The Changed
The Changed
Episode 20: Jen Ables and the Difference Between Success and Happiness

Jen Ables shares the importance of separating career and interests from self through two extremely personal examples that demonstrate how dramatically everything can change.

Jen has worn many hats in her life, from insurance underwriter to professional dancer to the founder of a charity. This journey took her from a cubicle in Philadelphia to a guest of the White House, and includes a flag being flown in her honor in Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.

Jen Ables spent years as a professional dancer and dance instructor, until a dance injury changed everything. She shares this story and more in episode 20 of the Changed Podcast.

Throughout her roller coaster one thing has made itself abundantly clear, a successful career does not equate to happiness, nor does it guarantee continued success. When it comes to identity, Jen is more than familiar with the need to find intrinsic internal value in oneself… because everything else is subject to change.

Takeaways from this conversation

If you are the kind of person who cannot separate what you love doing from how you achieve success then Jen’s storytelling offers a cautionary tale.

Understand what value you have to offer beyond skills that you’ve learned or businesses that you have built. Knowing this (or being vulnerable to ask someone else) can be helpful when life asks you to pivot, or you decide to make a big leap.

Understand what you value in life, in experience, in relationship and in work. If you love dancing… what is that you love about dancing? Why is that important to you? If you know what you truly care about it, then if the way you have been actualizing that value suddenly shifts, you’ll be better poised to find new ways to live in a way that fulfills what matters to you.

Understand what your body needs... and then give your body what it needs. This takeaway has now shown up in more than one of our storytellers experiences, and is beginning to become a theme! It’s a hard lesson for me personally but it’s abundantly clear how critically important it is. We often pretend that Body us there to merely fulfill all of Brains wishes… but Body has needs too, and sometimes Brain has to take a break so that Body can be better ready to serve…

Want some sweet links?? Well, ok!

Jen has a 6 week course in the works, designed for those who have found themselves frustrated and overwhelmed by a society that defines us by what we do instead of who we are. When it launches, it will be available at

You can listen to this episode through any number of podcasting services, or you can become a member of our Patreon to watch it on video

Another terrific story of career pivot is found in Episode 9 with Gary Ware

And if you would like a reminder that life is also MAGIC, then listen to episode 16 with Madeleine Ryan

Speaking of episodes of the show….

Are you all caught up on the Changed Podcast?

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2 thoughts on “Episode 20: Jen Ables and the Difference Between Success and Happiness

  1. Thank you so much for providing a platform for me to share the ups and downs of my own journey, and what I’ve learned from all of the planned and unplanned changes that have come along the way. It was an honor to be your guest!

    1. Thank you for your willingness to share not one, but two impactful examples of why it can be so important to separate career and identity as you move through the changes of living.

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