Anneliese discusses the leadership aspects of executing a vision and ownership with Wim Dejonghe, senior partner of Allen & Overy.Read more
Beyond the happiness hype
The day of happiness, the happiness index, books about happiness… The quest for happiness is all around. And yet, is happiness really the ultimate goal?
Recently I read Homo Deus (Y.N.Harari) and it made me reflect a lot on what we strive for as human beings: do we strive to be happy or do we strive to stay human? Or both?
I’ve come to the conclusion that I strive to stay human, with all the rationality and emotions this brings. This means that I embrace all the happy moments that come along and also allow myself to feel the pain when difficulties cross my path. I strongly believe that it is important to allow yourself to ‘feel’ the pain. To not become numb. There is already so much sedation in our world and I choose not to go ‘numb’ through life.
Being happy does not exclude feeling pain. In fact, I would argue that just because you allow yourself to feel pain, the happy moments are all the more intense. The happiness you experience will then be deeper, simpler as well. And it doesn’t need to be as heavy as this may sound.
Imagine you are on holiday and you make a day trip through a tremendous rainstorm. The rain literally hurts your face. Afterwards you arrive in your hotel and you take a nice warm shower. A true moment of happiness, isn’t it?
So this is a plea for all of us to strive for happiness and allow the pain when it passes by.
Our book ‘Be your own leader’ addresses this deeper sense of happiness by focusing on who you are, in all different dimensions. It is full of tips on how to build your resilience to deal with the harsh moments of life when they come.
A few additional tips:
- Acknowledge the unhappy or painful moments without any judgement
- Go beyond the likes on social media and ask your friends how they really feel
- Enjoy every happy moment that passes by because it adds to your resilience for whatever difficulties may come later
- Shout once in a while very loud when you are unhappy… and remember that this is human
- Stay real… our world needs more of that
I wish you… happy reflections.