I’ve written quite a few posts about success in life and how to achieve both success and happiness. I was recently pointed out a video that well illustrates what success is all about. (Thanks Antti for the tip).
Here’s a link to the video!
It is 14½ minutes but if you want to avoid the bullshit, you can save over 5 minutes by skipping between 02:00 and 07:40.
The result is hardly a surprise to anyone.
People are more productive when they are able to do things they are good at.
To most people this seems to be irrelevant. People are only partially interested in what their strengths actually are. If this video made you want to increase your self-awareness, I suggest you to fill in the survey I presented on Day 15 of my project.
This will be the core of my project’s success.
After starting this project I’ve tried to follow this exact advice. I’ve concentrated more on what I feel comfortable and good at and less on the things that I find frustrating. And not only that, I’ve tried to encourage everyone around me to do the same.
This is what entrepreneurship is at its best. A group of people able to do what they like.
To commemorate the 42nd day of my project, I’m going to tell you the meaning of life. I’m going to skip the philosophical discussion and move straight into conclusions.
What is the reason for our existence?
- We’re here to help others. Nothing has a meaning unless it is shared with people. Helping others is the only way to do meaningful things. Anything and everything in the history of mankind can be discussed in terms of how it has helped other people.
- We’re here to maximize our happiness. Helping others is the key to generating mutual happiness. Every individual has a mission to primarily help themselves in being happy and secondarily help everyone around them.
- We’re here to find an equilibrium. In the bigger picture we’re here to make the world a better place for everybody. That means the meaning of life is not to keep growing exponentially. Happiness derived from exponential growth will eventually collapse.
Combining these thoughts, I have written my definition for the meaning of life as follows:
The meaning of life is to make yourself happy by making other people happy and in a way that the result is genuine, not temporary.
Who could disagree with any of this?
Why do people want money?
Peter and Lawrence from the 1999 film Office Space have the answer:
Lawrence: Well, what about you now? what would you do? (if you had a million dollars)
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter: I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well, you don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he’s broke, don’t do shit.
Johnny B. Truant uses the same example in one of his blog entries. It’s a great post that points out the fact that money is not what people want. People don’t want the money itself and the things money can buy don’t really make anyone happy. At least if people are being honest and true to themselves.
People have asked me why I want to make the million dollars
I have saved and gathered money my whole life. Never to this date has money meant this little to me. I consider the phone calls I had today with my teammates more valuable and rewarding than any sum of money.
By making a million I want people to see what truly is important in life. I want to show that giving more emphasis to people and their emotions you can achieve true happiness. And that happiness is greatly undervalued.
To commemorate the completion of our awesome business plan, people have decided to start celebrating The International Day of Awesomeness on March 10th.
Now, isn’t this just awesome?
What is even more awesome is that the team worked long hours to get the best possible result for this milestone.
Why is this project awesome?
I can tell you this. This project is not awesome because it will bring in huge amounts of money. It is awesome because of the people that are a part of it. As it says on the project website:
No one’s perfect, but everyone can be awesome.
Why do people want to be ordinary when they could be awesome for at least one day every year? My personal experience has shown that the more awesome things are the happier it makes me to be a part of them.
I don’t love my job but I still want to do it well
If that sounds like you, then this post is especially for you. One of my readers pointed me to an e-book Työn hyväksikäyttö (utilization of work) by Sampsa Kiianmaa. This book is about the purpose of life. How to find your own purpose and achieve happiness.
Most people consider work to be the most important part of their life. Seeking employment is seen as the ultimate challenge. People optimize their life and studies to make themselves best suited for getting a “great” job.
Now, think about what really counts in your life
Kiianmaa has realized the importance of happiness. What really makes you happy? How would you like to be remembered when you grow old? Who would really answer that they want to be remembered by their material possessions? Still that seems to be the one and only form of achievement in this rat race we call life.
How can I find my happiness?
You are happy when you can utilize your strengths in whatever you do. Kiianmaa links to a test you can take to determine the strengths that are behind your happiness. The test is called VIA Survey of Character Strengths. But a word of caution to all you busy people: taking the test takes over 30 minutes and you will need to register to the website to take it. After registration you will see plenty of tests but take the one I named here that has 240 questions.
And now what?
You will receive a result of your top #5 strengths. Think about them. Do you live your life for the things that make you happy?
And finally, I dare you to post your result here as a comment. I have to say that this test worked for me.