Dave and I have recently come to the realization that we have lost something really good from our lives over the past little while, and that goodness is called reading books! I’ll admit, we are complete and utter book nerds, and we would happily spend a day off together in a cafe sipping drinks, sharing a cookie, and reading. I cringe a bit at writing that — does that make us sound really dull and boring or what?! It’s been hard to find the time recently to really lose ourselves to a good book, but we’ve discovered something magical to help us with this – it is called the audio book. I know the cool thing right now is reading books on your iPad/Kindle so we’re probably behind the times as usual, but as I’ve been working these past few weeks I’ve got a business book playing and a notebook beside me and I love it.
We’ve just listened to a book that really connected with us right now in our lives and our business. The author talks about how so many of us on the pursuit to success, whatever form that may take for each person, often subconsciously allow our own happiness to be the thing that gets sacrificed along the way. We’ve been taught that the way of the world is once you find success, then you will be happy. Happiness is ultimately what everybody wants, but each time we reach our goals, our target changes to something more that we’re aiming for, so we never truly reach that moment of happiness we’ve been waiting for. This book challenged us to think about happiness as being the key ingredient that must come first before success; that it is the fuel that ultimately brings success to our personal/professional lives.
Happiness has been proven to prime creativity, energy, resilience, motivation and innovation. Over time our brain becomes hard wired to think in the way it has been trained to think, and so we tend to miss what we’re not used to looking for. If we’ve trained ourselves to focus on the negative or the failures, or to blame our circumstances for our unhappiness, then we’re not looking for the positive or the possibilities that are out there…….. and in the end, we’re going to miss them.
I’ll end with this story, from the book: There are two shoe salesmen who many years ago were sent to Africa to asses the opportunities there. One sends a telegram back home: “Situation hopeless. They don’t wear shoes here.” The other says: “Glorious opportunity! They don’t yet have any shoes!” Which salesman would you rather be? If you’re interested in thinking more on the topic of happiness and success, I’d highly recommend either reading or listening to Shawn Achor’s amazing book called The Happiness Advantage. Couldn’t recommend a book more highly. Here’s a photo of us. Have a happy Friday!
- Jenn xx