My girls had an Arts Festival and talent show at school one year. Lenay placed 1st & 2nd for her art in her age and grade category. Monet placed 2nd and 3rd for her art. The girls told me some kids had received, “horrible,” hand-written on their ribbons. I told them that that could not be true.
Apparently, one of the young girls who received the horrible placement ribbon, started to cry over her status. I saw the horrible placement ribbons on several art pieces, written in cursive; they actually read “honorable mentions”.
Sometimes you perceive a horrible placement for a challenge in your life. This perception keeps you from trying things that you would otherwise attempt. For example, you want to model but you are not the height of a runway model. You want your degree in business administration but plan to settle for a management degree because you have poor math skills. Perhaps, you want to become a psychologist but there are no available psychology programs in your area. Do you just give up because you are in, what you believe to be, a horrible placement? Happiness comes from doing what you love and what motivates you (Anderson, 2004). To experience happiness, you deserve to have a career or hobby that inspires you, within the confines of morality, of course. Turn your horrible placement into an honorable mention. Decide to improve your situation by viewing and perceiving your situation differently.
Reference *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
Anderson, N. (2004). Work with passion: How to do what you love for a living. Novato, CA: New world Library.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a young client from Bhutan, which is a small country in the Himalayan mountains bordering India and China. In Bhutan the government measures prosperity- not through the GDP (gross domestic product) like most of the world, but through GNP: Gross National Happiness. 33 indicators which are classified under 9 main domains, are used to come up with a single number which measures the peoples’ gross national happiness. Data is gathered through questionnaires. These domains are: psychological wellbeing, use of time, health, cultural diversity, education, good governance, ecological balance, community vitality and living standards. To sum it up, a combination of these factors measures life satisfaction. Each year the government, non-governmental organizations and businesses strive to increase the measure of a good life, through policy changes and new initiatives. One such simple initiative is a common road sign seen on the many beautiful mountainous roads – no it’s not about speed limit but rather: “life is a journey……complete it!”
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the GNP index in Bhutan started dropping sharply in 1999 – the year when TV was first introduced in this country. More recently, the use of technologies such as smart phones and computers has also been linked to a drop in the national happiness index. People who for centuries followed traditional, collectivist and spiritual Buddhist values (such as nurturing real relationships, modeling respect, and actively practicing patience and gratitude) were now plugged in like the rest of the world – to influences that very often degrade the above mentioned core values. The result has been people reprogramming themselves to needing instant gratification and stimulation, leading to a state of being that is not in harmony with nature, but rather disconnected from it.
The 9 domains used to measure happiness in Bhutan remind me of positive psychologist Martin Seligman’s model of wellbeing: PERMA. His five factors for happiness were positive emotions, engagement in life, relationships that are authentic, meaning in life, and accomplishment. If we have a balance of these going on in our lives, then chances are we will be happier. My client wholeheartedly embraces this. After finishing grad school he plans to return to Bhutan (along with a high percentage of his peers), even though salaries are considerably lower there. Why? Simply because psychological wellbeing is more valuable than material wealth. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
Naguib Gouda had been working in financial services while at the same time volunteering for non-profits on the side. But, as he told Career Buzz listeners (Dec. 10, 2014), “what I was doing was not enough.” Then, 12 years ago when his daughter was six months old, Naguib said, “she gave me courage to make that career change” into meaningful work in the non-profit sector. How?
Naguib shared this valuable perspective: “If someday in the future she comes to me and says, ‘Hey dad, I’m not happy doing what I’m doing. What should I do?’ I could be the bitter old man who says, ‘don’t make the same mistake that I did.’ Or I could lead by example, and tell her that’s what I did when she was six months old and it worked, and it’s been fantastic.” Twelve years ago Naguib switched to the not-for-profit sector where he’s been in leadership positions ever since, and loving it, now president of Career Edge.
Hear the whole interview (Naguib’s story at 11:30) also featuring Syndey Helland of Career Edge and coach/author Karen Wright. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA