With a name like Delivering Happiness, people often assume we are always happy and upbeat. After all, we have been teaching organizations worldwide how to implement happiness as a business model using the science of happiness and positive psychology for over ten years. But happiness at DH is not joy and fluff. DH’s version of authentic happiness entails a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and purpose.
People often confuse happiness with pleasure, thinking these two are interchangeable. Pleasure is a short-lived feeling; it is extrinsic, caused by external forces. Think about the last time you bought a new outfit or enjoyed a nice meal, or shared a glass of bubbly with a friend. At the moment, you felt excited, joyful, and entertained. These feelings probably lasted for a few hours or maybe until the next day, but after the moment passed, the feelings faded. You experienced pleasure, not happiness. Intrinsic happiness comes from forming meaningful connections, a sense of community and belonging, and living an authentic life with purpose.
Sustainable, meaningful happiness isn’t about rainbows and unicorns. It’s our highs and lows, our strengths and weaknesses, our light and shadow. This form of happiness is grounded in purpose. No matter the chaos and challenges that are swirling around we muster up the strength to continue moving forward because we know we’re doing something bigger than ourselves. We live with a sense of higher purpose. This purpose are the things that get us out of bed in the morning. These are the things that put a fire in your belly that make you want to do more and be a better human.
We want to be happy; as humans, we are hardwired to seek happiness, but we are also awful at predicting what will make us happy. We seek out things that give us pleasure thinking it will make us happy, but the high of pleasure fades very quickly. Authentic happiness consists of the highs and lows. I know that seems crazy; how can the lowest time in life contribute to happiness? Think about this past year, 2020. The entire world was dealt an overwhelming amount of lows. A global pandemic, isolation, disconnection, and loss of life. As we reflect on these lows and discover what is missing, we focus on what matters the most: health, people, and life-humanity.
The future of work is happiness and humanity. This is evident in how consumers are making buying decisions moving into 2021. According to a Forbes article, 71% of customers say if they perceive a brand puts profits over people, they lose trust, and one-third of consumers will reevaluate what they value most. Another article states 64% of customers choose to buy from socially responsible brands.
Happiness and humanity are not limited to what consumers want, employees want this too. A Glassdoor survey discovered that 77% of the adults consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and 79% consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying. Furthermore, 73% of those surveyed said they would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values. These stats reinforce the DH philosophy that both customers and employees want to buy from and work for organizations that focus on people, purpose, and values.
Jenn said this over four years ago, but it is applicable now more than ever. Over the last year, there has been a lot of talk about adapting and pivoting. We’ve seen office spaces move to living rooms, and companies switch their products to meet demands. These adaptations were in response to a global crisis, a reaction to an unimaginable pandemic. 2020 has changed us all, both personal and professional. At the beginning of this crisis, we reacted swiftly to meet the challenges, but what now? As vaccines roll out throughout the world, a small light begins to appear at the end of this tunnel. So, how can organizations adapt and pivot thoughtfully and purposefully into the future? By focusing on what matters most: people, purpose, values, and humanity.