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Happiness


A sad truth about organizational life

The real question today is why so many large organizations are full of unhappy people, at all levels, who don’t up sticks and go somewhere else. Is this unhappiness because people have to work at jobs they are afraid of losing, even though they hate what they do? Are they forced to stay put working for organizations they fear and distrust?

I’ve been a reader of this blog almost since it started, as well as similar ones which cover the world of work, offer strategies for success and tips for working productively, and describe the mind-numbing idiocies you find in many organizations today. But I have recently started to wonder if one or two important points aren’t being missed.

For a start, most of these blogs are written, and largely read, by skilled and educated people who work in software or computer systems. The advice they give—about how to cope with a bad boss or get more fun from your job—is fair enough for people like them. But most people aren’t like them. “Get a job you love doing” is good advice, but obviously not everyone can follow it.

So why are so many large organizations full of unhappy people at all levels?

For a start, many of them really don’t have the skills or the freedom to go and work somewhere else. Many people do have to work at jobs they hate, but which they are afraid of losing, for organizations they fear and distrust.

But there’s another point being missed as well, I think. Happiness depends not only on the job you do. It also depends, to a large extent, on the kind of organization you work for; what it does, what its values are, and how it functions internally.

Have you got a real job?

The worth of your job, and so your own perception of it; often has less to do with its inherent interest, or whether it’s well-paid and prestigious, than whether it has a useful end-product; whether, in other words, it’s a real job.

You can say that a hospital cleaner has a real job, and so does a farm worker, or somebody selling umbrellas in the street when it’s raining. But an international tax consultant jetting around the world helping companies escape paying tax doesn’t have a real job, even if he or she travels first class and stays in expensive hotels. And a lawyer advising companies on how to get round anti-pollution legislation doesn’t have a real job either, even if she has a lovely house and a wonderful loving family.

Lower down the food-chain, of course, people do even less useful jobs without the compensations even of first-class airline travel. I was shocked, but not really surprised, to read in a review of Michael Moore’s new film that American health insurance companies employ people to covertly investigate claimants to see whether their claims can be turned down on some pretext or other.

How do you live with yourself as a human being in such a job?

“How was your day, darling?”

“Oh, I saved the shareholders a lot of money by pushing a few more families into bankruptcy, what about you?”

You may not personally do these things—any more than you may deceitfully sell mortgages to clients who can’t afford them—but it’s naive to imagine that you can work happily for a company that acts in that way, even if you are a caterer or a personal assistant.

Real jobs can still be lucrative ones

Notice that a worthwhile job doesn’t have to be an altruistic one; it’s perfectly possible to make money, and even become rich, whilst still contributing something to society.

Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, for example, are widely admired, not because they are rich but because they provide goods and services of high quality that people want to buy. So it’s not surprising that when you meet people who work for either of these companies, they tend to be happy in their work, even if what they do is not especially high-profile. And to be fair, I have known happy and fulfilled lawyers and financial advisers, who like to think of themselves as always acting in the best interests of their clients.

We live in a weirdly schizoid society, where we are encouraged to admire people who are rich, irrespective of how they got that way, and to see ruthlessness as praiseworthy and greed (really this time, and not in a film) as good. Yet at the same time—and in spite of what we read in the Economist or the Wall Street Journal—most of us have a good instinctive understanding of whether what we are doing is practically useful, and this affects what we think of our job and the organization we work for, and so how happy we are.

The link with happiness at work

So when we have a job, no matter how well-paid, where we think we aren’t doing something useful, we react by being unhappy. But because we have been taught to identify happiness with money, we assume that we are unhappy because we don’t have enough money, rather than because we have a job of no practical value.

Intelligent and educated people naturally have higher expectations; thus the paradox that the loudest demands for more money come from those who already have too much, who have sacrificed and burnt everything else in their lives to become rich, and now find they are still unhappy. They retaliate, of course, by destroying the happiness of their colleagues and their staff

When I was a child, the male working population (few women worked) overwhelmingly did things with a tangible output. They built cars, dug coal, made steel, worked on farms. In those days, in the working class area of London where I was born, your daddy was a train driver, worked in a factory, dug holes for the Gas Board or worked as a stevedore in the docks.

