Last week I spoke at the first Italian conference on happiness at work arranged by our awesome partners People 3.0.
One of the other speakers put up this quote by Adriano Olivetti, son of the founder of the Olivetti company in the original Italian. To the best of my knowledge, this quote has not previously been translated, so here it is in English for the first time.
I’m currently taking an online masterclass where Aaron Sorkin, the legendary writer behind The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network and many others, teaches screen writing.
In one lesson, he underscored the importance of feeling happy while writing:
Remember, writing and painting a fence are two different things. Painting a fence may be back breaking work. But first of all, you know what youíre supposed to do. You dip the brush in the paint, and you paint.
But mostly, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light may be a long way away, it may be a really long fence. But you can see where it ends.
What you donít need when youíre painting is to be in a good mood. You can be in any mood you want and the fence is going to turn out roughly the same.
When youíre writing, you need to be in a good mood. You need to have energy. You need to feel entertaining. You need to feel good. And thatís when youíre going to do the best writing.
So any little emotional helpers, like crossing things off and seeing that youíre making progress. Anything thatís going to make you feel good is good.
I think that’s a brilliant point.
“Without self-respect genuine happiness is scarcely possible. And the man who is ashamed of his work can hardly achieve self-respect.”
– Bertrand Russell
“I do not deny that the feeling of success makes it easier to enjoy life…. Nor do I deny that money, up to a certain point, is very capable of increasing happiness.
What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient in happiness, and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain it.”
– Bertrand Russell
We have created a poster with inspiring quotes about leadership – you can download the pdf for free right here.
“My father used to have an expression. He’d say, Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community.”
– Joe Biden
I love this. I also love Biden’s passionate plea for his staff to not neglect their home lives.
The economist Milton Friedman famously once said that “The business of business is business.”
We respectfully disagree.
If you can not honestly say that your job is overall making life better for someone somewhere in some way that is meaningful to you, then you should be doing something else.
ďItís not enough to be busy, so are the ants.
The question is what are we busy about?Ē
Ė Henry David Thoreau