Michael Strahan wakes up happy.
The “Live! with Kelly and Michael” co-host, “Good Morning America” contributor and former New York Giants defensive end shares the key to waking up happy and 18 rules for a happier life in his new book, “Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life.”
His Rule No. 1? Help can and will come from the most unexpected places.
Chatting with “GMA” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos over a game of golf at Golf and Body NYC, Strahan said that unexpected place was actress Jane Fonda.
Describing himself as a “chubby kid,” he said his brothers called him “Bob” -- (for booty on back) -- because of the size of his butt.
“And I found Jane Fonda tapes because she did all the leg lifts and all these things that literally work your butt off ... And it was the first time in my life that I saw through my attitude or -- just through my desire that I can change something that I wanted to change,” he said.
That change led to a love of fitness and to his football career, including a Super Bowl win.
His Rule No. 2? Hit pause before you quit. That was his father’s advice to him after he considered quitting football in his freshman year in college.
“Back then, it was just so fast for me. I was away from my family and I went back for Christmas break and I took the light bulbs out of the lamps. I was not going back to that college dorm room,” he recalled. “And my dad said, ‘What are you going to do?’ And I said, ‘I'm going to stay and work with you.’ And he looked at me again, said, 'What are you going do?’ And at that point, I realized I had to do something for myself.”
Another secret to Strahan’s success is to be fearless.
“I'm scared 90 percent of the time … I push through it. I was scared to go back to college -- and I was scared to play football, and I was scared the first time I went on ‘Live’. I was scared to come on ‘GMA,’” he said, adding: “But then I realized you have to get out of your comfort zone.”
His Rule No. 9 says the secret lies not in luck, but in the things you do every day.
“For me the routine just sets my mind for the day … I wake up and I put on music. Music makes me happy,” Strahan said, mentioning that listening to the Bill Withers’ song “Lovely Day” when he wakes up helps him enjoy his day.
Another rule -- rule No. 8 -- stresses how important it is for adults to play.
“I think we all get so tied up in what's going on in work and all these other things that we forget that life is supposed to be fun,” he said, during the golf game. “And I try to bring that same attitude, as much as of the fun and play as you can bring to a job, I try to do it.
“Your life's going to be as happy as you want it to be,” Strahan said, “as long as you make the decision that you want to be that way.” “Wake Up Happy” is written with Veronica Chambers. The book is out today.