REDEFINE YOUR HAPPY
If you’re not reaching your goals, reconsider them – says Lisa Hassell, agency director of We Are Goodness
Lisa Hassell of We Are Goodness talks about adjusting her priorities
All my life, I’ve prided myself on being a glass-half-full kind of a person. I seem to have been born with an unwavering (and sometimes irritating) ability to put a positive spin on everything, from failed relationships to frustrated clients, and as a result have faced life head-on with a kind of naive optimism – in no small part because I also happen to be a single parent.
When I decided to launch a business in 2015, my friends and family expressed their concerns, knowing full well that my experience of such endeavours was limited. Yet I trusted my gut instinct and did it anyway, and doing so has meant some of the worst and also the best times of my life. Frequently measuring my sense of self-worth by how well I have managed to juggle family life with a career has unsurprisingly challenged some of my core beliefs around how I define happiness.
Last month, I stumbled across an article about Google X boss Mo Gawdat, whose ‘equation for happiness’ struck a chord with me. The formula expressed in his new book Solve For Happy is as follows: “Happiness is equal to or greater than the events in your life, minus expectations of how life should be.” This gave me food for thought. I realised that I had become so fixated on where I thought the business should be, that I had lost sight of everything we had already achieved. By comparing myself to those with a five- or even 10-year advantage, I had not only placed a huge weight of pressure on our shoulders, I was burning myself out trying to keep up with impossible goals.
Expecting to hit the ground running without any bumps in the road was unrealistic, yet I stubbornly believed it was possible. No surprise then that it came as a shock when reality hit. However, while accepting our limitations and playing to our strengths has not been an easy lesson to learn, admitting defeat has been a refreshing and rewarding exercise for everyone involved. By shelving some of our more ambitious plans and refocusing on the here and now, we have afforded ourselves the breathing space to be objective about what we hope to achieve. More importantly, we also now take the time to celebrate the smaller milestones with a real sense of achievement.
As Baz Luhrmann affirmed on Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen): “Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.” Has redefining your life goals helped you become happier? Tweet your thoughts to @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters