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Value Creation Blog

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Posted by Josh Patrick

Positive outlook resized 600No, this is not a sarcastic question; it’s a real one.  If you’re not having fun, why not?  Is it because you don’t like your job?  Is it because the government is doing stuff you don’t like?  Is it because your health isn’t what you would like? 

You get the idea.  There are lots of reasons that you might not be having fun now.  Here’s my question, “If you’re not having fun, why not?”  Really, this is a serious question and it’s something you probably have more control over than you thought.

This question fits in the what matters most category.

There’s a saying that we’re not having a rehearsal for life, this is the real deal.  You and I are very lucky people.  We live in a country where choice is easy.  All we have to do is decide what we want and then have a plan on how to be where we want.

If you live in the United States, there is no excuse.  You might have to go a little outside your comfort zone, but there is no excuse.  If you’re unhappy with your job then get a new one.  If you think it’s something from the outside like the government that’s ruining your day, consider stop watching the news.  I do this on a regular basis; I just go on news strike.  When I do so I always find my outlook on life improves.  You can trust that if something really important happens someone will tell you.

Happiness is often looking at the other side of failure.

I write for the New York Times.  People have the ability to comment on what I write about.  Sometimes the comments are really stupid and sometimes a little on the mean side.  Those comments are about 5% of the total.  I can choose to focus on those negative comments and be like most of the world or I can do my best to focus on 95% of the comments that are valuable and move the conversation forward.

How about you?  Do you focus on the two or three people in your life that make things difficult or do you focus on the hundreds that add value to your life?  I know that many I work with focus on the few and forget about the many. 

It’s human nature to focus on the negative.

Behavioral economics tells us that we try to avoid loss and not move towards gain.  I think it not only is a natural headset, but a habit.  Habits are hard things to change.  You may have made a New Year’s resolution or two in your life, you may have had the best of intentions when you started, and you have may broken those well-intentioned changes by February.

It’s not that you didn’t want to really make the change, it’s that you have developed habits that are hard to change.  I believe happiness is a habit as well as a natural outlook on life.  If you’re not happy then put yourself in a situation where you can be happy.  Stop hanging out with people who complain all of the time.  Find people who look on the bright side and find ways to hang out with these people.

A lot of who we are depends on what we do and whom we do it with.  I really think it’s about saying no to negative people and yes to positive ones.  I also know that you’re going to be challenged by this.  You’ve spent a lifetime building the habits you have.  Now I’m asking you to think about using a different strategy:  Start small and think about the road ahead.  It’s a good way to move to a better place and life.  Isn’t that where we all want to be?

Speaking of habits and hanging out with the right people, if you hire for your company you have a big influence over who works with you.  We’ve written a special report about hiring for unique abilities.  You can get this report, by clicking on the button below.  This can be your first step towards surrounding yourself with people who have a positive outlook on life.


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Topics: cultural change, mission vision values and goals, value creation

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