Pursuit of Happiness
Besides survival, our goal in life is the pursuit of happiness. We spend an enormous amount of mental energy trying to figure out what will make us happy and how to get there.
What is the secret to achieving a happy life?
In the below 20 minute clip from TED, Dan Gilbert does an amazing job outlining the difference between “natural happiness” [when we get what we want] vs. “synthetic happiness” [when we are stuck with something and make ourselves believe that this is the best for us]. Research shows that both create the same level of personal happiness. People can be as happy with synthetic happiness as with natural happiness and given that the latter is much easier to attain, it makes no sense to spend your life trying to achieve natural happiness. Gilbert suggests that the enemy of synthetic happiness is the freedom to choose or leave your options open. In other words, we should make decisions and then never look back. Only after we have closed off alternatives can we continue to fall in love with our decision and reach a happy state.
Entrepreneurship is the best path towards my professional happiness for a number of reasons which include: passion, history, skill, and ego. However, I am spending a great deal of time researching and investigating the best business opportunity to pursue. I have created a long list of criteria to justify picking one business direction over another. As a result, I have evaluated multiple opportunities and have had a hard time committing myself to one specific direction. While I have enjoyed the process, the longer I stay in a position of indecision, the lower my probability of actual starting a business.
Here is the kicker; since happiness is my ultimate goal, based on Gilbert’s research, I don’t need to find the biggest and best entrepreneurial opportunity. I just need to find a business opportunity that will enable me to start a business. The important thing is to commit myself to a direction and focus on execution. Providing I have the right team, skills, and passion, we will evolve, innovate, build something great - and have fun in the process. I will find synthetic happiness with whatever sector I select.
This post was inspired by Amit K, a good friend. Thank you