The Pursuit of Happiness
we celebrate another 4th of July, we need to remind ourselves that it's
not just a day off for picnics, parades, and potato salad. There are
fireworks too! And, of course, a day off to celebrate our freedom to
direct our own destiny.
Declaration of Independence proclaims that we are endowed "with
certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
Pursuit of Happiness." Those
who won our independence staked their futures on the courage to act on
signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, wrote, "All
that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am
now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or
die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration." Who
among us would show such courage of our convictions? How many of us are
similarly committed to pursuing that which brings us the greatest
interpret "the pursuit of happiness" to mean the pursuit of
possessions and wealth. Thomas Jefferson believed, "It
is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which
gives happiness." Our happiness is influenced largely
by how we choose to live and work.
we have the freedom to choose how to expend our time, too many still
choose work with no connection to their values, and totally devoid of
passion. The happiness they pursue is toward a time when they won't have
to work. As such, they sentence themselves to jobs and careers that have
little connection to their purpose. Is that what the founders fought for?
and the myriad ways people define it, exists at the intersection of
passion, strengths, and values. What
energizes us comes together with our talents, gifts, and skills, and is
fully supported by that which we find to be of most importance, all
leading to an abiding sense of coherence and meaning. This knowledge and
understanding, must in turn, align with the opportunities that the world
of work can provide us. Therein lies the pursuit of happiness.
endeavor is, of course, easier said than done. It challenges us in many
ways, both economically and psychologically, but staying committed to the
pursuit is inevitably the route to happiness and meaning in our work
amidst the pomp and parades, the bells and bonfires, the salutes and
sparklers, take some time this Independence Day to reflect on your
personal pursuit of happiness.
are five questions to guide you:
Just as the Declaration of Independence is an aspirational document, so,
too, is our career plan. Abraham Lincoln said some 150 years ago, "I
am not here to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed,
but I am bound to live by the light I have." He didn't
mean to forgo fame and fortune; instead he wanted us to remember that the
pursuit of meaning is the way to happiness. He understood that happiness
is a direction, not a place.
Just as the Declaration of Independence is an aspirational document, so, too, is our career plan. Abraham Lincoln said some 150 years ago, "I am not here to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light I have." He didn't mean to forgo fame and fortune; instead he wanted us to remember that the pursuit of meaning is the way to happiness. He understood that happiness is a direction, not a place.
we celebrate Independence Day, let's "hold
these truths to be self-evident."
Pursuing a Paycheck with a Purpose by Dan King and Mark Guterman
If Ben Franklin Were On Twitter by Dan King
Working Our Way Back by Dan King
Tapping the Power Within by Peter Metzner
Defining a Generation by Dan King
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