These days, well, your daddy might have a six-month contract at an outsourced financial services call-centre, where he has to cold call people persuading them to buy special insurance they don’t really need, and he’ll be sacked if he doesn’t meet his target. No wonder people are unhappy.

In the end, all of this comes down to the question asked of sages for thousands of years: “how can I be happy?” The best and simplest reply is the one that sages have always given: “do something useful with your life.”

An Englishman now resident in Europe, John Fletcher has had a long career in the public sector in several countries. He has spent a good deal of time in working environments outside the Anglo-Saxon world, and has written and lectured on organizational issues.

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My weekly posting on Lifehack.org deals with the feelings some people have that they are dogged in life by bad luck.

Is this truly the cause of their misfortunes? I don’t think so.

Any “luck” has to be random, and the essence of randomness is that it doesn’t conform to any kind of pattern.

Here’s a brief extract from the article:

No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist). When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

 

The best way to to improve your fortune is to decide that what happens is nearly always down to you, then focus on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff. Your “fate” depends on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage . . . or just complain about them?

You can read the rest of the article here: Do you suffer from bad luck?


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Can you display integrity only when it suits you?

Many people believe that they practice integrity, yet also allow themselves to slip from that standard when that suits them better. Since a calm mind and a clear conscience are major buttresses against suffering workplace stress, anyone who aspires to practice Slow Leadership ought to ask themselves this fundamental question: “Do I really behave with integrity—or do I only do so when I find it convenient?”

Peter G. Vajda, writing recently for Management-issues.com (Integrity at work — how do you stack up?), posed the question of how far you can mix integrity with convenience. Is it acceptable to set aside the demands of ethics, honesty, and truly fair dealing when it is convenient to do so?

My own experience suggests that this is what most of us do. We believe we really are honest people—and we are, most of the time—yet we still allow ourselves the occasional (or not so occasional) lapse from strict standards of integrity when we feel that we need to do so: to meet a deadline, achieve a target, avoid getting into hot water, or butter up some superior.

Mr. Vajda’s view of such lapses in uncompromising:

Integrity is a lot like being pregnant. Either you’re pregnant, or you aren’t. There’s no middle ground. It’s the same with integrity. Either you’re behaving with integrity, or you’re not.

I’m not so sure.

Discovering your own truth

It’s good to have high ideals, but far harder to match them every day. I agree that we would all feel calmer and less anxious if we always behaved in ways that matched our deepest values, but human beings are fallible creatures. the last thing we need to do is add to our stress by feeling guilty because, faced with an impossible deadline or a raging boss, we fudged our consciences to meet our goals.

You might want to try the quiz in Mr. Vajda’s article to see how you match up to his lofty standards. I would use it for another purpose: to help understand what most often causes me to suffer from regrets and a bad conscience.

There’s more to be gained, in my view, by seeking understanding of yourself and your motives than there is from erecting some golden standard of perfect behavior and battering yourself for falling short.

Slowing down offers everyone the chance to take part in a fascinating piece of detective work: to unravel reality from the mess of myths, half-truths, misperceptions, and wishful thinking that makes up our own view of our motivations in life.

Integrity has to begin with a true understanding of who you are and what matters to you most. Only then can you see to what extent to actually live these values in your life and work. And if, as is true of most of us, the answer is that sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t, you can see what effect this has on your life.

I suspect that those who genuinely explore the effects of NOT living with integrity soon reach the conclusion that it isn’t worth it. The benefits from short-term convenience are far out-weighed by the drawbacks of long-term regrets.

Then it becomes merely rational to stick to what your conscience dictates, not a matter of guilt or following anyone else’s standards.

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Would you rather be right or romantic?

Many ideas about workplace success are based more on romantic ideals than a realistic view of the world. Romanticism maybe has its place, but it’s not a sound basis for directing important choices. Here’s how to get it in perspective.

England’s last civil war took place in the mid-17th century. On one side was the king, Charles I, and his supporters known as Cavaliers. Opposing them was a group of Puritan parliamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell. They were known as Roundheads, from a distinctive type of helmet worn by their army.

When I was at school, we remembered which side was which like this: the Cavaliers were wrong, but romantic; the Roundheads were right, but repulsive

Puritanism has never been liked in Europe, but that childish rhyme has more to offer than an insight into social and religious prejudice.

