The Freedom To Be Happy

About twelve years ago I went to a network marketing training with the company we were part of at the time. The lead trainer was a middle six figure earner named Paul Michaels.

I loved this training.  That day I might have learned something that has served me better than anything else I learned as a trainer, coach, mentor, etc.

I have no idea what the content of the training was. No doubt it was cool stuff. But the first 15 minutes was the coolest part.

Picture this: We were in New York City, right near LaGuardia Airport.  That’s an important detail because Paul had the room divide into groups of five.  If it had been someplace with a less diverse population things might have gone different. But I was in a group with one other white male, one white female, one black female and one Muslim woman who was wearing her headscarf.

He had us do something which I had never seen done up to that point. He put on some high energy dance music and told each of us in the group to take turns dancing for the other four.

The catch: he wanted us to dance with total abandon, nothing but fun and love for the experience. He wanted us to let our bodies go wherever they would. And each of the other four would give nothing but encouragement and support for whoever was the dancer at the time.

I got what he was trying to do, even though I didn’t own it as much as I do now.

When you free your body and mind from the need for approval, for worrying about what others think of you, two things happen…

1. You work harder, more creatively and better.

2. You attract people, because we gravitate towards those with enough confidence to totally be themselves.

For whatever the reason I made it a point to be last in the group. In spite of Paul’s instructions, the other four just weren’t letting it go. Each of them did what they were ready to do at the time. But there was a whole lotta tightness going on.

I’m sure it was the usual reasons. Most people just don’t feel that comfortable in their bodies and emotions. No surprise…the Muslim woman had a particularly hard time. She comes from a culture where women have a much different expectation for behavior. But she was a trooper. She waved her hands a bit and swayed in time to the music.

Then it was my turn to go.

Yeah, I let it fly.

I unleashed the beast known as Larry. Put it this way…the circle around me got a lot wider about two seconds into my solo. And yeah…there was the whole jumping up on a chair thing.  :)

Like I said, I don’t remember much else of the training. I do remember scaring the crap out of a few people who avoided me for the rest of the day.

And I remember having a few people rush to take pictures with the crazy guy who danced on top of the chair.

It was leadership.

Becoming a polarizing figure because you’re totally willing to be yourself. Some follow because they want what you have.

Some avoid, or even hate because your a threat to the world as they understand you.

And some just stay in the box and ignore you altogether.

But you don’t worry about that. You’re too happy being yourself, and calling out to the people with complimentary energy.

What brought this up?

Diane and I went to see a movie a couple of days ago (Draft Day with Kevin Costner…good flick). We were the first two in the theater.

While we were waiting, Happy by Pharrell Williams came on.

I’ve seen enough of the videos to have had it sink in. I had open space and movie quality sound.

There was no way you were holding me down! I got up and gave it my best Happy Dance. Had a ball, and got a great workout in the process.

A couple of minutes in, an older couple walked into the theater. Another place and time, or with other people (think my daughters) I might have stopped.

Nope…I kept movin’ and groovin’! Same for when another few people came in after them.

I wasn’t trying to show off or make anyone feel uncomfortable. I was just…happy!

Sure, there are going to shades of gray, and situations where it works better than others.

And you’ll always change and grow.

But you’re either being yourself, or you’re not.

And the ones who are get the rewards…starting with the incredible liberation from worry and fear.

And they usually get more money, more goodies in their Easter baskets and more hugs from good looking people.

They get – you know…


If I see you out there, let’s have a little dance party. You and me…and anyone else who feels like showing up!

How To Receive

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CLICK HERE to check out HOW TO RECEIVE. Yeah…it’s all that. :)



9 Responses to “The Freedom To Be Happy”

  1. Louise Deerson on April 27th, 2014 11:47 am

    HAHAHAHA Larry!!!

  2. Jenni Ryan on April 27th, 2014 12:10 pm

    haha awesome!

    Last night I went and saw a band and the lead singer kept asking for people to come up and sit up the front and be at one with them. No one was willing to get up and move up the front. I said to my friend. We shoudl go becuase I guarantee if we do, everyone will follow.

    So we did we moved up the front and sat in front of the stage and less than 30 seconds people started folowoing! My friend couldn’t believe it but I knew most people always wait for someone else to lead.

  3. Karen Anderson on April 27th, 2014 12:33 pm

    That’s a good one, Larry! I can almost see it. When the Happy song comes on I can’t be still either. We need to get out of our heads more often.

  4. Larry Hochman on April 27th, 2014 2:26 pm

    See what I mean, Jenni! Leadership often starts with your feet! 😉

  5. Ross Murker on April 27th, 2014 3:33 pm

    Haanel, Wattles, Napoleon Hill, more recently Byron Katie, Abraham-Hicks, and Andy Dooley, now you, all telling me the same thing: I’ve heard that it sometimes takes 7 different people saying something 7 different ways before the listener truly *gets* it – Now for practice! Thank you!

  6. John Logan on April 28th, 2014 5:34 pm

    It is also a great way for the seminar leader to break the ice. It just seems to make people relax and get into the mood of the experience. Did Diane get up and dance with you or was she comfortable watching you? I truly need to let myself out of the cage once in awhile that I put myself in at times. There is something very liberating with this approach. I used to do it far more than I have lately and don’t really know why.
    Great post with some great advice on liberation.

  7. Larry Hochman on April 28th, 2014 11:24 pm

    That’s some serious company you’re throwing me in with, Ross! I appreciate it…and accept it. :)

  8. Larry Hochman on April 28th, 2014 11:25 pm

    John…Diane wasn’t there. I was flying solo on that training. But it would have been interesting to see what would have happened. We were both at different stages of development back then.

  9. Brian McDaniel on April 29th, 2014 2:23 pm

    Some folks call us crazy… but I’m with you… just happy! I’ll think of you the next time I do a little dance out in public with Jenifer saying “Brian… what are you doing” LOL… Love it!

    I’m so Happy!

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