Today’s show is about happiness. We are really going to focus on happiness in the workplace environment and the antidote to negativity and even bullying.

Kyla Mitsunaga is an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker, and a workshop trainer who has been busy developing a happiness workshop.  

She is also sharing her approach in 14 different countries across three different continents. She empowers  corporations, organizations, institutions, and individuals to succeed by first being happy. Kyla shares how she stumbled upon the topic of happiness and how it took off from there. Learn how one woman’s journey has made more people happier by making each other happy.

Show Notes

  • [03:18] Earlier in her career, Kyla was a professor. In 2014, she spoke in Austria. She realized that she had to be the change that she talks about and actually live it. This began her journey.
  • [04:42] She was then asked to speak in Mexico on empowering students to give back to their communities. While she was researching the subject, the topic of happiness kept popping up.
  • [05:39] She based the happiness workshop on a simple premise of if we can make other people happy then we can become happier.
  • [06:01] After being featured on the evening news, Kyla decided to share her workshop with as many people as possible.
  • [06:24] She brought her happiness workshop to the university that she taught at in Korea.
  • [07:32] Her students are initially surprised when they have to make as many people around them as happy as possible.
  • [09:27] It can be hard for people to step out of their comfort zones and be happy.
  • [10:58] Everyone in every culture wants to be happy. Everyone also has their own internal roadblocks.
  • [11:31] Happiness takes work just like anything else. It’s a mindset.
  • [12:12] Her book was inspired by her 2012 TED Talk.
  • [14:27] With the prevalence of devices, people aren’t paying attention anymore. Hiding behind a device is not the way forward.
  • [16:01] Her book is deeply personal. It’s part memoir and part self-help. It’s her journey of getting to WITH.
  • [16:49] Kyla sees everything with a WITH versus AT lens. Her book is written in a WITH style with activities and QR codes so you can watch videos.
  • [19:04] Kyla wanted to create change and be an example for other women like her to look up to.
  • [21:08] She had a huge epiphany that she had spent 40 years of her life with blurry vision. She discovered that the reason why she does what she does boils down to WITH.
  • [22:48] For Kyla, WITH is an idea of oneness.
  • [23:33] The more you understand yourself, the more you can be with other people. WITH has a lot to do with empathy.
  • [25:57] Happiness to Kyla is total alignment with yourself.
  • [29:03] Kyla is her work and her work is her. The more she understands herself and her personal growth, the more that she can share with others.
  • [29:58] She is motivated, because she has been through depression. She also had a lot of guilt over her mother’s illness. Emotions are ego-driven, and ego doesn’t like change.
  • [31:37] It’s helpful for Kyla to have a talk with her ego.  
  • [32:43] The deeper she goes with herself, the deeper her participants can go with themselves.
  • [35:31] Journaling helps Kyla with the sustainability of her happiness practice. Women can be held to impossible standards.
  • [37:27] Write down all the AT things you say to yourself. Then draw an arrow and have a WITH thing.
  • [40:33] Change starts with yourself. Start with the power of WITH.

Links and Resources:

Kyla Mitsunaga

Kyla Mitsunaga: Why teachers must learn “with” their students

WITH vs AT: Two Prepositions That Changed My Life

@kylamitsunaga on Twitter

Kyla Mitsunaga on LinkedIn

Total Alignment