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Be Happy Or Else

February 10, 2008

Research and reporting on happiness is everywhere. One article I read recently discusses the elusiveness of happiness. There was a discussion about nature versus nurture – are you born happy or can you become happy. As with many arguments, the research still suggests that you are born with a level natural happiness that you can alter throughout your life.

One interesting point which was being made was the issue of goals on one’s happiness. The argument was that people who strongly “link” their happiness with goals achieved can be quite disappointed when their goals don’t materialize. Strong “linkers” like this tend to be on average less happy because generally we have many trial attempts at success before we get it right and this just leads them to strong disappoint a lot of the time. I found this interesting because people often talk about goals when they talk about success. In my speaking programs and workshops, goals always come up as a measure of success. So, reading that goals can be a negative got my attention. The truth is that the argument makes sense. We have to have goals defined in our lives and businesses in one form or another. The problem is when we attach happiness directly and only with goals. And, of course, any discussion of happiness including “getting” more stuff or more money is absolutely not true. Much research has shown the emptiness of that argument and we know that when we stop and think about it.

So, be careful if you are obsessively focused on goals and goals alone. You might want to stop and take inventory if you are in this situation.

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