The cavaliers stood for the past, the status quo, and the divine right of the king to do whatever he wished with people and country.

All poor choices, everyone today agrees. But they were dashing. They wore fancy clothes and huge hats with feathers. Many fought as cavalry (hence their nickname)—all thundering charges and the flash of swords over the battlefield. They were also rash, often vain, wasted victories in pointless pursuits of the defeated, and ultimately lost the war.

The Roundheads were puritans, which was a bad start (and made them repulsive).

But they also stood for rule by parliament, an end to arbitrary aristocratic privilege, and the principle that no one, including the king, was above the law.

All right ideas, by modern notions.

Sadly they wore dark clothes, suppressed music and dancing, were often religious fundamentalists, and pursued the war with grim efficiency. That’s why they won.

It’s also why they still have a very bad press—plus the fact that Oliver Cromwell, their leader, made himself into a tyrant after the victory, and was every bit as proud and dictatorial as King Charles had been (and not nearly as romantic).

Why this history matters

The purpose of this article isn’t to provide a potted history of the English Civil War. I thought of it only because it offers such a neat parallel with fashionable ideas today.

Being effective isn’t rocket science. It takes effort, of course, but it mostly requires the application of reason and commonsense.

Don’t rush decisions needlessly. Think through your options with care. Avoid taking unnecessary or poorly-understood risks. Treat people with respect. Slow down, give yourself time to think, consider all the options, and make decisions rationally, not emotionally.

None of these ideas are new, difficult, or profound. So why do they still have to be pointed out?

Today’s equivalent of the dashing cavalry charge

Oddly, today’s fashionable Hamburger Management, for all its worship of efficiency and measurements, is, in reality, extremely romantic.

It’s full of sound and fury, haste, shouted commands, instant decisions, and the odd belief that constantly taking risks—even (especially?) rash ones—is proof of natural leadership. That’s why macho CEOs cut such dashing, romantic figures on the covers of business magazines— and why their mistakes tend to look so obvious after the event, and their fall is typically so sudden and catastrophic.

You can choose a romantic approach to working life, full of sound and fury, highs and lows, triumphs and disasters; or you can take a calmer, more rational style—more like the Buddhist approach—that avoids extremes and cultivates steadiness, realism, and detachment.

Which you choose is up to you. In a free society everyone should be able to select how they prefer to live. It’s worth considering, though, that there’s a price attached to each option.

Being romantic seems very often to come with being wrong—in the sense that as a path to success, it’s far from efficient. Too many fake hopes, impractical visions, false starts, and energy wasted on rushing about pointlessly, like Prince Rupert’s cavalry in the battles of the English Civil War. All the drama really needs to be its own reward.

The alternative, rational route is more like Cromwell’s army: rather dull, not at all romantic, and generally very efficient. Fewer highs and lows, fewer excitements . . . and much more likely to win in the end.

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A birder’s view of choosing your path in life

Binoculars are essential to all birders. Some birding beginners give up because just the binoculars they’re using aren’t satisfactory. They don’t see the birds well enough to make it interesting. Seeing your vision for your life ahead clearly enough is equally essential to a successful and interesting career. Some people give up on their lives or careers because the vision that they’re using isn’t up to the job.


The more you consider binoculars and birding, the more links you see with how people use and choose their vision for what they want from life and work.

Focusing on small areas

Binoculars both improve and limit your view. They magnify a small area far away, so that you see it better, while they restrict your view to that area only. Your “field of view” is greatly narrowed compared with normal sight. That’s why people unfamiliar with using binoculars often find it hard even to find a bird that they know is in plain view. Their viewpoint is too narrow when they look through the binoculars. More experienced birders hold the bird in view with the naked eye while they slowly lift their binoculars into place.

Your vision for your life and career works in similar ways. You are going to look at events, people and ideas “through” that vision, focusing in closely on those parts that it picks out for you. Everything else will be out of focus or out of sight. Like binoculars, the stronger the power of magnification, the narrower the field of view. Beginner birders often buy binoculars that are too powerful and have such a narrow field of view it’s almost impossible to focus on a moving bird. Some people’s visions are also too strong for them, causing narrow-mindedness and bigotry.

