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How would you complete this sentence, “Life is too short to…”? Drink bad coffee? Drive boring cars? Be unhappy? However you answer that question will give you an idea of where you should direct your energy. Directing your energy to a goal can also be thought of as manifesting. As Tony Robbins is often credited with saying, “Energy flows where attention goes.”
I believe that life is too short to be unhappy. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with a friend and fellow entrepreneur who has built five multi-million dollar businesses from scratch and is also a consultant and executive coach. We were talking about how to intentionally seek happiness. He mentioned that he books his weeks, months and years full of things that are going to bring him joy and fulfillment. This got me thinking: What if more entrepreneurs prioritized things that brought them fulfillment or happiness?
It is a conscious effort to focus your attention where you want your energy to flow. Conversely, you also need to figure out what makes you unhappy as these things will drag you down and suck your energy.
The ‘Eight-Hour Shower’
I like to book everything in my calendar from work meetings to my personal exercise time. Once it has its own calendar entry, I know I will have time to get it done. A while ago, I realized that I wasn’t booking time in my calendar for creativity. Creativity is what drives innovation, which is essential for an entrepreneur. I thought about when I felt most creative, and it was often in the morning when I was showering. Many of my good ideas came to mind in the morning while I was in the shower. That’s when I jokingly came up with the idea of an “eight-hour shower.”
I now book one day a week as my “creative” day, or my “eight-hour shower.” It gives me time to think, create and recharge. It also helps me focus on what I can do to foster adding more creative things that make me happy and give me energy as well as what needs to be eliminated that’s bringing me down. Scheduling time for creativity can be immensely beneficial for entrepreneurs. Choosing work that fulfills you and makes you happy while intentionally directing your energy can have a profound effect on your life.
Creativity and Positivity Clear Room for Happiness
Happiness is subjective, of course, but there are certain things that most people agree makes them happy: emotional well-being, physical well-being, positive mental health, spiritual growth and professional growth.
Developing a positive mindset is the foundation for long-term happiness. Forming close relationships is at the top of the list in terms of emotional well-being. Express gratitude every day for what you have. Imagine if you lost everything you have now and then got it back? How grateful would you be just to get back what you have right now?
Cultivate kindness — people who do random acts of kindness seem to be happier. We’ve started a random act of kindness week at our company to foster a culture of kindness in the workplace. When we make happiness our focus, everything else falls into place.
Happiness Is Good for Business and the World
Happy people are about 13 percent more productive according to a study done at Oxford University. Happy, productive people are engaged employees and citizens.
That’s something the country of Bhutan has figured out. Fifty years ago, they created the gross national happiness index (GNH). GNH looks at both traditional factors such as living standards, health and education, as well as less traditional factors such as culture and psychological well-being. Gross national happiness influences Bhutan’s economic and social policy and is a reflection of the general well-being of the population. Traditionally, countries have used GDP as a measure of economic value, but should success be measured by GDP or gross national happiness?
Lots of things may be out of our control, like the weather or pandemics, but what we can control is our mindset. The way we react to challenges and the attitude we have when something goes wrong is in our control and will be the cornerstone of a positive mindset. This is a skill that successful people have. They may be predisposed to having a positive nature or they may have learned it through coaching or simply working to become more self-aware.
Choosing a career that is fulfilling can lead to a happier life. As an entrepreneur, I am passionate about my work and it brings me joy. We all have thousands of hours in our careers — that’s about 40 hours a week, roughly 50 weeks a year, for 40 years. How best can we use those hours to bring happiness and fulfillment? Become aware of what makes you happy and fulfilled. Then, I suggest drinking the coffee, driving the car and making happiness your focus. Life is too short not to.