Fulfillment, happiness, and reward...

The other day I was wandering around one of the local artisan boutiques in my neighbourhood and came across a young woman preparing for spring — with Christmas behind us the next big commercial event is SPRING, and as you know, the commercial machine is well oiled to sell us something. I suppose we do need somewhere to direct our tendencies.

I could not help but take a moment to watch her put the final touches on what she was doing — I will admit it was visually stunning, and the positive energy that was coming from someone doing something they love was "palpable" (and infectious). As I watched, she caught my eye and smiled at me; she looked back to what she was doing and then bounded over to someone I can only assume was her boss. Their conversation seemed full of positive energy.

As I looked back at what she had done, I could not help but think that she definitely has talent, seems to very much love what she is doing, and has a long runway for success.

"Do something you love, get really, really good at it, and the money will follow"

I can't remember if I read this or if someone mentioned it, but it still resonates to this day. And I believe it to be true!

There is a self-awareness and an understanding of where your strengths lie that is needed — knowing what you are good at, and conversely what you are not so good at, is important. And just as important, the definition of your strength needs to be yours and not anyone else's (and most definitely not with what you see on the internet). HAVE THE SELF-AWARENESS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS.

It should be pointed out, particularly if you are under thirty, that there is a big difference between being good at something and its other advanced iterations — great, elite, master, expert, best, number one... and the ever popular "best ever in the whole, wide, world". The advancement of good takes practice, work, continued development, coaching, more practice, more work and time... lots of time. WHEN YOU FIND YOUR STRENGTH, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT PRACTICE, HARD WORK, AND TIME IS NEEDED TO GET REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD.

Share what you are doing with people and discard the concept of perfect. Everything we do is an evolution from good to great. In fact, there is something to be said about watching your progress — it's motivating; not only for you but also for those who may be watching you. IF YOU WAIT FOR SOMETHING TO BE BULLET PROOF IT MAY NEVER GET DONE — GET YOURSELF STARTED, SHOW PEOPLE WHAT YOU CAN DO, AND KEEP DOING IT.


And one more thing, if you leverage your strengths, do what you love, and the reward never comes the way you think it should, you still have fulfillment and happiness — and let me say that if you have this, you pretty well have everything.

I wonder where that young woman will take her talents over the next thirty years?


Bloggers note — when I sent the first draft of this blog to my daughter her response was, "Dad, that's not exactly what happened". To that I suggested it was artistic licence on my part. Her response was something about the integrity of information on the Internet. So in the spirit of not feeding "fake news" and staying a hero in my daughter's eyes, I will say the young woman is my daughter — I didn't watch her put the commercial merchandising display together or watch her bound over to her boss (although I was told her boss did like her work). The picture is real, and the thoughts on Fulfillment, happiness and reward" are mine. In the end, my position is I'm practicing my creative writing skills to tie all of this together.

What can I say, I'm a loving father — sue me.

How are you today?

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

"I am happy", was her answer. 

I smiled having heard this... invited her positive energy in, engaged in the conversation more intently, and walked away feeling slightly better for it.

Conversely, I remember talking to someone a month earlier that told me they have never really been happy; to that comment I had this overwhelming desire to flee and avoid infection.

With two personal data points collected in my now spontaneous research study, I have gleaned the following working conclusions:

Happy People make you feel better and more positive; bring an energy and a realization the world is a wonderful place with an infinite number of possibilities.

Unhappy People will drain your energy and bring negativity; they will leave you depressed, disheartened and shroud the possibilities of this wonderful world in darkness.

Intuitively we know some version of this to be true and there is a wealth of research on this topic (a Google search will prove this out). As I was reviewing more credible research to validate my small study, I came across some data out of the Harvard Medical School entitled - Happiness Is 'Infectious' In Network of Friends: Collective -- Not Just Individual -- Phenomenon.

The summary: Happiness spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion, according to a study that looked at nearly 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years. When an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person's happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but his friends' friends, and his friends' friends' friends. The effect lasts for up to one year. Conversely, sadness does not spread through social networks as robustly as happiness. 

With this new data in hand I think it's now apparent that a Network of Happy Friends (NHF) is everything! In combination with the energy that comes with Happy People, you now can add trust, honesty, support, respect, love, kindness and non- judgment. How valuable! 

And as I look for those quotes that have survived the annals of time to corroborate my "research", it didn't take me long - 

Your Wealth is where your Friends are. 

 - Unknown

Admittedly this is the worst research study ever... but the conclusions are not. Just ask my friends.

Thank you to all of them.