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I’m Happy Now! A Life Lesson from a Two-Year-Old

How to change your attitude immediately and not feel stuck in your emotions!

Before I begin this story, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself and where I was in life when this particular event changed me forever.

My name is Jeremy Alfred and I have taught at the Houston Swim Club Swim School for almost 7 years now. I started when I was in my first year of college because I had friends who worked there and told me it was a fun place to work. As the years went by, I slowly climbed the ranks to become an Instructor Supervisor and, eventually, Pool Manager of our Pearland location.


There was one event that really influenced me to take charge of the person I was, and who I was showing up to work as. I came to realize there was a difference between the two. What happened in this story led me to see that although I can't always control my environment, I can always control the way I react to it.

So it's probably obvious that this event took place in the pool, but what you wouldn't expect is that I learned a life-changing lesson from a two-year-old.

hsc-jeremy-singingFirst let me tell you something about two-year-old toddlers; they are called the "terrible twos" for a reason. I think they go through this because of their newfound awareness and desire to become more independent.

As a swim instructor, I spend lots of time encouraging and teaching a sometimes scared, sometimes overly confident, sometimes downright wild toddler… to float. Most of the time there is a little bit of push and pull to convince them that floating is not only the safest thing, but also the right thing to do if they were to ever fall into a body of water.

My student (who we will call "Jo") had spent weeks fussing and crying about floating on her back and practicing for her Float Test. However, on this particular day, she made the decision that she was "happy now!"

When she came in for her lesson, she cried a little, but as the anticipation for the Float Test rose, I assured her she could do it and that I was right there to help her. She whined a little as I picked her up and dropped her into the pool, but what happened next was so awesome - she rolled onto her back and began to float! And, with the biggest smile on her face she exclaimed, "I'm happy now!"

That simple declaration shifted her mindset and attitude from that point on. And it helped me to shift mine as well.

I have adopted Jo's phrase "I'm happy now!" into my personal and work life. It has helped me to realize that each and every day that I wake up, I can choose to react to my environment and respond to the day the same way she did - with positivity.

hsc-jeremy-teachingIt takes time and patience to get our students to this point. In order to achieve a positive outcome, we must be supportive and empathetic to what they are going through.

The best thing you can learn from Jo in this story is that even when you may be unhappy with your circumstances, you have the power to maintain confidence and a positive attitude to get yourself through it.


icon-jeremyWritten by Jeremy Alfred, Pool Manager, Houston Swim Club Pearland

Jan 27, 2020
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