What do we want from life? Is it just “different strokes for different folks?” Peace of mind, wealth, good health, a loving relationship, a beautiful home, to travel the world… the list is endless. However, all these are simply a means to an end. The end we all are looking for is far deeper and all-encompassing—it’s called happiness.
What is happiness?
What is happiness, you ask. It is something to seek within—a state of mind. It’s a harmonious balance of the various spokes in the wheel of life. My definition of happiness is to achieve my mission statement:
To be with family and friends, leave a legacy, achieve and maintain mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, professional and material wellbeing.
Meaningful relationships with family and friends make life worth appreciating and sharing. Leaving a legacy for future generations helps make the world a better place. ‘Busy hands are happy hands,’ says an old saying. But I reckon that the moment one has some free time and resources, it is important to give back to society. It is important to actively work for and espouse various causes, and pass the baton to future generations, so the good work gets carried on. Enjoying the ‘here and now’ might confer temporary happiness, but enduring happiness comes more easily out of thinking and acting for others.
Happiness is realising that learning to live a life goes far beyond simply making a living, and that the simple pleasures of life are priceless—enjoying a beautiful sunset, hearing from a long lost friend, watching a tiger in the wild, an eagle soar…
Learning from history should not mean carrying the burden of unhappy experiences. It is also important to remember past successes, to reinforce confidence, while enabling the visualisation of future successes. A bright and successful future awaits the person who decides to learn from the past and look ahead in life, with all the health, wealth and happiness life has to offer. This enables us to live in the moment and experience the joy of living, as well as look forward to a future of boundless, endless possibilities.
Happiness is also about understanding and applying The Law of Attraction. Eloquently brought out in the movie ‘The Secret,’ it says that thoughts manifest into reality, and we become what we think about and focus on most.
What is motivation?
The dictionary defines it as, “a force that drives character to overcome conflicts or a set of forces that cause people to behave in a certain way?” Motivation is simply “a reason for doing something.” In a rousing commencement address to Stanford University students in 2005, Steve Jobs shared some very personal stories about his life. Given up for adoption when he was born, Jobs was fired from a company he started, and diagnosed with terminal cancer. Tremendous motivation led him to unbelievable efforts, resulting in him being recently named ‘CEO of the Decade.’ He said, ‘Sometimes life hits you on the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. You’ve got to find what you love.’ Indeed, wonderful lessons in motivation –‘Find what you love’ and ‘The triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity.’
Most of us spend a great part of our life working. It is critical to foster an atmosphere where the best talent is recruited, retained, nurtured and unleashed. An environment with open and honest communication, mutual respect, fair recruitment and appraisal policies, growth opportunities, customer orientation, and a strong set of values and ethics go a long way in creating a strong sense of belonging towards an organization. The best workplaces promote meritocracy, and have an environment that promotes collective responsibility, ownership, mutual cooperation and benefit, unimpeachable integrity, camaraderie and a win-win proposition for the employer and employee. The result: inspired employees who take individual and organizational performance to another level, where everyone works with passion, honesty and inspiration.
Productivity and motivation in an organization are greatest when there is a confluence of the heart, mind, body and soul. Organizations should strive to create that environment where employees bring not just their bodies and minds, but also their hearts and souls to work. Once that is achieved, we can have a paradigm shift, from employees heaving a sigh of relief every Friday afternoon (‘Thank God it’s Friday’) to a charged up ‘Thank God it’s Monday’ – where all employees want to and are able to give their best, every moment. Motivated employees relish the prospect of both challenges and opportunities.
Motivation and happiness are inter-related. Motivated people are far more likely to feel happy, as they have a purpose and direction in life, and are far more likely to actively seek happiness.