Author Marilyn Tam, whose new book, The Happiness Choice, won the Silver Medal in the Inspirational/Visionary category of the Global eBook Awards, will speak to the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners on the topic of “Leadership Excellence: How You Can Achieve It” at an event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Montecito Country Club, 920 Summit Road.

Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam

The cost to attend the event is $40. Click here to register.

Her mother regarded Tam as a waste of a pregnancy, and she was abused and mistreated accordingly. As a teen, Tam left her home in Hong Kong to come to America alone and became an international business success and humanitarian.

In The Happiness Choice: The Five Decisions That Will Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, she shares how anyone can choose to be happy and successful. She shows that happiness is a choice; anyone can find the resources and tools within any circumstance to guide them to a better place.

Happiness, as verified by studies at Harvard, Yale and Gallup research, is not only good for one’s personal health; it increases productivity and creativity, too.

The USA General Social Surveys show that women’s overall level of happiness has decreased compared to what it was 40 years ago — and to men. And the drop occurs regardless of their financial position, marital status, children, age or race. The top 35 developed countries’ surveys show the same trend. The 21st century economic and social pressures are making men and women unhappier and it is affecting their health, relationships and productivity. Gallup research showed that in 2012, $550 billion of productivity was lost due to unhappiness and low well-being at work.

“People want contentment, love and happiness derived from meaningful work. They want nourishing personal relationships, a healthy mind and body, a spiritual core and reason for living,” Tam said. “But with only 24 hours in a day and all of the competing demands of modern life, the question is, how? Is it even possible?”

Tam’s book is filled with stories, tips and insights on how anyone can live the life they’ve dreamed of living. It includes personal experiences and advice from experts in the fields of business success, relationships, health and fitness, spiritual and community relations, to strengthen and broaden the perspective and tools available for readers.

The book guides readers in prioritizing their many roles so that they can feel fulfilled and balanced. Readers will learn that it is not only how much they get done but also what they get done — removing any sense of guilt and shame and allowing them to live in balance, joy and inner peace with insight.

“I am the second daughter in a traditional Chinese family, and my birth was followed quickly by the birth of three younger brothers. To say that I was unwanted would be an understatement — my mother left me in the hospital and had to be called to pick me up,” Tam said. “Rising from an abusive childhood, leaving Hong Kong as teen for university in the United States to becoming a global business leader and humanitarian, I’ve found the secrets to achieving a better life than I’d ever dreamed was possible — and you can, too.”

Tam’s inspiring story and her personal and professional achievements and experiences show audiences how anyone can overcome seemingly daunting odds to live the life of their dreams.

— Melissa Wiley is a publicist.