“The pursuit of happiness” is listed in the United States Declaration of Independence among the unalienable and sovereign rights of man.
In the workshops I do, whether we are discussing a life well-lived, a job well-done, a great relationship with customers, suppliers, bankers or employees, a corporate culture, or a well executed strategy, when we ask what is the essence of what we truly want, the answer is always happiness.
There are two kinds of happiness – emotional happiness and true happiness. Emotional happiness doesn’t last and often eventually results in its opposite – sadness. It’s reactive. It depends on my mood and my perceptions and interpretations of external circumstances and the behavior of other people. For example, I could be emotionally happy when I land a big contract, reach a particular milestone, am recognized for an achievement, or if someone agrees with me and emotionally unhappy when something happens that is different from what I expect, believe, or learned.
True happiness is a state of well-being that remains no matter what happens. It’s long lasting. It’s creative. True happiness exists when I am true to myself, when I am in complete alignment with my highest and best vision of myself in any circumstance. This is true for us as individuals and as organizations.
In a workshop I did recently, a CEO was in the midst of a recall of their company’s product. Thoughts of fear for the safety of the customer, and fear for loss of confidence, reputation and future business were causing emotional unhappiness and the CEO was consumed with “re-acting” thoughts of worry, frustration, blaming, and being a victim.
The CEO began to experience true happiness—and started creating significant results—when the CEO chose instead to focus on choosing thoughts in alignment with the highest and best vision of themselves – focusing on keeping the customers safe, building confidence, strengthening relationships, being of service, and making a difference.
Everything we say, do and create first begins in thought. Our thoughts create. We are always creating — for better or worse. Individually and collectively.
When I started looking at my thoughts, I became aware of the power of my thoughts—aware that each thought I have is either creating the experience of true happiness, and the significant results that result, or not. I could stop re-acting and start creating. As “stuff” happens all day long, I can take the opportunity to decide what’s the highest and vision of myself that I could be in response to what has happened.
It was a big aha! for me to realize that I am responsible for creating my own happiness, for creating significant results.
Being happy is my choice. Being happy takes practice. If I want to be happy, I practice choosing and creating happiness. I practice being happy.
Thanks to our Founding Fathers, we all have the ability to pursue happiness, to BE truly happy and achieve significant results.
Let’s make our Founding Fathers proud.
Will you join me?
For my Forward ThinkingTM Reminder on happiness, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read online or click here to read another blog post on the topic.
© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.
Mary J. Lore is an internationally recognized thought leader, executive mentor, public speaker and award-winning author. Her company Managing Thought, LLC, helps individuals and organizations develop self-awareness and change how they think and conduct business to attain long-lasting success. She is the author of the multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success and audio book Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? and stars in the Live Workshop DVD. If you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial . Mary serves as an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a member during the 1990s when she served as a CPA, business turnaround expert, and entrepreneur.
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