Cover image for What women really want...and how they can get it
What women really want...and how they can get it
Justice, L. A.
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF637.S8 J87 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Happiness, financial security, peace of mind, love, power, success, good health, respect, growing old gracefully--these desires stand at the top of most women's wish lists. Not only defining the anxieties that hold women back from fully realizing their capabilities, this book features questionnaires to help them define their aspirations.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Justice, a freelance writer and author of several books, including Why Men Stay and How Savvy Women Keep Them, believes that most women want respect, financial freedom, good health, love and peace of mind. However, they often don't achieve these goals for a variety of reasons, including lack of motivation, discouraging comments by friends or family and lack of flexibility. In Justice's book, each goal gets its own chapter, complete with an analysis of "what's holding you back," a questionnaire, a list of positive steps and affirmations (e.g., "I will use criticism as a learning tool"). Justice also attempts to motivate readers by presenting a hodgepodge of quotes and anecdotes from role models both well known and not so famousÄincluding Oprah Winfrey, Helen Gurley Brown and Queen Latifah. According to the author, these women should inspire readers to take charge of their lives, just as Justice had to do when she was poor, unhappy and whining about her life. (Eventually, she realized she had to work harder to earn more money and push for the changes she wanted.) Undoubtedly, some readers will be inspired by these anecdotes, but the book's advice remains superficial, with few original psychological insights. Unhappy women must "Be grateful.... Give to others and learn from your lows"; women who want respect should "be polite and helpful at all times." The same advice could be gleaned from watching the popular daytime talk shows. Agents, Bob Diforio and Marilyn Allen. 5-city author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY Happiness is not guaranteed as anybody's inalienable right. Only the pursuit of happiness is. --William Coughlin * * * What will make you happy? A new car? A bigger house? A higher-paying job? Someone to love? A baby? Getting married? Getting divorced?     Here's the lowdown on happiness: You have the power to be happy right now--even if you are dirt poor and living alone, with no job and no car. For happiness means being satisfied with what you have--even if it's nothing.     "Happiness is not acquired through drugs, alcohol, or a temporary perk, like a new job or a new boyfriend," says Dr. Brian Greer, a psychiatrist in Boca Raton, Florida. "It's about bringing a positive purpose into your life."     Yet, sadly, many of us postpone our happiness thinking things will be better ... someday.     We tell ourselves that we'll be happy when our bills are paid, when we get out of school, get our first job, a promotion, says author Richard Carlson. "We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough--we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his act together, when we get a nice car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. And on and on and on!"     The truth is, life keeps moving forward. And there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? My philosophy is that I can be unhappy for a little period of time, but I don't like to feel unhappiness for long periods of time. --Goldie Hawn * * *     After her enormous triumph in the blockbuster hit, The First Wives Club , which netted more than $100 million at the box office, Goldie Hawn suddenly found movie scripts and offers rolling in faster than a tidal wave.     While the preceding years had been a roller coaster ride of good times and not-so-good times, "Giggling Goldie" always had a huge smile on her face, radiating cheer, charm and bliss.     Amazingly, for the past thirty years, Goldie has remained afloat in the shark-infested waters of Hollywood and has kept not only her sanity but also her positive outlook.     "As a kid people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up," she says. "I didn't say I wanted to be a big star. I wanted to be happy--and that's still the only thing I want."     Growing up in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Goldie began taking dance lessons at the tender age of three. By sixteen she was playing Juliet in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet . After dropping out of college at age eighteen, she worked as a professional dancer in New York City and clawed her way up from the very bottom. Before she became Hollywood's favorite ditzy blonde, she was a go-go girl, gyrating in a cage at discotheques in Manhattan and New Jersey. So when friends offered to drive her to California, she didn't think twice about hopping into the car.     While doing a one-time stint as a dancer on an Andy Griffith TV special, she was spotted by an eagle-eyed agent who negotiated a deal for her on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In . The show, an overnight sensation, became one of the most popular TV shows of the 1960s, and it swung Goldie Hawn right up to stardom.     With peace symbols, stripes, and slogans painted all over her briefly clad body, she mugged wide-eyed at the cameras, giggling nonstop. When she was given the opportunity to introduce guests, she muffed her lines and cracked up. The producer, George Schlatter, loved it.     "Goldie has an innate charm that completely bowls you over," he says.     To get a rise out of her, the crew tossed cold water on her from the sidelines. Instead of complaining as some actors would have done, she blossomed like a flower.     "I totally connected with the character," says Hawn. "She was looked upon as dizzy, dumb, vacant, giggly. What I was really feeling was pure joy. It didn't matter whether I made a goof or whether someone else made a goof--it just tickled me."     She was twenty-three. The year was 1968. And Goldie Hawn was an instant hit. Not only did she keep audiences chuckling, she received two Emmy nominations.     But things are not always as they appear. Although she was laughing on camera, Goldie was in a downward spiral that made her a virtual recluse. When not rehearsing or filming the show, she would hide in her home watching TV and sipping tea. Her weight dropped to a dangerous 96 pounds. The stress of fame was more than she could handle. Therapy was the answer.     "The real reason that I got professional help was that I felt I was beginning to lose my joy," she says. "What I got out of therapy was clarity of the situation."     A string of movies--some memorable, some forgettable--followed her departure from the show. Her first one, Cactus Flower , made in 1969 with Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman, won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Since then the vivacious star has had her share of problems. Yet she remains level-headed and upbeat.     While watching a compilation show of Laugh-In sketches a number of years ago, she had tears streaming down her face. They were not all tears of joy. "I've grown up," she admits. "I've gone through the trials and tribulations of life. I've lost my parents since then. I've had two failed marriages. I've had career ups and downs. Yet the essence of that person I was has remained the same."     The essence of that person is an innate charmer who awes everyone she meets. She is diplomatic under duress. Says a Hollywood insider, "No one, but no one, hates Hawn--an amazing feat for someone who has been in showbiz for as long as she has. She simply refuses to make enemies."     Hawn is the first to admit she sees no point in taking an adversarial position.     "Everybody who's ever done me wrong is back in my life," she says. "It's deeply important in a business like this to forgive people."     That forgiveness means she harbors no resentment, hate or hostility, which leaves plenty of room in her emotional stockpile for good feelings of love, respect and happiness.     "Until you can forgive people, you can't really move on with your life," says Goldie, who continues to be one of Hollywood's A-list favorites.     In fact Goldie, a longtime believer in transcendental meditation and the mind/body connection, is producing a documentary--a "feel-good flick" called In Search of Joy , which will chronicle how people around the world have found inner happiness. And who is better qualified to make it?     The act of forgiving allows you to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive. It is impossible to be happy and glowing when you are miserable and irritable.     "I really do feel joy inside," she adds. "I wake up happy. I guess all of us like to be around people who make us happy. And that's part of my thing. When I was born, God went, `Bing! Okay, you're going to be happy. You've got that little button of joy in there, and now you're going to pass it around.'"     That button of joy helped her survive two divorces.     She wed actor/director Gus Trikonis in 1969; they split up in 1976 and she had to ante up a reported $75,000 as a divorce settlement. It was love at first sight when she met comedian/singer Bill Hudson on a transcontinental flight. They married in 1976 and had two children, Oliver and Kate. But in 1980 that marriage also ended in divorce.     She says that her success probably contributed to the breakup of both marriages--but she didn't sit around bashing men. Instead, she had a few well-publicized affairs, then hooked up with handsome Kurt Russell when they made the movie Swing Shift in 1982. And they've been together ever since, without any legal and binding contract. Their love and respect, their son, Wyatt, and the family they have created, is the glue that keeps this handsome couple together.     Kurt Russell believes Hawn has a natural desire and ability to seek out joy. "Goldie's wonderfully naïve at times, but she's also very much aware of what's going on around her," he says.     Goldie Hawn does not depend on others for her good feelings. Her happiness springs from a well of cheer deep inside. She has vowed to be true to herself and to never settle for anything that doesn't make her happy.     "Wanna know my secret?" she asks. "I love life. I wake up every day excited to wake up. You want to know what I think? I think you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and thank the day instead of scowling at it." Remember the compliments you receive. Forget the insults. --Mary Schmich * * * WHAT'S HOLDING YOU BACK? What hampers your happiness is not your husband, nor your wife, nor your children, nor your parents-in-law. What hampers you is yourself. No one else. Your wrong thoughts, emotions, and knowledge stand in your way. Happiness is not something that others give you. You must create it with your own hands. --Masami Saionji * * *     For years psychologists have been charting misery, trying to get a fix on why people are so miserable. In fact, way back in 1776, Samuel Johnson wrote that we are "not born for happiness." Fast-forward to 1930, when philosopher Bertrand Russell declared that most people are unhappy.     "Depressed adults are in one sense like children in a bad mood: They typically recall their parents as rejecting, punitive, and guilt-promoting," says David G. Myers, Ph.D., therapist, author and professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. "It's like viewing life through dark-colored glasses."     