Always choose the best that you can

That doesn’t mean the biggest, the most expensive, or the most powerful—and certainly not the most fashionable at the moment.

As I just pointed out, binoculars that are too powerful are virtually useless. They’re too heavy to carry for long and make seeing the birds harder, not easier. Nor are the most expensive brands the best for everyone. The best means the best for you and where you are today. The best vision for your life is what is going to work for you, not what anyone else would choose.

Quality does count in binoculars and life and career visions. Cheap binoculars for birding are a waste of money. They usually provide a poor image and make everything look dull and fuzzy. Advice to new birders is always the same: “Buy the best binoculars you can afford. Never stint. You’ll quickly regret it.” It’s the same with visions. Cheap, tawdry ones produce dull, frustrating lives and careers. Good visions are expensive, not in cash, but in the duties they place on you to stand up for what’s right and the way that they constantly challenge you to do better than feels comfortable. No one ever managed to live a satisfying, successful life on the cheap.

There’s another characteristic that visions and binoculars share. Binoculars must “feel right” to be of any use. Choosing binoculars is an intensely personal business, not something you can easily do via the Internet or mail order. You have to hold them in your hands for a little while and sense if they’ll be good companions on your birding trips.

There are three “big names” in birding optics: Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski: the first two two German, the last Austrian. I used to use Leica binoculars, now I have Swarovski. I’ve never been comfortable with Zeiss. There’s no difference in optical quality, the price is almost the same, and Zeiss has a fine reputation. Many excellent birders won’t use any other brand. But I can’t bear them, just like I’ve never driven any vehicle made by Ford on either side of the Atlantic that I didn’t want to get out of immediately. It’s just me.

Is it time for you to upgrade?

People get comfortable with their current life vision and can’t see any value in those others that use and love. It’s personal and irrational, just like me with binoculars. People also use that same basic vision everywhere they go, just like I’ve taken my binoculars with me from Australia to South America, Europe and Africa. The trouble is that the vision they have is a poor one. It’s outdated, limited in quality, picked up on the cheap, or just plain inadequate.

I’ve known people whose personal vision for their life is the equivalent of using binoculars handed down from their great-great-grandparents. I’ve also found many people using viewpoints that, if they were binoculars, would be flimsy, battered pairs picked up in some garage sale or flea market. Dreadful shoddy, cheap things, not fit for anything except the garbage.

Take a moment and think about the vision that is currently guiding your life, your career, and the way that you’re looking at the world. How well does it work? What’s the quality of the “lenses” it offers you? Does it narrow your field of view too much? Is it old, damaged, dusty, or well past its prime? Is it time that you swapped it for a better one? Can you afford not to?

Remember the advice to new birders: “Never use poor binoculars. Always get the best you can afford—even if you have to stretch a little. Looking at the world through poor optics is a waste of time and limits you to a dim and distorted view.” That’s very sound advice for life visions as well.


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This is the new home of the Slow Leadership blog, using the Wordpress platform.

Articles posted between 2005 and June 2007 can still be read on the old URL: www.slowleadership.org.


Until you can work out where happiness comes from (at least for you), you’ll always be chasing it.

It’s probably fair to say that we all want to be happy. So where does happiness come from? If you aren’t sure where to look, you’re not that likely to find it. But maybe what works for you isn’t to be found in all the glib prescriptions for happiness? These reflections on happiness at work and in life could help.

Can we make ourselves happy by determined effort? Is it a matter of choosing the right mental attitude? Can we follow some prescription or guru? Or is it all down to luck?

Making ourselves happy by specific actions has a very poor track record of success. People fix on some future outcome as a source of happiness, but after achieving it through effort and determination, discover that it doesn’t make them happy after all. They work to obtain some desired goal (a job, a relationship. a purchase, a position in society) and find that the reality isn’t what they had hoped for.

Why is happiness hard to find?

