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By: Karen Ann Pavlick

This is the magic formula!

H A P P I N E S S is the JOY we feel striving to our potential”

I absolutely love this quote I heard on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah and Shawn Achor, knowing after many years of not knowing, that this is the formula that attracts more of what you want to experience. I promise!


As an actor, knowing actors, teaching actors, happiness is anything but a joyful striving. It’s more of a desperate attachment; once I get the job, the applause, the award…then I will be joyful and happy.

Then the curtain closes, the award gets dusty and the job ends. There will be that moment of celebration, but the firework show always ends and the champagne unfortunately stops flowing.

What IF you were happy with what you already have and excited about what you want?

It is a simple attitude adjustment and the world responds as if they don’t know what to do?

I was standing at the crosswalk with my sister waiting for the light to change when a bicyclist rode up and joined us at the light. I said hi and commented on what a beautiful day it was to ride a bike.

He asked where I was from as if I just landed from Mars or Venus or some far off planet.  All I said was, “hi.”

He thanked me for being so nice and taking the time to say hello.

We are so busy looking down, feeling down, we’ve forgotten to look up and say hi.

It’s that simple. A smile, a hello can be the best red light someone has ever stopped at.

I love my Starbucks! When I lived in Los Angeles, I took the time to get to know the employees and their dreams. I would go there, not only because I love my three shots over ice, but I loved conversing with the employees and helping them out, by introducing them to friends or business people I felt could help them along their journey.

I got excited to help them, because they were excited about their dreams, plus, I never felt they didn’t like their job, if anything it was quite the opposite, they always greeted me with a smile, bought me a coffee now and then and created “Mocha Friday” for me! That’s a pump of mocha in my three shots on Friday.

Happiness breathes excitement.

When I moved to St. Petersburg, I connected with a new group from Starbucks and had similar exchanges and now they remind me, “It’s Mocha Friday!”

I told my sister, “Everyone is so nice in St. Petes.” She responded, “Well, you say hi to everyone!”

It is true, you get back what you give and then some!

When I had to take on a job just “to get by,” and it wasn’t acting, I would get depressed, complain and become miserable. Guess what, I got less acting work with that attitude.

When I made a conscious choice to be grateful for what I had, my health, a job to pay the bills, my brothers, sister and friends, guess what? Yep, I began to get the work I was excited about.

Be happy with what you have and be excited about what you want, then share from that space. 

I have met more new friends and business opportunities all because I took the time to compliment someone or say hello. I really am happy and grateful for what I have and say “thank you” out loud all the time, which has brought forth more authentic opportunities to share the things I am excited to experience; living on a vineyard, meeting a super guy, having a family and getting the best publishing deal for my book.

It truly amazes me the response I receive when I share what I want to experience from a place of already being happy.

I don’t come off desperate or needy, like I used to, which others can sniff out immediately, I come off like I have a calling on my life and I can’t wait to share it. Guess what? Others, naturally, want to be part of your excitement.

I was leaving a market the other day and a couple commented on the color of my car, it’s a real soft teal blue. Before long, I learned about them and they learned about one of the things I am really excited about, my book. As I shared my story and how the book came about, the woman got goosebumps and the man said, “I see you on Oprah!” They had friends they felt could be instrumental in helping and followed through.

Happiness is an inside job with outer awards. It’s not about getting the awards to be happy.

How many times have you gotten in an elevator and never said “hi” or walked out without saying, “Have a nice day,” because you were too busy looking down at your texts, hoping you got an audition or a booking? That person…could have been instrumental in your life in one way or another or you could have simply made that person’s day. You can’t always be happy, I know, life throws us curve balls all the time, but when I am feeling blue, and I get a simple “hi,” life suddenly feels a little bit brighter

All is takes is eye contact to make a new friend, meet your next business opportunity, or make someone else’s day special.

The key is to be excited about what you want, but first, be happy with what you  have, then just say hi from that space and watch how a simple gesture can change your life.


Karen Ann Pavlick started her career as an NFL CHEERLEADER for the Raiders. This led to an acting career and first film, PATCH ADAMS with Robin Williams, directed by her favorite, Tom Shadyac. With over 60 national TV Commercials, appearances on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, GENERAL HOSPITAL, reality shows to Show Host for HSN, Karen feels blessed for the opportunities that continue to come her way and grow her! She was honored  with “Distinguished Filmmaker,” after both her short films, under her production company, Hollywood Ending Films, won BEST FILM. 
Karen has a passion for travel, unique spas, the outdoors, being surrounded by family and friends, and a love for wine. “I would love to write and live on a vineyard!” This may come sooner than later as Karen’s first self-help/discovery book is near completion. It has been placed on her heart to travel and speak to women all over the world, helping them to heal their childhood hearts.

Go to my facebook page, Questions & Actors, click LIKE and start communicating with fellow actors and parents!