Monday, 5 February 2007

Step 2: understanding happiness

So, where was I? I was running through the steps which brought me to pluck up all my courage, leave my nice sensible job in consulting, and set up a new business.

Having thought about my strengths for the first time, I felt little the wiser. I had no real idea of what 'Curiosity and interest in the world' actually meant in practice.

Reality seemed to be this: my firm were paying me a lot of money to be averagely good at a job I hated. I was raised on Boys from the Blackstuff - this was something to be grateful for, not complain about.

But because I was so unhappy my subconscious began to tolerate the idea that happiness may be as important as status and even security.

And Seligman's argument slowly took hold in my mind:

happiness is found doing the things you are best at, every day, in a cause you believe in.

Now, I am not claiming this is rocket science.

But how many people actually do this? Do you?

2 comments:

Laura Richards said...

I don't think many people AT ALL do that..that's the problem. I think that in the modern, western societies we're taught to value money and see jobs as the #1 way to make money, with higher paying jobs being more attractive and valuable. And it doesn't matter what you're doing, as long as you're making a lot of money. But in the end, and research is showing this, it DOES matter what you're doing.

You're at work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, which is a lot of time to be doing something that you hate. Why not enjoy that time and exercise your strengths?

Jon Willis said...

Hey Rob,

I disagree with the definition of happiness - it is something I would have previously agreed with, but no longer - my own experience is that how I see the world, and my place in it, is the biggest source of happiness / unhappiness.

I'm learning that if I am unhappy in any moment it is because I am believing something that is not true in reality :-)

Chuckling here, as I'm making up this might get you stirred up - and maybe not.

With love mate, Jon