Excellent, check out this quote by Sam Berns (1996 – 2014) when he was a junior in high school …

“As I’m striving to change the world, I will be happy.”

Sam had a rare disease called progeria that took his life at 17.  HBO did a series on him entitled, “Life According to Sam.”  His google assigned title was “American activist,” and he left behind a legacy of positive energy that is both humbling and inspiring in both my professional and personal life.

Here’s the video I just stumbled across (no I didn't watch HBO back in 2010 - 2015):

Before ya’ll start on me, I considered using a hillbilly term that could be viewed as systematically biased. Then I decided the benefit of the “click bait” didn’t justify the title, “What are You Bitchin’ About?”

My political correctness skills ain't exactly on point. So, I went with the more melba toast title, “Not Happy?”  You still with me? Let's go to work.

Tony McLean Brown, Pilates

The reason I’m writing about Sam is that I find it cathartic to reflect on how individuals who are facing much tougher challenges then I can imagine seem to do it with both courage and grace.

To put a finer point on this HappyGuide / LinkedIn post, at work we continue to struggle with three major challenges at PCG:

  • The Future of Work – How do we support our project teams whether they are physically sitting in their homes, our offices, or on the job at a clients’ setting?  It matters most through the lens of recruiting, training, and retaining our best and brightest talent.  The flip side also matters. How do you know it’s time to make a change on an poor performer that you haven’t seen in 3 years?
Tony McLean Brown Future of Work
  • DEI – Against the backdrop of #1, our nation is drowning in systemic bias, historical habits, and polarized/partisan/political bullsh*t. It makes building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace a damn hard to do for every organization in the USA.  There is no “how to” manual I can find. The so-called experts are as plentiful as mosquitoes on a globally warmed Summer night in Dime Box, Texas. DEI is not something we do in addition to the project work. Building diverse team that exceed our client's expectation is the work.
Tony McLean Brown Heat Map
  • Service to Others – Taking #1 and #2 as given, it seems the demands on our clients are becoming increasingly complicated. The people they serve are finding it harder and harder to survive much less thrive.  Whether it is higher fuel and housing prices, affordable healthcare, or educating students from all types of communities and capabilities, the job of helping others is getting harder. #KeepGrindingXO #ExpectMore
Tony McLean Brown HHS

I don't know about you, but at times I find myself winded and pooped out. Keep in mind I've run the Leadville Trail 100 and Comrades Ultra-Marathon in Africa. Stamina is my thing. But there is so much going on, and it's coming from every direction ... it's easy to lose focus and motivation.

THEN, you come across Sam!

His simple three-prong happy philosophy allowed him to grind away on making his big dreams become his reality:

  • Be OK With What You Can’t Do because there is so much you can do.
  • Surround Yourself With Positive People and help each other.
  • Keep Moving Forward even if it requires being brave.

This young man figured out the power of positive thinking. He compels us to consider the benefits of having big dreams, setting goals, doing the work, and being brave.

Here’s my 2 cents:

“Happiness comes from advancing towards a worthy goal with friends and family at work or play.”

In the health, social care, and education industries, our clients and co-workers share dreams on how to make things better.  The clients are demanding we create diverse teams that reflect all aspects of the communities we served. We must get better every day.

So in memory of Sam, it is okay with me that we are still trying to solve the future of work puzzle.  It's exciting PCG is hiring talented folks from every possible category and classification. It feels GREAT to know we are moving forward … making real progress … with each new hire, training session, project deliverable and innovation.

tony mclean brown happy circle

#WhatUBitchinBout #GoMakeAHappyCircle

Author Tony McLean Brown Happy Guide

Tony McLean Brown

A Western NC hillbilly through and through, Tony McLean Brown was born in the small town of Enka-Candler outside of Asheville.  His parents re-named him when he was 3 years old to Tony (a nickname provided by his grandfather) McLean (middle name of his Uncle Michael) while retaining his legal surname Brown.

Throughout his career, Tony McLean Brown worked as a farmer, computer programmer, and management consultant – in his adventurous years – author, song-writer, bass player, poet, pilot, mountaineer, certified scuba diver, and competitor in professional bull riding, NASCAR late model racing, Toughman boxing, Crossfit Open, Ironman, pole vaulting, marathon and ultra-marathon running, as well as parenting. has been leveraged to help charities and non-profits across the globe, USA, NC, and Lake Norman area. If you, your family, school, church, or charity has been supported, please take the time to share, like, subscribe, comment, and provide a 5 star review!