As one of his patients put it: "As I look into the past, I become convinced that everything I've ever done is worthless. Any happy period seems like an illusion. My accomplishments appear as genuine as the false facade of a Western movie."     Who is happy?     New studies based on the premise of "positive psychology" indicate that most people are at least moderately happy, regardless of age or gender. Recent polls indicate that three in ten Americans are "very happy" and six in ten say they are "pretty happy." Only one in ten says they are "not too happy."     "When you go out and randomly sample the world at large, people present a happier picture of life than you might expect," says David G. Myers. "By and large, most people live with positive emotion from day to day."     Our essential nature is happiness. However, most people rely on things like money, love or appreciation from others to make them happy.     Wayne Dyer, author of Pulling Your Own Strings , says: "If you are perpetually in a state of seeking your pleasures from external sources, you are convinced that your happiness comes from those sources. As you pursue this external-oriented pleasure, you are kept from the experience of knowing the bliss of a pure heart. Consequently, you destroy yourself little by little."     Studies have found that while scads of money can buy freedom and empower those with huge bank accounts, it cannot guarantee happiness. Eventually, the stress of daily life, the constant struggle to make more or keep what you have, takes its toll.     "Realizing that well-being is something other than being well-off is liberating," adds Myers. "It liberates us from spending on eighteen-hundred-dollar dresses, on luxury cars, on yachts and huge homes--all purchased in a vain quest for an elusive joy. It liberates us from envying the lifestyles of the rich and famous. It liberates us to invest ourselves in developing traits, attitudes, relationships, activities, environments, and spiritual resources that will promote the well-being of ourselves and others." Money cannot buy happiness, but neither can poverty. --Anonymous * * *     To illustrate this old adage, here is a short scene from the life of actor Will Smith.     With his celebrity status firmly established with the hit series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air , Smith and his friend Jazzy Jeff set up a 900 phone line to advertise their 1989 album entitled "And In This Corner." The money poured in.     "One year I spent $800,000," says Smith. "I went through it so fast it made my head spin. Being able to buy anything you want makes you a little crazy."     He started with the "boys' toys"--cars, seven of them, including a Corvette, truck, motorbike, Camaro, and Suburban wagon. There was a solid-gold necklace spelling out "Fresh Prince" in diamonds. And, of course, a mansion. He flew to London and Tokyo to buy clothes.     "I spent a long time trying to figure out how things could be going so well, and I could be so unhappy," he confesses.     And then the IRS came rapping. It was not the kind of rap Will Smith had in mind. Suddenly, everything fell apart. "One day I had a mansion, the next, I couldn't pay the gas bill," says the Independence Day star. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue. --Kathy Levine * * *     Smith's story is an excellent example of a person expecting things , including money, to make him happy. He eventually resolved his dealings with the IRS, but it was a costly lesson.     In a nutshell: No person and no external circumstances can make you happy. YOU, and you alone, are responsible for your happiness!     Sadly, we let others influence the way we feel. Some examples:     Children can be the light of your life. But while you can derive much happiness from them, babies fuss, they cry, they teethe. They have endless complaints and problems, they get sick, they make a mess. You'll be up late at night and running on little steam during the day. In their teenage years they can bring sorrow as well as joy. Do you let it get you down?     If you have a husband or boyfriend or significant other, is your relationship constant? Or are there problems? If you're like most people, you'll have ups and downs--just like Goldie Hawn and the rest of us.     If you work, your boss or coworkers may give you grief on a daily basis. People are often unmindful of others' feelings when they talk--like the editor who dismissed a reporter friend of mine with the flip comment, "I don't have time for you." Of course it hurt her feelings! Coworkers gossip behind your back and make rude comments to your face. You might hate your job or fear being downsized or fired. A zillion things--both large and small--can happen during the day to make it go wrong ... like the time I had a flat tire on the way to stress-reduction class. I was uptight and unhappy at the thought of being late. Then I looked around and realized it was a beautiful day and I had a chance to enjoy the scenery while waiting for a tow truck. It's about making lemonade out of lemons.     When I finally made it to class, an interesting thing happened. During a discussion about toxic people--those negative, irritating people who can turn a nice day upside down--the instructor said this: "Just remember, nobody can rob you of your happiness."     That struck home with me, and it might also for you. During any given day, 99 percent of the things that happen to you will be uplifting. It's that tiny one percent that sours the whole day. Instead of recalling the positive things, we say the day has been just downright awful.     Interestingly, researchers at the University of Chicago found that teenagers typically bounce back from a gloomy experience in less than an hour. A tiff with a friend may seem the end of the world, but once the phone rings the feud is forgotten.     How long does it take for you to let go of the bad feelings and let the happy ones return?     