How to Create Happiness

For some executives, fame and fortune are the primary drivers that measure “success.”  Yet those who have become famous and wealthy often find it unfulfilling or fleeting.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring to see your picture on the cover of Fortune magazine or making the Inc. 5000 list.  Both are truly significant accomplishments.  Yet, there is a lot more to life. It has been said, “if you don’t go within, you go without.”  Success may be best measured via a grander goal, to experience a simple emotion called happiness. 

It’s important to internalize that in time, bliss becomes boring.  Welcome challenges in life.  They strengthen the soul. 

Happiness is not intended to be a permanent state of joy.  Rather, through the process of overcoming challenges, experiencing small wins and reaching new heights we may experience happiness.  The more one is able to embrace all that occurs, good and bad, the happier one becomes.

Bringing the experience of happiness into the workplace requires a few simple steps.

Focus on Flow – Flow is the state of mind or experience when desired results occur with minimal thought or effort.  Some refer to it as “the zone.”

Everyone has their innate talents and unique skills.  As a leader, focus on what you do well.  Similarly, consciously work to help others focus on their individual core competencies.  As professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Cheek – sent – mee – hi), clearly outlined in his best-selling book Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience, the more one focuses on tapping personal strengths the higher the probability of experiencing happiness.

Control Your Conscious Thinking – Yep, what you focus on (think about) tends to show up in your life.  Focus on all the negatives, guess what, you experience more of the same.  Focus on the positives and your experience will reflect what is working. 

Consciously managing your thoughts is not about practicing positive thinking mumbo jumbo.  Rather, it revolves around becoming aware of what you are thinking.  By consciously paying attention to your thoughts, you can direct where your next thought goes. 

Chose How You Respond – Regardless of life’s events you ALWAYS have the choice as to your response.  Always!  A powerful real-life example clearly depicting this ability possessed by every human being on the planet is Viktor Frankl’s profound book titled, Man’s Search for Meaning.

Life is based in polarities.  There is no escaping “bad” things.  They happen to everyone.  Likewise, “good” is plentiful.  Find the good even when things go bad and your happiness will be heightened.

Be the Example – Leadership is a privilege not a position.  To foster inspiration, innovation and excellence it helps to be happy.  Hence, demonstrating happiness is critical to creating it in others.  The recipe is simple; act with kindness, consideration, appreciation and acceptance.

Turn your frustrations into fascinations and watch your world become happier.

One, final thought.  Smile more.  It’s always a great place to start.