The Science of Happiness
Last April I posted the following entry...Since then, a combination of making our own luck and having a great network of friends has brought us to today when Joulia and I and a new addition to our team, Kimberly, meet Tony and his long time friend & biz partner, Fred. Think really good thoughts for us today as we try to get Tony & Fred on board to help us launch g2g!
I recently read an excellent book: Delivering Happiness A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by the CEO of Zappos.com, Inc ~ Tony Hsieh (who I believe is a genius and would love to have be our board of directors.)
I read it and loved it for its insights in running a highly successful business based solely on providing the highest degree of excellence in customer service (which is, and has always been, a main goal of ours.)
What was most intriguing was the last chapter on Delivering Happiness...on what makes normal people happier. Tony explains that Happiness is about 4 things: perceived control (of the outcome of your own life), perceived progress (an ongoing sense of accomplishment), connectedness (with like-minded people), and vision/meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself.)
What I loved most was his explanation of the 3 types of happiness: pleasure (the next-high-type, of which some of us really enjoy the chase), passion (where peak performance meets peak engagement), and higher purpose (the longest lasting of all ~ where we find satisfaction, meaning, motivation and inspiration from being a part of something bigger than ourselves.)
He very insightfully and cleverly points out that most of us go thru life chasing these 3 types of happiness in the wrong order! Chasing pleasure (believing it will be everlasting on its own), then once found we hope for passion in life...and then maybe, we find time to pursue some higher purpose ~ something more meaningful and engaging than we alone could find on our own.
Instead, based on his findings, he explains that the proper strategy for finding true and lasting happiness in life would be to "figure out and pursue the higher purpose first (since it is the longest-lasting type of happiness), then layer on top of that the passion, and then add on top of that the pleasure type of happiness."
He ends his brilliant book with 4 "Tweets to Live By":
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.* H.S. Truman
We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.* Ralph Waldo Emerson
For those of you interested in learning more about happiness and testing how much you actually have of it in your life, check out the 'Authentic Happiness' website by the Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center and test your self...
* 2 quotes we, at g2g, live by...straight from our business plan.