I had a coaching session with one of my clients last week. He is a chairman of an international group . He is busy. He doesn’t have enough time. He feels he doesn’t have enough money (money is an emotion :)). And he is not happy. He was following a success formula for happiness many leaders are adopting, albeit unconciously. That is:We need to work hard to achieve our goals. Only when we succeed in achieving these goals, then, we can be happy.
The problem with this is that the goal-post keeps shifting. Soon we are restless and unhappy again. What’s next? Time to look for another project, another challenge, another issue to get our hands into. Get busy again. Get urgent again. That equates hardworking. That equates success. That equates happiness.
Well, not really. In this vicious cycle, we are always chasing after happiness, which is always on the other side of the equation. This inadvertently leads to more burnout, stress, and angst, which leads to more unhappiness.
Successful leaders have this happiness formula reversed. They start with happiness. From a state of appreciation, gratefulness and happiness, they tackle the day’s challenges with more ease, more grace and more creativity. They have more time to think, reflect and strategize. These create better ideas, performances and conversations. Staff engagement improves, and work culture evolves with more laughter and possibilities. These in turn create even more happiness for the leader, and for the team.
Happiness is a place where we come from, not a place where we go to. Start with happiness, and the rest will follow.