How To Find Happiness – Right Under Your Toes

I’ve always noticed the word “cure” in pedicure. And I find the presence of this “cure” suffix very fitting.

For me, a pedicure is a helpful cure for many things: the flu, heartbreak, the doldrums, sleep-deprivation, writer’s block – and then some!

Last week I became sick – due to overworking and under-self pampering.

This week, as soon as I could muster the energy, I meandered across the street to get a yearned-for pedicure.

“Pick a color,” I was immediately instructed at the door.

I headed over to The Great Wall Of Nail Colors, and began trolling for a peppy hue – landing on a gold color with gold flakes of sparkles.

I sat down in the pedicure lounge chair. To my right sat a conservatively dressed woman, garbed in a dark blue skirt suit. A lawyer, I guessed. To my surprise, she handed her pedicurist a neon lime green polish for her toes.


To my left sat a salt-and-pepper haired woman (in her sixties) who handed her pedicurist a sparkle-infused purple polish – a surprising color choice, considering she was dressed head to toe in beige. Or rather dressed head to ankle in beige. Her toes were to tell a totally different colorful tale about her spirit than the rest of her pale, neutral ensemble.

As I looked around the salon, I became aware of how pretty much everyone’s little piggies were not dressed to go to market – but rather to boogie-down at a disco.

Being the “Glad Scientist” that I am, I found myself intrigued and delighted by how flashy these women’s toe color choices were – compared to the rest of their conservative appearance.

I wondered: Are these women more goofy, playful, wild, provocative in the rest of their lives – than they might appear at first glance? Or ….is a pedicure a solo safe haven to let their spirits out for a joy ride?

How To Find Happiness
I hoped it was the former – and that the toe nail polish created a ripple affect into the rest of their lives to live boldly and colorfully – getting in touch with their inner “kick-ass” self!

I looked at the names of some of those polish choices: “Turning Heads Red,” “Major Celebration,” “Sexy Time,” “”Eternal Optimist,” and “Lady Luck.” I thought about how these are great mood-boosting mantras to go along with those pizzazz-boosting colors. It would be fun to consciously choose to take on being these polish names from head to toe – and not just simply ankle to toe!

It would be awesome to live up to the name of our toenail polish for as long as the toenail polish can last!

I wrote a TEDx presentation called “Fun is your high performance fuel. The importance of play at work.”  During my research for TEDx ( you can watch my video by clicking here), I came across something called “presenteeism” – which can be as dangerous to a business as “absenteeism.”

“Presenteeism” is all about how you show up to work – but you might as well not be there.

lessons learned in life
You’re present – but you’re emotionally absent. You’re not engaged fully in your work – and so performance and productivity suffers.

The cure? Taking time to create fun, playfulness and heart-felt connections at work.

My visit to the nail salon reminded me that “presenteeism” isn’t just a work problem – it’s a life problem.

If we’re not careful, we can get so busy, so stressed, so overwhelmed, or simply so bored-in-our-routine – that although we are present in our lives, we’re emotionally absent.

How To Find Happiness
We need to make sure we’re adding color and pizzazz to our lives – and in more places of our lives than just our toes!

We need to stay on our proverbial toes – and make sure we’re letting our spirits out to play on a daily basis.

Basically, just as “fun is a high performance fuel at work,” fun is a high performance fuel in all aspects of life: your friendships, love relationships, interactions with your children, interactions with oneself when alone with one self!

Your assignment:

Today think about how you can add a little more fun to your life – a little more pizzazz! Think about how you can swap your old ways for bold ways! Think about how you might add more color into your life – by adding in more music, more art, more spicier/unusual food choices, more daring heart-felt conversation. Look at these verbs and decide to use them in more than just a physical sense – but emotional sense: leaping, jumping, pouncing, prancing, skyrocketing, obliterating!

TWEET THIS NOW: How To Find Happiness – Right Under Your Toes @notsalmon

TWEET THIS NOW: Presenteeism is not just a work problem – but a life problem.

TWEET THIS NOW: It would be awesome to live up to the peppy, positive name of our toenail polish color – for as long as the polish lasts!

TWEET THIS NOW: Lessons learned in life – thanks to a pedicure @notsalmon

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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