The OWL Despatch

Why are you happy?

Many years ago, my manager, a very wise man, asked me a question: “Why are you happy?” 

It seemed like a simple question. I quickly realised that the question packs a punch. Try asking yourself that question and wait for a while for the answers to emerge.  It always had deep answers whenever I was willing to be patient for answers to emerge. 

That question and my answers to that question over the years kept rushing back as I read the piece titled “Wealthy, successful and miserable“. Written by an alumnus of Harvard Business School, the piece offers pointers from the lives and times of classmates, after attending the 15th class reunion.  Amongst other things, the author finds that classmates who had a trying first few years seemed to have done very well later on in life.  Has that been your experience as well? In any case, I would invite you to give it a read.

If you were shaking your head stating that you are ‘familiar’ with that line of thought expressed in the previous article, please read the next one. In my line of work, corporate leaders who seek a ‘new’ solution (vis-a-vis an ‘effective’ solution) by default, is a large percentage.  Adam Grant writes,”Insights don’t have to be counter intuitive, but even a small element of wonder can fuel curiosity. One way to make obvious results more intriguing is to compare them with alternative effects.” For those of you in the business of orchestrating change, it holds a few tips.

There are two other pieces. One that makes the case for reading fiction to conjure alternate realities. And another that is a practical way to help you get better with saving time and getting more productive. Useful stuff. 

I reserved a piece titled “The beautiful savagery of perfection” for the last.   It resonated with me in a number of ways. There is a particular line that will stay with me for a while. “Perfection arrives briefly, for an innings, a Messi gallop, the duration of a balance beam routine, Michael Phelps taking a turn, just long enough to tell you it exists and short enough to remind you it can’t be held.” Sport helps you see things with awesome clarity. 

And when I watch a champion striker get the ball to magically find the feet of a teammate or when I see ordinary people pick themselves up and fight on, I realise that I don’t have to look far to find happiness. It is wrapped in the mundane ordinariness of meaningful everyday effort. Like putting together this edition for you. 

Image credits Pixabay

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