  • People are extremely poor at predicting the future, usually assuming it will closely resemble the past. That rarely happens. Even if it is similar, there will be enough differences to make some people happier that they expected to be, and others a good deal more miserable.
  • People allow present needs and concerns to color future ones. Because we’re eager for what’s in fashion today, we assume it will still appeal to us in 12 months’ time. That’s not likely either, in many cases.
  • Nor do the synthetic prescriptions of gurus have a better track record. Gurus are more likely to offer what will be acceptable today than what may fit us in some months’ or years’ time. Many gurus offer only platitudes and versions of society’s current myths. These have no greater chance of providing happiness than whatever we can think up ourselves.
  • People are easily distracted by minor benefits that quickly become irrelevant or irritating.
  • People easily allow current emotions to out-weigh reason. Desire trumps commonsense. By the time we have whatever we so desire today, that emotion may well have disappeared.

Maybe it’s all a matter of attitude?

Is happiness to be found by cultivating the right mental attitude? Can we choose to be happy and stay that way almost regardless of events?

There is some evidence to support the idea. Research has shown that even those suffering terminal conditions, major handicaps, or lifelong suffering can just as easily experience happiness as anyone else. The notion that inner happiness depends on external circumstances (wealth, possessions, fame, health) does not seem to be true. Most people prefer to have good circumstances if they can, but none guarantee happiness. Our minds are also adept at reframing problems or set-backs to make them less hurtful. If you don’t get what you want, you’ll probably convince yourself it wasn’t so important anyhow.

What people say makes them happy may be no more than convention. Most people, if asked, say they love their families. The evidence of marital discord, physical and mental abuse, domestic violence, and divorces and break-ups suggests that much of this claim is based on saying the right thing.

Maybe happiness is only self-delusion?

This is a tough question to answer. If you feel happy, whatever the cause, who is to say that your feeling isn’t real? Even if, viewed from the outside, what you are doing is fooling yourself. Indeed, can anyone else ever set themselves up as an arbiter of your happiness? Surely only you can know how you feel. Happiness may be an emotion people crave, but they still subject it to various judgments of authenticity. To accept that you are happy may be more about conforming to particular ideals of happiness than anything else. Sometimes feeling happy may even be dismissed on that basis. It could be chance whether happiness occurs in the only version we will admit is worth the name.

For example, you can try to induce feelings (including happiness), but people rarely accept those as the real thing. Drug users try to induce feelings of bliss, but their actual lifestyle is almost always sordid and unhappy, save for brief periods of drug-induced ecstasy.

Perhaps it’s all chance?

So is happiness simply a matter of luck and genetic makeup? Are some people born to be happy; and do the rest of us merely happen upon moments of happiness, more or less regardless of what we do to seek it out?

It seems certain that chance plays the major part in external events: so, if externals make us happy, that is mostly a matter of chance. Since all emotions are linked to the current bodily state, it could well be chance whether the right state, the right event, the right feeling, and the right definition of happiness all arrive at the same time.

It’s odd that something so many people define as the purpose of life is so hard to pin down. What if happiness is only a label we apply after the event; a way of describing pleasing types of sensations after they have arrived?Would it still be so sought after? Would it still be rated so highly?

Happiness is what makes you happy

Perhaps, after all, the best approach to happiness is to stop worrying about defining exactly what it in advance, or where it comes from, and get on with life.

Happiness is what makes you happy, not what society or anyone else approves, what some guru prescribes, or what is laid down by the current fashion as “authentic.” Often it isn’t even what people expect. They find themselves happy almost in spite of what they imagined might produce that feeling.

Happiness at work isn’t any different. To find it, all you really need to do is observe yourself closely. When something makes you happy, find ways to do more of it. When something else upsets your happiness, find ways to avoid it whenever you can.

Slowing down often increases people’s chances of happiness, because it gives them more time to observe and reflect on how they feel after each event. Instead of rushing through life, blindly following some happiness prescription, they are able to work out what is right for them. They don’t subscribe to platitudes like: “money cannot make you happy” or “happiness is other people.” Money can produce both happiness and misery and other people can be a joy or a royal pain in the posterior.

Happiness is what makes you happy. Stick with that and you won’t go far wrong.


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Do you need to be successful first to be happy, or does happiness produce success?

It’s an important question, because making happiness conditional on success is the usual path; and it doesn’t seem to be working for many people. They endure considerable amounts of unhappiness, often for many years, in the belief that when success comes they will finally be happy. What if it isn’t true? That’s surely worth thinking about carefully.

