Each of us desires happiness. Your happiness and joy is different from mine. Yet we absolutely share not only the desire, yet intense need for a happy life.
Aristotle, one of the greatest intellectual minds the Western world has ever known once said that “happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
In the United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson immortalized both our personal and political quests by forever linking the three great inalienable rights of; “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
I love these two quotes. They summarize how important happiness is in our lives and that we must pursue — even seek and choose to be happy.
Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love wrote, “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and … [look] for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness … to stay afloat on top of it.
I love the phrase “participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” Don’t be passive. Swim upward. Think and speak and act positively. That is what happy people do; that is one aspect of living after the manner of happiness.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (2006)
My life experiences and personal journey have included the greatest of joys, intense sorrow and trials. I felt to write this article, as I do most, for my grandchildren and posterity.
One of the first lessons. Love, appreciation and forgiveness for oneself and for others is a pre-requisite for a happy life. You must also come to know yourself. Here are some tools that helped me.
You are divine and of infinite worth. You are loved and accepted for you — don’t try and be someone you are not. When we see our uniqueness as a virtue, we find peace and lasting happiness!
Apply Taylor Hartman’s People Code (Color Code) in your life. It will help you understand, discover or re-discover (if you are older and lost your way) your innate personality. Understanding yourself is a key step. This approach also helps you understand each person in your life and will enable better personal and work relationships.
From a People Code perspective, I am Yellow. Meaning my core motive is Fun. My secondary color is Red, which is Power. During my career, my Red took over and distorted my personality and approach. In my early 50’s I was able to re-adjust and be true to my Yellow core. This enabled the greatest of happiness! I became the true me — Be True, Be You!
FOCUS ON STRENGTHS
My career including many turnaround opportunities. In every case, I found a secret to success that is often overlooked. The power of people!!
Most companies, organizations and teams are misaligned. Employees are not clear on objectives. The company doesn’t have clear targets or a vision etc… This is solved in a few easy steps.
First, set the vision. Second, set the targets. (Make them relevant, clear and believable.) Third, Cascade them thru the organization/team to the individual employee — focusing on your individual employees STRENGTHS!
This sounds simple. It is. Yet, most organizations don’t focus on strengths or doing the work to align vision with execution. A great tool is Now, Discover Your Strengths or Strengths Finder 2.0.
Old management habits were to sit down with employees once a year, or quarterly or even monthly and do a performance review. Strengths & Weaknesses. STOP. Don’t discuss weaknesses. Focus on Strengths. It will change your personal life and your company performance.
For over 15 years, I have used Strengths with the teams I have had the honor of leading. The last team exercise we did was with 350 people, all of them took the assessment and not one person had the same 5 strengths, You are unique. Focus on your unique talents.
For me, I seek to build upon my 5. Mine are Maximizer, Achiever, Strategic, Woo and Belief.
What are your 5? Find out and apply them daily.
VISION & MISSION
My recommendation is to distill down your personal vision and mission. Your vision is best thought of as a “to be” phrase. Your mission a “to do” phrase. Thinking thru a concise and meaningful vision and mission can guide you toward your personal happiness.
For me, my vision is to be Christ-like. My mission is to Create Joy. Whether yours is long or short — give it a try! You will learn about what is most important to you and gain insight into personal happiness.
I was introduced to this word by Kevin Hall in his book Aspire. He writes, Genshai is an ancient Hindi word that means. “you should NEVER treat yourself or another person in a manner that makes one feel small.”
I love that the focus is on compassion & kindness with yourself & others. This allows space for each of us to accept ourselves and others. We do not force anyone to be someone they are not, we treat them as “one of the greats”. You are “one of the greats”. Read Aspire ;-)
In closing, I encourage you to seek happiness. Do your work. Be proactive in your life. Yes, trials come, to each of us — that is part of every personal journey. Look up and do what is in your heart.
Love, Serve, Help, Share, Care, Give, Go to the Rescue, Learn, Be Humble, Be True, Seek to Understand, Study, Teach, Work, Think, Find a Way and Play!
In my experience, in the best of times and in the worst of times, we always have a choice. Choose to Seek Happiness!