Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Happiness Guide

"We take different paths in life to achieve the same goal in life - Happiness" - Tony Hsieh CEO - Zappos.

There are millions of people out there who are just waiting, waiting and waiting.  Waiting for that one day when their dreams will be fulfilled and they feel that they will be Happy.  Tony says in his book(Delivering Happiness),  that when people's dreams are fulfilled they figure out that their Happiness is often short lived.  So if Happiness is short lived then why we create such false hopes in our mind that Happiness is not in the near future.  It will only come if we do this.  It will only come if we have enough money.

We don't have to wait for that one day in order to be Happy.  In one shot you can decide whether you want to be Happy or Miserable.  It is your decision.  And you have to take it.   If you start asking people what makes them Happy, you will find interesting answers.  I will leave that up to you as an exercise.  However from Tony's Book I thought can we write down few things that we can do to be Happy.  90% of our situations are under our control and 10% which is natural and bound to happen are not under our control.  With the two things below I think we can be 100% Happy.

1.)  Connectedness
Like it or not, we like being liked, appreciated and being a Star.  That Stardom can only come if we are connected.  As human beings we are afraid of loneliness.  We are scared because everyday something crazy goes off.  We are worried about what will happen next.  What will I do if so and so happens?  If we are connected then we feel safe.  If I don't call my parents for one week I get scared, I start thinking so many things.  So I call and stay in touch with them.  I feel safe.

We also tend to make good decisions if we are connected with our network.  We don't want to miss opportunities and left alone dumb.  We also want to be perceived as smart.  Connectedness also gives us lots of benefits as it is equivalent to Networking.

2.) Progress
We want to be the next Rock Star in our respected fields of profession.  Also side by side we want to pursue our other activities, like Become Healthy, Learn Guitar, Learn Swimming and so on.  If we don't do anything after coming home then we get disappointed, "Oh I couldn't do this".  We are also afraid of an unseen truth of life, "Death".  We fear that what if I couldn't do this before I die.  If you are young, you might not fear about death but you might say that I want to do all this before I get married or get a job or have kids.

If we are not able to do anything then we get upset and the result is equal to, "Not Happy".   So the lesson here is, break down everything that you want to do in life into small small chunks.  Plan it in small parts ok.  Whatever you want to do.  Start doing it.  Since small is do-able you will make progress.  You will feel that you are doing something that will fulfill your goal.  One step in the right direction.

We create gigantic goals in front of our minds that we cannot do it and cannot make progress in that direction.        Jim Collins says about the flywheel effect in his book, "Good to Great", that Great companies didn't become great in one day.  Their flywheel didn't gained momentum instantly.  It was done turn by turn.  Once you make progress in small parts it will gain momentum and one day you will say finally, "I can finally run a Half Marathon" or "I could play one Beatles song on Guitar".

If we could be what we always wanted now then we can be Happy.