Quote

Bay Jordan, the CEO of Zealise, (go read his excellent blog) sent me this quote:

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”
– Ayn Rand

I’d love to hear your opinion on it. Do you agree? Are values (personal or corporate) making you happy or unhappy? Are they an important part of being happy or more peripheral?

8 thoughts on “Quote”

  1. Personal ones: If you make your personal values into statements, then fulfilling them will become a goalsetting exercise with all the pitfalls both Alexander and Stephen Shapiro talks about.
    If you live and act as an authentic human being, being spontanely and honestly you, I believe that the effect on the people you meet will make you happy.

    Making values into statements or conceptualizing them can paradoxically be difficult of not even dangerous.

    The same in corporations
    Values that are lived by charismatic role models will spread and motivate people to become as good (hopefully) a person as the live wire leader they are working for. Those people make you happy at work – or make you leave very quickly (both very good options).

    Values that are expressed in one-liners and learned through training courses risk becoming abstract, impossible to achieve or at worst a hammer you can use to hit your colleagues with: You are not living this or that value, so you ‘are dangerous’ to the spirit of our company. This would at least be true in creative or innovative organizations (who can live without them?).

    Another big challenge for the huge and quickly growing organizations….

  2. I for one don’t agree with it. :)
    It is not a destination, not an outcome, not the end result of something but rather a way.

  3. I agree, if those choices are rational (meaning: they coincide with the nature of an individual). Often we find that our values aren’t rooted in reality — for example, imagining that if we own a particular item, or marry a particular person, we will be happy — and we pursue these things because of some perceived element that is not really there. Or we may simply misunderstand ourselves, or believe lies that tell us we need to do X or Y to be fulfilled, when serious self-examination would reveal otherwise.

    I don’t believe this means that our lives must become scripted, but it does mean that our actions should all be informed by the things we think are important in life.

  4. I disagree with Paul – happiness is a state of well-being that is characterized by relative permanence, by emotion ranging from mere contentment to deep and intense joy in living, and by a natural desire for it to continue. It thus differs from mere pleasure, which may come about simply through chance contact and stimulation.

    It is achieved by performing acts, based on accurate knowledge of truth, that contibute to a peaceful relationship with God, fellow man, and one’s own conscience.

    When all three relationships are given their full due, happiness results -independent of any external force or condition that would seem to influence to the contrary.

    So, seek knowledge and peace. :)

  5. I find it interesting how emotional some people get in my talks about personal mission and vision. The core values part starts to separate what some know is important (easy to say) vs. truly believe and act on. Especially during stress.

    I believe the vision of who and where you want to be is your most important asset. If you really value your health, family, learning, customers, shareholders, community – what ever, you can make a significant impact by achieving your core values and aligning yourself with those who value YOU.

  6. Some interesting comments.

    I submitted the original comment to Alex because I thought the source was quite interesting: Ayn Rand often being seen as the ultimate champion of capitalism and hence all the sins it is blamed for. Yet, in fact, she came at it from a primarily philosophical perspective – one in which capitalism was the primary economic vehicle for allowing people to realise their potential, which – as she recognised – is synonymous with living according to ones values. All of which makes Alex’s initiatives so relevant.

  7. So how does one explain the happiness that arise by, say, just watching the birds chirping, etc.? Where do ‘values’ or ‘achievement’ come here?

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