As 2016 comes to a close I’ve been thinking about 2017 and what lies ahead. Wanting to be proactive, I’ve decided to focus attention on my pursuit of happiness in 2017. Will my efforts bring money, fame, fortune? I hope so, though I seek something far more valuable and attainable for my efforts – happiness itself.
Success brings nice holidays, fancy cars and a comfortable lifestyle. Sounds great. Question – is this how I want to remember, and be remembered for, in 2017? Well actually, no. Forget material things. I want something that lasts far longer i.e. happiness. Not the one off I’ve won a bet kind but the long lasting ‘it’s in what I do and how I do it‘ kind i.e. it becomes who I am.
I don’t want happiness to be something that I tick off once I’ve achieved it
I spent a few hours earlier this week thinking about the new year ahead and of what I want to do to ‘affect’ happiness in my life. One of the first questions that I asked myself was ‘why not write a bucket list?’ The answer is simple. I don’t want happiness to be something that I tick off once I’ve achieved it. Happiness is a continuum, if you choose it to be.
My Pursuit of Happiness in 2017
Here is my lineup of six ways to successfully achieve my pursuit of happiness in 2017;
1 – Respect
I’m ‘old fashioned’ and believe in the value of respect. In my experience one of the first things that can be lost in business is respect. Too many people forget the importance, and simplicity, of a ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Of all the things that meaningfully connects one human to another is respect. I enjoy seeing the look of surprise and gratitude when you hold the door open for someone or say thank you to the waiter at the restaurant.
2 – Be happy
To achieve happiness you have to be happy. I’m not talking about the Jim Carrey style happy, more about being aware that I have enough reasons to be happy e.g. having a family, being able to spend time with my friends and being on the dawn of a business venture / career that I’m really excited about.
I tell my coachees to believe that they don’t have to be the best at what they do, they only need to do their best
3 – Be grateful for what I have
I might not be the next Steve jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and that’s fine. I know I’m happier when I try to be less like Steve, Mark, or any one else for that matter. I’m me and I’m unique. Without ‘me’ I wouldn’t have my family or my business. I’ll be happier by being more mindful of what I actually have. It’s good to be looking to the future but not at the cost of missing the present.
4 – Smile more
I like to smile for two reasons. Firstly, it makes me feel good and secondly I get a real buzz from the response I get from others when I smile at them. It lifts their face and whole demeanour. Sometimes their own response catches them off guard as they jolt out from their deep thoughts. Smiling breaks down barriers and sends out signals that you’re ‘open’ and ‘welcoming’ of other people. Try it, it really works.
5 – Take care of my mind and body
I know how good I feel when I exercise regularly. Healthy body, healthy mind. It’s a cliche but it’s true. What I need to do is spend more time caring for the mind. The best way, that works for me, is to meditate. So my pursuit of happiness in 2017 will have a large dose of mental and body activity.
6 – Be the best I can be
The best for last. I tell my coachees to believe that they don’t have to be the best at what they do, they only need to do their best. It’s a successful formula. I don’t want to be like Richard Branson or Tim Cook. I want to be the best and most authentic Abdul Ghani that I can be. Being better today than I was yesterday makes me happy, really happy! I say to many of my friends I’m essentially a walking, talking continuous improvement project and I thoroughly enjoy it.
What I’ve learnt from 2016 is that whilst money is important it ought not to be the goal in itself. Having worked hard for a year I also realised that I wasn’t happy with ways of working that just didn’t make sense to me. I take great pride in delivering a high quality service for my customers, so much so that I’ve decided to set up my own business to show the world how I implement change and operational excellence into the workplace.
What are you looking forward to in 2017, a new job, promotion? What ever it is please do share your aspirations here in the comments section below?
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About the author
Abdul Ghani is founder and director at Exceed Excellence. Abdul has twenty year’s experience of hands on Lean implementation, project and change management. He is an improvement coach and an inspirational leader with multi-sector continuous/quality improvement expertise.
Abdul’s key strengths are seeing through complexity, identifying and delivering improvement actions and to quickly establish rapport and trust with stakeholders. Abdul has project managed and delivered improvement programmes and mentored / coached staff, at all levels, through major transformation programmes. Click here to get in touch.
About Exceed Excellence
Exceed Excellence works with organisations to improve operational excellence capability to deliver high quality, right cost and right time services / products for their customers. We achieve this using workshops, masterclasses and/or consultancy. Most importantly, we’ll work with you to improve the skills, productivity and capability of your most valuable resources – your people!
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