Ted Leonsis believes “that happiness can be achieved by approaching it with the same degree of discipline and rigor that’s needed to build a successful business.” And some of the same rules for individuals also apply to institutions. His very readable book “The Business of Happiness,” relies on three concepts:
- Pursue goals. You increase your chances of becoming happy if you treat happiness like an entrepreneur would approach building a business, with a vision and the systematic pursuit of a plan and goals.
- Take care of business. Leonsis argues that enterprises will do better if they consider themselves in “the happiness business.”
- Start with happiness. “Happiness is a driver of success, not the other way around,” Leonsis says.
Leonsis believes that the happiest and most successful people live by several basic tenets, including:
- Set life goals. People are more likely to be happy if they pay attention to whether they are on track to reach their goals. Leonsis said that writing and pursuing his “Life List” – the goals he wanted to accomplish in his life – did not by themselves make him happy. Yet he credits the writing of that list and his “dogged, faithful effort to accomplish” those goals as a necessary aspect of his quest for happiness. He advises the rest of us to, “Just write the list. Start now.”
- Connect with communities. Leonsis says that the more communities in which you are an active participant, the more likely it is that you’ll be happy and successful. In his own life, he has encountered opportunities and fostered innovation because of the broad variety of circles within which he circulates. “I work it,” he says of his “ever-expanding universe of interests and friends and communities.” Leonsis is a conspicuous extrovert, but he says that the same rule applies to introverts.
- Say thanks. Like many of the experts, Leonsis says that a critical ingredient in finding happiness is being able to express gratitude. Feeling thankful helps us to stay grounded and is a way to arrest the harmful domino effect of a bad day becoming a bad week. And, he says, “empathy, gratitude, giving back to society, and having a higher calling are all part of a continuum.”
Leonsis’ secrets of success aren’t original, but they all make sense to me. His own story is engaging, and his book is an enjoyable starting point for exploring strategies that may feel new to readers who aren’t already self-help fans.
Want to hear something interesting? In addition to providing executive coaching, Bev and her Clearways colleagues are available to speak about many issues related to your work and work life success. We’ll build a workshop to meet your needs. Learn more at www.ClearWaysConsulting.com or email to Bev directly.
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