We tend to think of happiness as a destination we can reach with the right mindset or outlook on life. The majority of positive and motivational quotes reference how to be or become happy. It is arguably the most coached topic both in life and work areas. The challenge is that even with all that, happiness is also the most elusive state to achieve.
You can fake happiness, which is then momentary and fleeting. You achieve true happiness by addressing your Perseverance, Associations, and Growth levels. Happiness is a result of that specific and very personal journey. The support you need on that journey is also specific and personalized to you.
These following tips work both on a personal and professional level. Leaders who want to improve the happiness of employees would follow the same rules but externally for their employees. Executives should develop a culture that enables the personal journey of the employees across the organization. That also requires the intentional hiring of people that fit the culture you develop.
Your Preservation Level: Defining Purpose. The first step on your happiness journey is to define your purpose. This is not “what you do”, but rather what do you want to do. What speaks to you and begins to light a fire in your soul. This is not always easy as you may have competing responsibilities that pull on your purpose. Maybe you have a family and running away with the circus is not practical. Maybe you are a well-paid executive and taking a lesser paying job isn’t possible, even it makes you happier. Again, its about the journey and not the destination or action. Find a purpose that makes you happy and dissect it to find out your root happiness. It’s not running away with the circus that makes you happy, maybe it is the ability to use natural talents to entertain people. It’s not the salary that makes you happy, its what you do and adjusting the way you live can enable you to take a lower paying job.
Find your purpose that brings a fire and meaning to your life. Something you enjoy (love) doing. Balance in your responsibilities and define your specific purpose you are going to take on a journey.
Your Association Level: Defining Passion. The second step on your happiness journey is to define your passions. This is built upon your purpose reinforcing both your purpose and passion. This is the secret of true sustainable happiness, the levels build upon each other increasing your success both short and long term. In many cases, your associations help to define and fuel your passion. The people you choose to surround yourself with, play a huge part of your happiness. Both in helping you along your journey and the energy the provide or take from you. This is the same for corporate culture, bosses and if your job is supporting your purpose.
Find your passion that reinforces your purpose and drives an almost Fanatical desire for growth. You want your passion to be the fuel you use to power a positive growth journey.
Your Growth Level: Defining Inspiration. The third and last step on your happiness journey is to define your inspiration. By using passion as your fuel for growth, you are able to achieve inspiration that fuels your passion. This creates a positive inspiration loop, that if maintained, can keep you happy, growing along your journey for the rest of your life. Inspiration is not hard or elusive, it is simply the expansion and growth of your purpose. You become inspired when you grow your purpose, which in turns makes you happy. If your purpose is to make others happy, you can start that journey. If you use passion to fuel growth and can then make a large group of people happy and that drives inspiration. In turn inspiration fuels passion which empowers you to grow and make even more people happy. That is where the loop forms and from that growth you achieve pure lasting happiness.
Happiness is not a quote.
Happiness is not a motto.
Happiness is not something that can be willed or forced.
Happiness cannot be mandated or required
Happiness is the result of a growth journey you undertake. It is the result of achieving various levels of being that support your purpose, passions, and inspiration.
In the business world, happiness is when employees feel like the corporation and leaders are supporting their purpose and passions. They will bring along the inspiration. It is the true meaning behind, hire great people and get the hell out of their way.