What makes me #happy
The United Nations was onto something when they declared March 20, as the first International Day of Happiness. Aimed at encouraging countries to "better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies", #happyday has certainly struck a chord.
Our in-house social media expert tweeted feverishly in both Australia and US on consecutive days about #happyday with great results. People from around the globe retweeted, shared and commented. People simply want to be happy.
I asked a few people in our office what makes them happy.
Jan - Chocolate
Amanda - Laughing with friends and family and drinking wine
Arnaud - Sunshine
Thibault - Holidays
Eliza - Going to the movies
Rin - My Mum
Melinda - Food
Tina - My daughter
Fairly standard stuff. We all have synergies when it comes to what makes us happy and we all are in the pursuit of happiness in some shape or form. What is going to give us the lasting moment of happiness where our cheeks hurt from smiling too much or our brain sends off endorphins.
Like most people, I have my ups and downs. Days when I am so happy and where I feel so fortunate to live the life that I do and to have the people around me that effortlessly make my life "happy". But, there's a BUT - is it selfish to want something more. Something that lasts longer than a day or a week? Does having the right house, car, job, family mean that we should be happy and grateful or is that desire for more ok?
I can't help but want "more". More things that will make me happy and none of them revolve around material possessions. Long ago I realized that no material possession is going to make me happy. I no longer want for designer bags and shoes. I have too many already. Nor do I have that holiday that I dream to go on. I have been on plenty.
The things that I long for, money cannot buy. They revolve around things that are more heart-felt.
In business, my happiness is not measured by how much money I make but instead on how well we do from a creative and customer service perspective. I often talk to my employees about happiness and what it means to them. In fact, I wrote to them all an email today asking them what do we need to do as a company or me as a leader to help them realize their dreams.
Our finance director has a small child who she picks up from childcare daily and I thought about it a few weeks ago and decided that if I had a child I would want more than anything to spend more time with my child. So what did I do? - I told her to come in an hour later and leave an hour earlier each day. Is that bad for business? No, it absolutely is not! She is an outstanding employee who saves me money every single day. Her ability to look at the business and make changes that are taking Marketing Eye to the next level has nothing to do with how many hours she works. Its quality not quantity. Did I reduce her salary. Gosh no! I value her as a person who looks after the company's finances and that of my own. I believe in the time she is here at the office, she will work twice as hard and her happiness level will increase because for the first time, she can go home guilt free at a reasonable hour and prepare meals for her child and spend invaluable time.
How are you creating happiness for yourself and employees who you value.