When I started working, I bought into all the conventional ideas about what made for a happy and successful life. A good career, a good income, a good position, a good pension to round it all off. Get those first, and happiness will surely follow.

Well, I got most of them and I found that happiness somehow hadn’t seen the need to fulfill its part of the bargain. Oh, I was happy sometimes—maybe quite often. But it wasn’t due to any of those. Earning a high salary brought stress and ethical compromises I wasn’t happy about. A top position in the hierarchy brought yet more pressures, along with jealousy and politically-inspired dirty tricks. Inflation ate into my salary and pension fund and employers went back on their promises.

What really brought me happiness rarely had anything to do with conventional ideas of success. Mostly, it was due to things totally unconnected with my work. Of course, I was sometimes happy at work too. When I was busy doing something that I enjoyed and made me happy, I was often amazingly successful. When I tried to be successful, and accepted temporary unhappiness and boredom as its price, I rarely managed to reach my goals. If I accepted short-term unhappiness as the price of long-term success—and I very often did—what I got in return was the opposite: short-term success paid for with long-term unhappiness.

Hundreds of thousands—probably millions—of people spend their lives doing work they hate, and enduring pressures that ruin their health and cripple their relationships, with the sole purpose of being successful; which usually means gaining money, position, or fame, or all three. They tell themselves that once they’ve got what they want they’ll be happy. It rarely happens. What they gain has far less real value than all they have sacrificed to get it.

Weighing the evidence

Research has shown that, far from leading to happiness, success is more often dependent on being happy first. Happy people do better work, forge stronger relationships, are more likeable, learn more, take more productive risks, have better health, and live longer. How is this not success? How is a life doing things that you dislike and don’t make you feel happy—and that cause you stress, pain, and frustration—going to lead to enormous happiness sometime in the future; aside, that is, from the pure joy you would get by ceasing to do it at all?

Do you need wealth to be happy? If that is the case, most captains of industry should be delirious with joy all the time. I must say it doesn’t show. Mostly they’re rather grimly set on making yet more wealth for themselves. Perhaps even they don’t have enough money and success to produce the promised happiness? If so, that final state is so far beyond the reach of all ordinary people as to be worthless as an objective.

Some of you may object that lack of money produces misery. Sure enough. But since even extreme wealth seems to do little better in the happiness-producing line, the only logical conclusion must be that neither wealth, nor poverty, in themselves have much of a link with happiness. It’s more likely that what you do with however much, or little, wealth you possess is going to have a far greater impact on how you feel about your life and whether it brings you happiness.

Fame is the same. Are all famous people amazingly happy? I can’t see it, can you? We assume that they ought to be, but many are clearly not. If that’s the case, then fame has nothing much to do with happiness either. The same is true for status and position. All are neutral in terms of producing happiness. For some who possess them, they help. For others, they produce only misery. Isn’t it more likely that happy people stay happy if they become rich, successful, or famous, and use their wealth in happy ways; and miserable people do exactly the opposite, however successful they are?

So what is success?

We need a new definition of life success, I think; one that isn’t based solely on material possessions or hierarchical outcomes. Rather than equate success with wealth, power, or fame—or even achievements—and tell ourselves that happiness will follow, it would be more sensible to equate success in life with happiness, then look for whatever furthered that happiness.

We’ve been told that money equals happiness. It doesn’t. That work, hard work, is good for you and leads to success and happiness. No, that doesn’t follow either. How about saying that what makes you happy produces happiness, whether that’s work, pleasure, relationships, or just the love of a good cat?

When it comes down to it, being happy is what nearly everyone wants, so why not take it wherever it comes from? And if, as the researchers suggest, being happy is the best route to being successful as well, what alternative is likely to be any better?

So take note. Stress, overwork, long hours, constant striving, and ruthless political manoevering may well produce money, power, and fame, but they won’t deliver on the promise of happiness.

Besides, while you’re grimly clawing your way towards the top and suffering as a result, won’t it be truly maddening if some happy person sails past you, enjoying every moment of life, and sweeps ahead on a wave of sheer pleasure in what they are doing?

You pays your money, as the saying goes, and you takes your choice. Just make sure that the choice you make is really worth what you will need to pay for it. Conventional pictures of success are frightful price gougers, all of them.

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