The good news is that as we mature, adult mood swings become less extreme. We tend to look beyond the moment. That means that even when things go wrong, you should be able to get over it fairly quickly. Perhaps it will take more than an hour or two, but it's important to let go of negativity as soon as possible and focus on the positive, uplifting aspects of your life. The longer you drag around those pessimistic feelings, the less happy you will be.     The next time your children, your partner or a coworker, boss, friend or relative says or does something to upset you, remember, nobody can rob you of your happiness without your permission !     Researchers have also found that contentment does not come from being slim or rich. It starts with your genes and ends with your attitude. David Lykken and Auke Tellegren, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, suggest that we each have an inherited "happiness setpoint"--a level of well-being that we naturally return to--no matter what is happening in our lives.     "You inherit a predisposition for a certain level of happiness," says Lykken in his book Happiness , "but you can influence the waves on your lake of happiness and learn to ride above your set point."     Even if you come from a family with a penchant for depression, you can override it if you choose to. Lykken cites the case of Eve, a thirty-four-year-old marketing consultant, whose mother's gloom-and-doom approach to life had stunted Eve's efforts to be happy.     "My grandmother was a manic depressive," explains Eve. "And long after her own mother's death, my mother was still wallowing in self-pity over her love-deprived childhood. I finally decided I wasn't going to let biology determine my destiny. I can't say I'm perfectly baggage-free today, but I have tried to figure out what makes me happy, and it's really made a difference in my day-to-day contentment."     The power of the mind can get us through any tough situation as long as we are not waiting for others to provide the answers or the solutions to our problems. So many people look at me and say, "She should be happy," but what they don't realize is that I'm still a person inside just like everybody else ... people expect you to always be happy just because you have what they think is physical beauty or you have money and you're an actress. --Halle Berry * * * Happiness is far more within your control that you think. In 1952 Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking . It became an instant best-seller and has sold millions of copies over the years.     "You can think your way to failure or unhappiness," he wrote. "But you can also think your way to success and happiness. The world in which you live is not primarily determined by outward conditions and circumstances but by thoughts that habitually occupy your mind."     Success does not create happiness, nor does a portfolio of mutual funds, or having the perfect spouse or ideal offspring, or a high-paying job and a boss who thinks you're wonderful. They help, sure, but if you are counting on these fleeting moments to give you everlasting bliss, you might as well be searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.     If you want to be happy (and who doesn't?), know that you are holding yourself back. Nobody else. You are the rainbow. And you are also the pot of gold. You are everything you need to be.     When you say, "Basically, I'm not a happy person," or, "Basically I'm happy, but right now I'm not because things aren't going very well," you are probably sitting on the "pity pot" waiting for some payoff--a new guy, a raise or a promotion, a better car, a windfall--to put a smile on your face.     Those are all temporary fixes. Let's get down to brass tacks and see what's making you unhappy. Take a look at this questionnaire and see how many things in it apply to you. Always keep happiness on your agenda, along with your other tasks and goals. --Anonymous * * * HAPPINESS QUESTIONNAIRE     Read each question carefully, then mark Yes or No. Be honest with your answers. These are key items in your quest for happiness. 1. Do your feelings of happiness stem from the way people talk to you? Yes ___ No ___ 2. Do your feelings of happiness stem from the way people treat you? Yes ___ No ___ 3. Can one negative thing (a cross word, a situation that doesn't go right) ruin your day? Yes ___ No ___ 4. Do you see the "down" side of things? Yes ___ No ___ 5. Do you see the negative side of people? Yes ___No ___ 6. Are you judgmental? Yes ___ No ___ 7. Do you find it difficult to forgive others? Yes ___ No ___ 8. Do you get your good feelings from your spouse, children, parents or friends? Yes ___ No ___ 9. Do you let a bad mood linger for days? Yes ___ No ___ 10. Do you always need to be right? Yes ___ No ___ 11. Does it make you unhappy if you are not right? Yes ___ No ___ 12. Do you cling to those feelings? Yes ___ No ___ 13. Are you waiting for someone or something to make you happy? Yes ___ No ___ 14. Are you jealous of other people's happiness? Yes ___ No ___ 15. Are you waiting for luck or chance to bring you happiness? Yes ___ No ___ 16. Are you working toward a positive goal? Yes ___ No ___ 17. Can you accept being wrong? Yes ___ No ___ 18. Can you snap out of bad mood within a few hours? Yes ___ No ___ 19. Is there something you can do that will give you joy? Yes ___ No ___ 20. Can you let go of negative things and move on? Yes ___ No ___ KEY TO ANSWERS:     If you marked Yes on more than half of questions 1 to 15, you are holding yourself back from attaining happiness.     If you marked No on more than half of questions 16 to 20, you are keeping yourself from experiencing joy. FINAL QUESTION:     What can you find within yourself to bring you joy? (Continues...) Copyright (c) 2000 L.A. Justice. All rights reserved.