If you want to be happy, build happy things into your life
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Just like Moodnudges, Google started life in a California garage. Theirs was in Menlo Park – just down the road from Stanford University where I’m writing this post – while ours is in Redwood City, about five miles from here.
However, while we still have just the two desks in our space (please give us a break though, we’ve only been up and running for a couple of months after all) Google no longer fits in a garage.
In fact since its birth in 1996 it now employs around 50,000 people worldwide; that’s a whole lot of Googlers.
When an organisation is this large, how does it make sure that its culture – the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that define its nature – is lived and breathed by its people? One very good way of doing so is to provide staff members with a simple set of principles. In Google’s case, they can be found in the form of “Ten things we know to be true”.
Writing a philosophy for an enormous organisation feels as if it would be a tough task. Shouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to develop something which would apply to an individual person?
I wonder, therefore, if you know what your own guiding principles are? I also wonder if you have a policy of living your life in a way which ought to make you happier?
It seems an obvious thing to do, doesn’t it? Almost certainly you want to be happy (or happier). Are you therefore “living this goal” every day? Or are you at least now and then setting yourself up to fail? I think I’ve been guilty of this in the past. When I’ve felt low at the end of a day, I’ve looked back over what I’ve thought, said and done – and in retrospect, I was doing myself no favours.
Rather than doing things that might have helped me feel better, I slipped into a pattern of feelbad activities: shutting myself away, getting no exercise, doing none of the activities I know I enjoy, feeling sorry for myself. If I was Google I’d have gone out of business.
I wonder if you might have time today (or soon) to put a little thought into developing some simple happiness routines, and a way of reminding yourself to follow them.
What things could you, and should you, build into your everyday routines in order to become a happier camper?
What if a better mood for you involved nothing more elaborate than the development of some happy habits?