The Wellness Puzzle Podcast

Happiness is a choice

Episode Summary

In episode 176, I speak with author, speaker, and coach, Clay Boatright. Happiness is a choice, and when faced with decades of extreme challenges, Clay proved that positive attitudes invigorate life, create options we had not foreseen, and improve the perspectives of others. His late wife and he had three daughters, including identical twins who both have severe autism and intellectual disabilities. Due to a faith-based experience when the twins were young, Clay had two full time careers for almost twenty years, one to pay the bills and one to fulfill his purpose. Six months after becoming empty nesters, his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and passed away eighteen months later. As a result, he launched Clay 2.0 to pursue a new life with excitement. This is a powerful conversation, not to be missed.

Episode Notes

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Clay Boatright has lived in Texas since 1994, where he and his wife Carole raised three daughters, including identical twins with severe intellectual disabilities and autism. On a crazy Friday night, when his twins were two, Clay allowed faith to step in and help him find his purpose. As a result, with undergrad and graduate degrees from the University of Memphis, Clay managed two full-time careers for almost twenty years, one in the consumer-packaged goods industry to pay the bills and another as a volunteer advocate for people with disabilities. 

Over the years, Clay developed a deep understanding of the disability industrial complex and served on a host of health and education advisory committees, including Board President for both The Arc of Dallas and The Arc of Texas. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Clay to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Washington, DC, and in 2013, he was appointed Founding Chairman for Texas Health & Human Services’ IDD System Redesign Advisory Committee, which he held for six years. Published multiple times in various media, Clay is often contacted by legislators, the media, nonprofit organizations, and parents of children with disabilities to help understand the challenges that families like his live every day.

Then in 2020, just as the couple became empty-nesters, Clay's wife Carole died from ovarian cancer. In his grief, as he wandered through the local supermarket, he had an epiphany that helped him transform his life and launch, as he describes it, Clay 2.0. Following Carole’s death, Clay maintains a close relationship with his daughters and embraces the future with enthusiasm and a desire to help everyone know that God has a plan for their lives. His message is simple, We will all have experiences and challenges in life, that is certain, but baggage and drama is optional. Happiness is a choice.

This is a wonderful conversation, that will inspire you, challenge you, and entertain you. Please enjoy.

Find out more about Clay on his website.

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