It is in the air. Everybody is looking for this, hunting it. This is what the commercials pronise, a fantastic higher sense of life. That’s why we meditate – less stress, more… That’s why we sweat during training. That’s also why we filter our selfies. Wait a sec – maybe not for that, but only for the imagined possibility of happiness, when hopefully in the not too distant future we will achieve what we want, and then… or not?
On the other hand, there are those who say that happiness indeed comes from within. Is it enough to simply decide that then from now on I will be happy and that’s it. Simple as that I’m happy now because I said so. How long can I think I’m happy? Or are there perhaps other components of happiness considering that happiness is different for each person?
What is happiness?
- Wikipedia.org: “is a feeling of pleasure and positivity. When someone feels good, proud, excited, relieved or satisfied about something, that person is said to be “happy”. Feeling happy may help people to relax and to smile.“
- A magyar nyelv értelmező szótara szerint: “a boldog (1, 2) melléknévvel kifejezett (érzelmi) állapot; a sorssal, körülményekkel való (teljes) elégedettség. Családi, földi, házi, leírhatatlan, mennyei, mérhetetlen, végtelen boldogság. Boldogsága tetőpontján…”
- Dalai Lama XIV: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Martin E. P. Seligman distinguished 3 different paths to happiness:
- The Pleasant Life: It is based on enjoying pleasures like a pleasant coffee, a movie, or a trip. Anything that causes even more enjoyment can enhance that feeling. We also need to be able to live these moments.
- What kind of things make you happy?
- How do you like to spend your free time?
- The Good Life: this shows the importance of commitment, which becomes a kind of driving force to perform better in both the projects and the social relationships we have undertaken. As the importance grows we pay much more attention to the challenges that arise, and it becomes a kind of internal need to solve problems or provide solutions. In the process we expand our boundaries to solve them, in which case it is easy to reach the state of flow. The more flow we experience, the greater the feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
- What do you like to do?
- What tasks bring you joy?
- How much do you like challenging tasks?
- The Meaningful Life: We no longer just enjoy life, we are no longer just committed, we are working towards something, a goal that is greater than we are, therefore, we are giving our best.
- What represents do you think a bigger goal that you would like to work for achieving it? Alone or with others?
- Or what kind of companies are there whose goals you can identify with?
“Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.“Nathaniel Hawthorne
These path appear not only in our private lives, but also at work. Therefore, I think that this triple division can be used for companies as well and there are already many which try to create a “pleasant” life in the company. Of course, when it comes to organizations the structure of the company, the leading management idieologies or the corporate culture should be taken into account:
- The Pleasant Life = nice working environment with leisure facilities, corporate events, team building trainings, Christmas parties, etc.
- The Good Life = exciting, challenging tasks, working in an accepting and diverse team can help us to offer the most professionally, culturally and humanly.
- The Meaningful Life = when a company provides a vision, goals and values that can be identified with, then we are also more willing to get a little better, do a little more and contribute new, innovative ideas to the success of the company.
The above mentioned 3 paths can be seen as applied to the company that runs the popular search engine for many called Google. However we don’t need to work at Google to bring more joy into our lives. We can do it here and now.
Mindig várunk valamire, van, aki a fizetésemelésre, van, aki egy új párkapcsolatra, van, aki a koronavírus végére vagy épp Godot-ra, de ha már várunk, akkor miért is ne töltenénk ki ezt az időt olyan dolgokkal, amik itt és most boldoggá tudnak tenni? Ha a boldogságunk másoktól vagy tárgyaktól tesszük függővé, akkor kiadjuk a kezünkből az irányítást. Nem érdemes azt mondogatni, hogy majd egyszer boldog leszek, ha… mert az lehet, hogy soha nem jön el. Határidők nélkül nehéz nyomon követni, hogy mikor jön el a “majd egyszer”. Viszont, ha megnézzük, hogy hogyan tudunk többet tenni a boldogságunkért, akkor máris kezünkbe vettük az irányítást az életünk felett.
We’re always waiting for something, for a pay raise, for a new relationship, some for the end of the coronary virus or Godot, but if we’re already waiting, why not spend that time with things that here and now can make us happy? If we make our happiness dependent on others or objects, we give the control out of our hands. It’s not worth saying I’ll be happy one day if … because it might never come. Without deadlines, it’s hard to keep track of when “one day” is coming. On the other hand, if we look at how we can do more for our happiness, we have already taken control of our lives.