Happiness can be elusive, especially when actively sought. Many of us become entrepreneurs in order to find career satisfaction, professional freedom and financial success. Ultimately, we want to find personal happiness. Unfortunately, we do not always find the results we seek.
John Ruskin, a 19th Century English artist, art critic and philanthropist, stated his timeless recipe for happiness this way:
“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed. They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”
These qualities are appropriate for both work and for life!
The best path forward is to have the skills we need to accomplish our goals. If we are not prepared for and skilled at what we do, we become frustrated. Frustration can lead to improved preparation and more effort. Ultimately, complete lack of fitness results in failure.
Fitness can be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual – whatever is needed. We need to be “fit” as spouses, children and parents. If we are not a good “fit” for a job – even as a volunteer – we will not be happy about the outcome. And, neither will anyone else.
If we do not work hard at anything, we will not be successful. On the other hand, if we work too much, our lives will be severely limited. We can become burned out and unable to do our best. (I burned out twice while working on growing businesses in the corporate world. I do not recommend it.) Balance is needed in both work and play. Too much of anything can be – well – too much!
If we get honest, positive feedback on our efforts, we can easily generate the energy and enthusiasm to continue. We do not need to be the ultimate entrepreneur: fabulously wealthy and a household name. We do not need to have a perfect marriage or ideal children. We do not have to be a perfect Christian (as if such a thing were possible).
Our lives are richer when we are satisfied that our efforts are not in vain. Any level of success can take a while, so be sure to soak up any positive reinforcement along the way.
Are you happy? What role does work play in that happiness? What else contributes? Your relationships? Your community? Your faith?
Is there anything you need to change in order to be more fit? Have more balance between life and work? Generate honest, positive feedback?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend
The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC. Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton. Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.