Growing up, there were two Broadway shows I'd never forget:
-ANNIE when I was 6-years-old.
-RENT when I was studying at UC Berkeley.
The backdrops were different — orphanages on one end, alleys on the other. But oddly enough, I realized they were about the same thing — whether you're Daddy Warbucks-rich or Angel-poor, we all endure the same question: what are we here for and what makes us happy?
So just imagine me, a green-to-the-world Cal student, watching the original RENT cast singing "Seasons of Love:"
"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?"
Ah, so that's how many minutes are in a year, I thought. It was an illuminating song at a time when the only thing I measured was the number of minutes until my next final exam.
Fast-forward to many years later, I am singing this song in my head because I'm measuring this past year. It was exactly a year ago when I woke up to this:
I had about two-and-a-half-hours of sleep from the night before and I sprang out of bed thinking, "*#!@&. Here we go."
The book Delivering Happiness - A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose was officially born.
Like any project you put your mind, heart and soul in — the DH team, Tony and I gave it our all. No one had ever launched a book before. No one knew what to expect. Things didn't feel real up until that point. But after that, they did.
We ran around the streets of Manhattan to make back-to-back [to back] interviews with media. If we had time, we'd run into a bookstore to see if we made it to a shelf or table [we didn’t see many, but later we heard stores, even amazon.com, ran out the first week!]. This was our routine for the next 10 days, until we started getting emails congratulating us on hitting #1 on various bestseller lists.
It felt like a dream.
With all that said, one thing happened to make it hit reality for the first time. We started hearing from people that have read the book — not just CEO's and managers [which we had expected, since it was marketed as a business book], but doctors and nurses, teachers and students, nonprofits and governmental workers, moms, pops and their kids — all following their passion of doing something they've always wanted to do. All of them telling us how they've been inspired to make a change – big or small – because of it.
A couple of months later, we set out on a 23-city, 3-month cross-country tour. During the time, the book began its translation into different languages around the world and reality set in even more. As the book got out, more stories came in — there was a global chord being struck that we didn’t expect. People — no matter their age, nationality, career or background — were asking, "How can I enact change in my life/company/organization?", while sharing stories of how they found meaning and happiness in life.
So on this 5 hundred 25 thousand 6 hundredth minute since the last — I wonder how everyone measures a year in the life [Would love to hear your ruler of measurement too…].
For me, this past one has had:
30 sunrises [outside the window while still working from the night before]
60 sunsets [that I could catch before it set]
300 cups of coffee/espresso
6000 miles on the road [18,000 miles if including flight]
It's the 35,000+ that we've met along the way and the 300,000+ copies of Delivering Happiness out there, in the hands of those filled with stories that inspire us every day.
We had no idea where the ride was going to take us, but it's because of you – our community – that has brought us here. And it's only because of you that makes us want to continue this humbling, wild and inspired ride.
Excuse us while we make a birthday cake geometrically sound enough to give a corner slice to every one that wants a piece [show of hands please]…
Since the launch of the Delivering Happiness book and now the company, we've had the honor of working alongside 350+ organizations across the globe to create happier, more profitable workplaces for their teams.
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