The Business of Happiness

The Business of Happiness

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We’ve neglected one relationship for too long – that with ourselves 

“Happiness is your nature. It’s not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” Sri Ramana Maharshi 

What a beautiful quote. 

And how entirely apt it is for now when many of us are literally locked inside our homes – banned from the outside with only an occasional outing for necessities or to get some exercise – banned from distractions provided by shops, restaurants and pubs where we busily seek our happiness while getting no nearer- endlessly consuming…things.

Looking within. 

Are our homes now a metaphor for ourselves? 

We have no choice but to stay home. 

We have no choice but to look within for happiness. 

More time to just be. 

Fewer distractions. Alright, alright. I have no children to home-school and my business partner is ever keen to remind me that not everyone’s home is a haven of peace, introspection and self-discovery. 

The point I’m trying to make, is that this is a pause. A break from the conveyor belt of day-to-day doing with no space for being. 

Human beings not human doings.” ​ Dalai Lama 

And even if it’s been “business as usual” for you with back-to-back remote meetings and plenty of prospects, it’s still a huge departure from the norm – a break in our daily habits and, therefore a chance to assess whether we can do better. On every measure. 

 Going back to normal? 

Do we want to go back to normal? 

How was that doing for us? 

Were we happy? Were you happy? 

Were you operating at your best?

How well do we really know ourselves?  

Lots of questions. It’s a good thing.  

 Self-care is generous. 

Self-care is not indulgent or selfish.  It’s generous to you and everyone around you. 

It seems that the relationship we neglect, or have been neglecting, is that with ourselves. Yet, this is the only one that we’re born with and will take to our graves. 

How can we be our best selves and serve others if we don’t truly understand who we are, what feeds, drives and makes us happy? 

Still more questions.  

And what does this have to do with business? Does it all have to be about business? And what is business anyway? 

More questions. Still. 

Well, the way I see it, the only business that’s worth being part of is business that helps serve people. Ourselves and others. 

If we’re not happy and if we don’t truly understand ourselves we won’t be able to give the best of ourselves. 

If you don’t know how something works you can’t get the best out of it. Pretty simple. 

 A pause to understand better. 

The more fully that we understand, accept and celebrate our true selves and each other, the happier we’ll be and the more potential we’ll unlock. 

What might it look like if you really use this time to pause, breathe and be present?

What might it look like to take this time to sit with your thoughts and feelings? Maybe through meditation, yoga, walking, running or good old fashioned sitting down and having a think. 

The more that we become conscious, aware and truly understand who we are, the more power we have to take back control of ourselves – no longer sleep-walking on the conveyor belt of doing, whether it was doing us or those around us any good or bad. 

We’ve spent so much time outside of the here and now, projecting into what’s next. It’s exhausting and we miss out on what’s actually happening. And when the future arrives and it’s our present, we’re not in it and don’t experience it fully. 

Well let’s. 

I don’t mean to sound like I’m boasting or preaching, but want to share that I’ve been using this time to work on the business of me. With fewer distractions, I feel more aware, more awake, more in touch with myself and more in touch with what makes me happy. 

 Happiness within. 

 And it’s all within. 

So to businesses or individuals that dismiss happiness, well-being, self-care and mental health, I say that’s shortsighted. Focusing on these things will help you directly. It also will come back to you because a happy, healthy, motivated workforce will perform much better than one that isn’t those things. And ultimately, it’s simply the right thing to do for your fellow humans.

Happiness needn’t be such a dirty word at work. Now, of course, we have come a long way on this front but we have so much further to go. 

I return to the words that opened this piece: 

“Happiness is your nature. It’s not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” Sri Ramana Maharshi 

Start taking the business of your own happiness seriously. You might be surprised how this not only helps you, but also helps make our world a better place.

By Chris Wickenden, 21st May 2020.
The Speakers’ Gym™



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