about his situation. The problem was he seemed OK with everything but was very lonely, and very intellectual. So I decide to write him a few lines when I have time, but I have kids and a very busy job, anyhow, after watching your video I decided to stop this guilt feeling because as you have very well written it doesnt serve anyone, and I deserve to be happy 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Thanks for sharing this story with us, Cagla! We hope your meeting goes well on Friday. It sounds like you learned a lot from the experience. We’re so glad you enjoyed this episode and hope you’ll enjoy Marie’s book as well!

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