Make Your Mother Happy. Be Happy.

Make Your Mother Happy. Be Happy.

If I were to ask what your goals are, you would likely give me some quantifiable answer, like earning a certain salary, attaining some specific position within your company, or being in a position to retire by a certain age. We are obsessed with milestones and measurement. And I get it. In business, we like to say, “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be mastered.” We conduct strategic planning sessions and discuss SMART goals, the ‘M,’ of course, standing for “measurable.” However, if I were to ask what your goals are for your children, what would you say? Nearly everyone I ask gives me a one-word answer without even a second to consider it. We want our kids to be happy. I certainly do. I want them to find joy and meaning in life. I want them to be thoughtful, kind, creative, confident and proud adults. None of these things can be measured. So, I’m wondering why do we think so differently about ourselves as adults than we do about our children? We seek specific and measurable goals for ourselves and desire beautiful, meaningful and yet nebulous things for our kids. Why the disconnect? Why don’t we allow ourselves to have aspirations that are more difficult to pinpoint when they are achieved? Why are we unable or unwilling to articulate these more meaningful, yet less measurable goals? One answer is in the way we think about happiness in our culture. For us, happiness is the reward for achieving a goal rather than being the goal itself. It’s true. When we say that our goal is to retire by...
How You Are You At Work?

How You Are You At Work?

There was a great quote in a Harvard Business Review article last year that said: “Most people at work… divert considerable energy every day to a second job that no one has hired them to do.” What they’re referring to is that most people come to the office each day feeling like they have to be a completely different person than who they really are. In other words, that director of marketing or systems analyst or chief operating officer sitting over there is really just an actor playing that role. Many of us have had this experience or have it every day, where we pull into the parking lot at work, turn off the car, look in the mirror, take a deep breath and leave our real selves in the car – our personality, hopes, dreams, passions, opinions – and slip into the role of who we think we’re supposed to be for the next 8 – 12 hours of the day. How exhausting! In fact, HBR goes on to say that this role-playing vs. being a real person is one of the biggest obstacles to productivity in the US workplace. And no wonder, how can we be 100% focused on doing our jobs at a high level and helping our organizations pursue their business strategies when we’re busy trying to be someone we’re not? But as leaders, there’s something we can do about this. We can consciously create a business environment or organizational culture that allows people to be who they are. We can encourage our team members to be themselves and to pursue the things they’re interested...