During my years in the corporate world as a leader, I met leaders in different levels who despite being “successful” professionals were not happy individuals. We already know that if you are not someone who seeks happiness by enjoying moments and being thankful, it will show in other roles of your life impacting the way others may see you.
You automatically push success away when you don’t believe in your capabilities and abilities. If your mind doubts your actions will not follow and you will not get the expected results, as simple as that.
I want to give you hope so you can get right back up and achieve it, what is that? GENUINE SUCCESS!
“If the success you achieve has been at the expense of your health, your family or a negative change in your personality or character, is not really a success”
I DECIDED that: “No matter how high I grew in my professional life, I would always pray to remain as truthful to myself as I’ve always been. I don’t want to change to the extent of losing myself, forgetting who I am and where I come from”. My decision has a lot to do with the upbringing I received from my parents and is based on the respect for all, without distinction.
There are books, poems and articles that stay with you throughout your adult life. In my case I can cite one of each and recall the person – in all cases A family member – who originally brought them to my attention. When I look back I realise these were the people that influenced me in my early years. They set me on a path in pursuit of happiness and success.
A Book. As far as books go for me it has been ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie that set me on my path. I have a 1977 paperback edition. The subtitle on the front cover says: ‘The phenomenal bestseller that is helping millions find success and happiness’. It’s well used, marked up with pencil and has post-it notes sticking out to draw me back to things I must have thought were important to me in the 1970s and beyond. I was introduced to this book by my late father-in-law Ken Smith. What’s even more exciting for me is that I now have Ken’s 1936 hardback imprint of the same book. And it has his pencil marks ups, which give me a great insight to what was important to him in the 1940s and 50s as he started out on his path to happiness and success in his life and in his career. The inside front cover of Ken’s book quotes Carnegie’s ‘Twelve things this book will help you achieve‘.
A Poem. The poem that influenced me was ‘If‘ by Rudyard Kipling which my mother Peggy sent me in 1968 when I had left home to go to University. I believe at that time she was offering me a pattern for my future life.
An Article. We have to wait until the new millennium for the article that has influenced both my wife and I ever since that time. It was my father-in-law Ken again who sent us a clipping from The Sunday Times of 30 January 2000 entitled ‘How to be Happy’. It was an article by Gyles Brandreth in which he interviewed the eminent Irish psychiatrist Dr Anthony Clare who offered his seven point plan for happiness. We have followed Dr Clare’s prescription ever since. And just last month my wife Sue introduced me to a new article in the Independent about a ten year research programme by ‘Happiness Expert’ Eric Barker. In the article the Indy’s lifestyle writer Kashmira Gander summarises “Eric Barker has spent almost a decade uncovering why some people seem more happy and successful than others, but his findings don’t always make for comfortable reading“.
There is a surprising fourth source of inspiration from a family member – a Document of State – but more of that later!
What can we learn about the Pursuit of Happiness and Success from these publications?
This article has been written at a time when most of us have given up on our new year’s resolution. And now we need to ask why it is so common that we fail in our resolutions? We set measurable objectives and we make a plan to achieve them. Then what is missing? Most of our plans miss two crucial aspects: preventative plan for relapses and a plan to ensure that we enjoy the process. The main reason we miss this is that there is a general belief that in order to achieve our goals and ensure happiness, we need to put ourselves through hell while we pursue this happiness. We tend to compare hard work with being miserable.