Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief

Featured Video, Leadership & Team Development, Video

Nº 187

In Tribute to Kate & Tony…

The past two weeks have been tough on many of us with two high profile suicide cases. I, personally had a tougher time with one over another. Though I choose to not question one’s decision to conclude their life, I will always question whether I/ we could have done anything to make them feel differently…

We have a certain way with our language. The words we choose to exercise and the meanings we load onto them bring upon power over us. In many occasions and I am not certain always with cognition, we have created and pushed upon each other certain very powerful concepts that are literally eating us alive. I genuinely feel the concepts of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ are two of the biggest…

Majority of us believe the only way to achieve success and/or to be perceived as ‘successful’ is to reach a certain level of income or status in life and that ‘happiness’ is an end. As a result, we make choices (consciously and unconsciously) accordingly.

We put ourselves into jobs we don’t necessarily care for. We push ourselves to engage with situations that don’t support our way of being or with people whose values we don’t align to… We literally force ourselves to work in ways and inside environments that take the joy out of our pure hearts. Most of us put on a work faces and/or leave a part of our personality, inner lives at home, when we go into office – every day. And by doing so, we literally undermine our need to be whole, to know (at all times) that ‘we’re enough’, as well as to share things that scare us without fear of recriminations.

Because when we try to suppress, we only end up amplifying our emotions and when we choose to disconnect (from self and others), we intoxicate our inner experiences.

In today’s video, Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist, Zen priest and the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history shares three key findings for what drives healthy, joyful and productive lives for us as human beings:

  1. Social connections: The more we are connected, the healthier we are, the happier we feel and we live longer.
  2. Quality of our connections: Being in (psychologically) unsafe environments and around lots of conflict is ‘not so good’ for our future states.
  3. Secure attachments: Protective and trust based relationships have a positive impact on both our bodies and our brains in the longer turn.

I firmly believe some of the most beautiful questions about our experience at work is yet to be asked and that we need a critical mass to start exercising optimism and start BEing different at work. I believe when we do, some of those conversations, experiences will serve as a catalyst to many of our inner experiences.

Success has nothing to do with our roles inside of a company or the make up of our cars; success is about our ability to live with intention, in line with our deepest values. 

Happiness is not an end, it is a means. It is also not an individual choice, it is an interconnected one. 

If you have a few minutes of reflection this week, please do ask yourself:

  • Could it be that we are truly taught all the wrong things about success and happiness?
  • Could it be that the way we bring these powerful concepts into our work lives is putting us in a loop hole?
  • If we were going to invest in our best selves, where would be put our energy, thoughts, and hearts?


  • 18 June 2018

Comments are closed.

You might also like reading: