Now is the time…the time to look back over the last year and evaluate our successes and failures. The purpose of this exercise, of course, is to set goals or “resolutions” for the coming year.
I recently read a book called Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com. It is a business book describing a new age in corporate leadership. I happened to pick up this book because I was looking for something to read, and it was sitting on my coffee table. I’m not clear how the book landed on my coffee table.
Tony Hsieh and his team, over a 10 year period, intuitively evolved “happiness” as the business model for Zappos.com. WOW, happiness…not profits? Zappos.com hit over $ 1 Billion in gross merchandise sales in less than 10 years. It seems that profits are the welcome byproduct of a “value based” leadership team.
The turning point from chasing profits to chasing passion, for Tony, lie with the buyout of his company LinkExchange. Tony gave up approximately $ 8 million he was to be paid had he continued for 12 months in his executive role with LinkExchange after the buyout. “…I went to the office, sent my good-buy e-mail to (Microsoft), and walked out the door. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, but I knew what I wasn’t going to do. I wasn’t going to sit around letting my life and the world pass me by.” “I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.” Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness.
Tony and his team drive Zappos.com based on their defined set of core values. They hire and fire associates based on these values, not on job performance. They also place customer and employee happiness above the “bottom line”.
“Ok…so what does this have to do with New Year’s Resolutions?”
If the byproduct of a company driven by core values is profits, maybe the byproduct of a life driven by core values is self actualization; or the achieving of one’s full potential. That (achieving one’s full potential) is the reason you make a New Year’s Resolution…Right?
In 2011 I am not making resolutions. I am defining my core values based on what it will take for me to enjoy life. Living my life in joy and happiness may seem like a gluttonous way to walk through this world, however, I am adopting the Aristotelean concept, eudemonia, that the goal of life is happiness, to be achieved through reaching one’s full potential as opposed to through the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. (The Thinkers Thesaurus)
In order to realize my core values, I went on a journey; an exploration of the mind, body, & spirit. Following is the result of my pilgrimage…
- Keep life simple and close to nature
- Exemplify whole health through the mind, body, spirit connection
- Face my demons and welcome opportunities for personal growth
- Be adventurous, creative, and open minded
- Cultivate beauty and fun
- Love passionately
- Build open and honest relationships through compassionate communication
- Embrace change
- Live and speak my personal truth
- Be humble
I have found that the form of happiness achieved from reaching a “goal” is short-lived. No sooner are you patting yourself on the back; acknowledging your power, than you are feeling restless; needing to “find your purpose” and climb another mountain. While living within the framework of a set of core values I am living my desirable quality of life. This quality of life shapes a happiness that is dense and rooted. It is based on what I intuitively know about myself and what will guide me into living at my full potential every moment of every day.
Happy New Year!
- The Zappos Family Values: Just Do It! Now! (thecraftipreneur.wordpress.com)
- Delivering Happiness ‘Cheer Leader’: I Make Less Money, But I’m ‘Infinitely Happier’ (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)
- In Company of Visionary Friends: Tony Hsieh (creatingblueoceans.com)