Friday, July 31, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness


Every once in a while, we all experience something so wonderful that it becomes really hard not to share.

Well, for a while, I have been reading a most wonderful document. Yeah, it is really short (only 24 pages). It's quite a deep piece, trust you me.

It is a report by Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence. A note titled Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Following are excerpts from this document:

This note is designed to help you rise above your instincts and urges to begin a search for the life you were meant to live. Once you have abandoned a foolish quest for the ephemeral rewards of happiness, wealth and power, you can begin to look for your true calling on this earth – a Hero’s Journey. To do this, you must first learn to lose yourself.


The following are discussed:
  • Understanding the Difference between Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment
  • Pursuing Sensual Pleasures and Material Success for the Wrong Reasons
  • A Twisted Sense of Perspective: Misjudging the Present’s Impact on the Future
  • Sliding From Self Interest to Self Centeredness to Self Delusion
  • Losing Yourself in a Hero’s Journey
  • Spirituality: Losing Yourself Through a Connection with the Transcendental
  • Getting Started on Your Quest

A little deeper into the note, you find the following piece, that underscores our need for others.
Love: Losing Yourself in Relationship

Long-term studies of satisfaction and fulfillment show that relationships are critical to satisfaction and fulfillment. We live in relationship with others and we need to belong. We need others to complete us.

People who place a high priority in caring for others have more fulfilling lives. “There are few stronger predictors of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate and lifelong companionship with one’s best friend.” Long-term studies on aging show that a lack of true friends would be one’s biggest crisis later in life. People get depressed when they are alone too long. They revive when with others.

Much of your long-term satisfaction and fulfillment will come from a relatively small group of family members and friends with whom we create the memories of a lifetime. Developing such relationships takes time, energy and courage.

You start with small steps. Beginning a relationship simply requires a little curiosity about others. Relationships grow by give and take. You ask about the other person’s goals, affirm them, and offer to help in some way. (Starting with people who have compatible goals makes it easier to invest attention).

Then something magical happens. You actually become more interested in others than yourself. You forget your own problems. Horizons open. Perspective broadens.

Favors, attention and self disclosure lead to trust. Obligations and constraints add more structure and meaning to life. You learn that giving is more satisfying than getting. Over time, a web of healthy relationships blossoms into a support system. Then you develop a reputation for helping others, a fragile treasure. Extraordinary opportunities follow.

Consciously choosing who to invest in relationships with makes a difference. Want to be a better person? Surround yourself with good people. Close friends have the most positive effect on fulfillment (families have only an average effect). Develop relationships with all ages. Always have friends from three generations: the generation below to add freshness and energy, your generation for understanding and companionship, and a generation older for perspective and wisdom.


Download this report in full (24 pages, PDF 345KB) here.

I very strongly believe in learning and sharing useful information. This report is highly recommended.

Learn, share and achieve true Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment in your life.


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