Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach, CEO of Marilyn Tam & Co. and Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group; Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies.
Marilyn is a contributing writer to Huffington Post, and she has a weekly radio show, The Happiness Choice on FMG network, featuring experts in how to live a happy, healthy, successful, and dynamically balanced life.
Her life is an inspiring example of what can be achieved if one followed their dreams. She grew up as an abused and neglected child in Hong Kong. She left home as a teen to come to America alone. Following her life mission, she achieved international business and humanitarian success.
SK: You were born in Hong Kong to parents that needed be reminded to pick you up from the hospital when you were born. Were you ever angry at your parents for the lack of love they gave you?
MT: When I was young I was too scared and desperate to be angry. When I grew up and matured, I realized that their behavior said much more about their own conditioning than it was specifically about hurting me. I went from yearning for their love and approval to being grateful for their training of me to be caring and considerate of others because I know how it felt to be treated as if I didn’t matter. We have the choice to look at each situation and to use each experience as a lesson and a boost to something better or to get angry and bitter.
SK: You said in your book, “The Happiness Choice”, “Anyone can live the life they’ve dreamed of living- a happy, healthy, and dynamically balanced life.” Please give us a practical advice.
MT: I came to America as teen alone with my two suitcases, teddy bear, and most of all, a burning wish to make a positive difference in the world. Working as a fry cook in a fast food restaurant to help pay for school, and riding my bike in the cold Oregon rain to get around, I kept my mind on my life mission. Having a reason for going through the tough times makes it easier. I found inner peace in the process because I had a purpose. I had clarity of direction so the outside media noise and others’ judgment didn’t bother me so much.
by Svetlana Kim
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