Yes, the question is… Are you happy? I was telling my client Brian Torres that I can honestly say that I am happy 100% of the time. Now that may sound a little over the top… but it’s true. I get stressed and frustrated and disappointed just like everyone else. But none of those emotions alter my being happy.
The next time I saw Brian he had a book for me. Wow… what a great gift! First of all that he listened to me the last time we met and that he was so kind as to share this treasure with me. If you only have time to read one book this year, THIS is the one… The Business of Happiness by Ted Leonsis.
Ted is the owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team, and was an executive at AOL in the early days. He shares some behind the scenes details that really make the book an interesting read. He has won an Oscar, yes, an Oscar! Why should you care? Because at the age of 27 he was a millionaire and almost died in an airplane crash, and in those life altering moments came face to face with what we all think about, with or without a reckoning… "Am I living my life the way I wanted to or expected to?" If you are like most lawyers I coach the answer is probably… "Sometimes… but not enough of the time."
So… What answers and inspiration does Ted Leonsis have for us?
Make what he calls, a LIFE LIST… What do you want to experience before you say goodbye to this world? So many people go through life just taking what gets served up… as opposed to going after dreams that fulfill them. Think about it! Be outrageous… be creative… and have fun! I put, attend the Oscars, on my list. Certainly I must know somebody who knows somebody that has connections. (Anyone out there want to help me with this one?) Ted also recommends adding things to your list that you have already accomplished. I love this bit of advice since most of us tend to forget that we have accomplished some really great things… our dreams. Take credit for them… be proud of them… and don’t forget them.
Have multiple communities of interest… Ted points out that interacting in a variety of different communities enriches our lives… and you do not need to be an extrovert. As Bette Midler says… You’ve Gotta Have Friends!
Find outlets for self-expression… This can take on many forms. Writing a blog like I am now is very fulfilling and makes me happy. Art, music, giving speeches, writing articles or even a radio program. These are also great ways to crystallize your personal brand.
Show your gratitude… Do your clients know how much you appreciate them? If you work for someone, does he or she know that you value your job? If your answer is "I think so." Maybe you should KNOW SO! Tell them.
Look for ways to give back… Certainly you have heard this many times and many of you have said… "Sure… just as soon as I get some free time!" The time will never just appear… you have to make it a priority.
Find your higher calling… What’s your bigger purpose?
These are Ted’s six tenets for happiness and my two cents. Is any of this new… absolutely not! But let me tell you that Ted writes a compelling argument to DO IT NOW! I think you will love this book as much as I did… Thank you Brian!