Are You Happy?
By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO

As we close another year, it is important to take stock of our lives.  We need to ask ourselves if we are happy.  It is an important question for us all to consider.  Why?  Because if we are happy, we will be successful and it will be sustainable.

Research shows that those individuals who are happy are more successful, are healthier, and live longer than those who are not happy.  Being happy is very good career – and life – advice.  But, what does it mean to be happy?

The answer to this question does differ from person to person.  However, it usually is not determined by the amount of money and material possessions we have.  Happiness studies worldwide do not show a correlation between a person’s wealth and their happiness.  I also see this in many individuals I work with in my many roles in the community.  Once a person has a minimal amount of resources the individual is about as happy as they choose to be.

If it is not about money, is it about status?  Nope.  There seems to be no correlation between status and happiness either. So far, we are zero for two on how we get to be happier.  However, this is an important finding.  Too often we tell ourselves if we only had more resources or a better job we would certainly be happier.  Studies show this is just not true.

So, who is happier?  Studies show the happiest people are grateful and live for a purpose beyond their own needs.  These two attributes do correlate with true and lasting happiness.  And, we can all have it regardless of our wealth or status.  It is available to all.

As leaders, our job is to help people be successful.  It is all about helping our businesses become successful.  As discussed earlier, if people are happy they are more successful.  And, to do this, we know we need our teams to be grateful and to work on a purpose that is greater than their own needs.  How do we do this?  We need to lead the way.

Leaders need to demonstrate how to be successful and happy.  If we are living it, we will be able to influence our teams.  This means we must be happy.  Are you happy?  Are you grateful?  Are you focused on a purpose greater than your self needs?  If you are, you get to be the change you’d like to see in others.

One such revelation for me was how easy it was to become more grateful.  A simple, daily gratitude habit was a game changer for me.  I spend about a minute each day being grateful for all the people in my life.  I visualize their faces and say their names.  It brings a smile to my face – a sign it is making me happier.  By starting each day with gratitude, I set the stage for being more successful.  Do you have a gratitude habit?  What could one look like for you?

As we go through this holiday season, we often wish people a Happy Holiday.  It is a good time to think about how we might increase our true happiness – and that of others.  Have a very happy, blessed, and prosperous holiday season!