As far as I’m concerned, this is the greatest thing said about happiness by anyone ever:
This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
“The corporate world means nothing unless it improves the lives of people and the conditions in poor countries.”
– Dr Haldor Topsøe
From a legendary Danish business leader. More here.
“If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden.
He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator.”
– W. Beran Wolfe
The inherent paradox in all search for happiness is this: Seeking happiness for itself tends to be a shallow pursuit. But achieving happiness by doing great work or seeking happiness because it will allow you to do more good for others turns it from a selfish to a noble, meaningful goal. And the exact same thing goes at work.
Also: People who are active are happier! According to a new study, “People who stay busy with tasks tend to be happier than idle folks”.
Danish physicist, Nobel prize winner and all-round nice guy Niels Bohr once said this:
An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.
Remember that the next time someone calls themselves an expert. And, yes, I do it too :o)
If you’re crazy enough to do what you love for a living then you’re bound to create a life that matters.
– Herb Kelleher, ex-CEO of Southwest Airlines
Looks like he’s having fun :o)
This is the right attitude to have towards your job:
My first radio job was with the Minnesota News Network in St. Paul. When I was out with friends and they started talking about their work my first thought was always, “I don’t work. I go to MNN.”
When those friends waxed dreamy about what they’d do if they won the lottery, I thought, “I’d still go to MNN.” Back then my title was “intern” and my salary was “nothing.”
But I knew I was headed somewhere fun because I was already having fun. I imagined myself on an airplane, wearing a suit, and sitting next to someone wearing a suit too. “What’s your business?” that person would ask me. I’d flash the biggest smile and say, “Stories.”
– Maureen Anderson, The Career Clinic
Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.
– George Box
This is a fantastic thing to keep in mind. I have a very simple model for happiness at work that I’ve found to be very useful. But is it True? Absolutely not.
The corollary to the statement above is probably, that the less wrong a model is, the more useful!
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?
Here’s a piece of important advice for all managers who find that their calendar is wall-to-wall meetings three months into the future.
“Remember – you’re a leader, not a meeter”
This came up today in a meeting(!) with some of the nice people from Danish software company Maconomy.
This has got to be one of the most inspiring things ever written:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
And also the only real tragedy in life is the being used by personally minded men for purposes which you recognize to be base.
All the rest is at worst mere misfortune or mortality: this alone is misery, slavery, hell on earth; and the revolt against it is the only force that offers a man’s work to the poor artist, whom our personally minded rich people would so willingly employ as pandar, buffoon, beauty monger, sentimentalizer and the like.”
Oh man – that has got to be one of the most inspiring, uplifting things ever written.
The passage about “being used by personally minded men for purposes which you recognize to be base”… if that’s not unhappiness at work I don’t know what is, and yet that’s exactly how many people feel about work.
I’m with Shaw on this one – we must revolt against it and be artists of our own lives.