I just learned that today is International Day of Happiness. A few blog posts ago, I talked about living a life of meaning rather than simply a life of happiness. To follow up on that, I don’t think I specifically mentioned that having a purposeful, meaningful life is often one with great joy and happiness.
This brings me to a conversation I recently had with my dear friend and old roommate, Josh. Josh posits that we basically know in our hearts who we are and what we want but we often take the winding, twisted path to get there. So where is there? Josh worked as a TV writer for many years. He learned how to craft an excellent script in perfect formatting, but always found himself lacking interest and concentration in the final product. He found great affinity for stocks, business, baseball stats, music, and numbers. He moved slowly. At times, he would argue that his research kept him inert. I saw it: when we were roommates, he would kick and scream at the thought of writing something with his partner. Then, he’d eventually stay up all night and do it, produce something great, and feel unfulfilled. One day, something clicked for him. He had hoarded files of articles about films and TV shows, people, media companies, and saw that there wasn’t much synchronicity among all of these entities. He realized that there was a need in the marketplace for a new kind of product and it hit him! He would fulfill this lack!
So it’s now been a couple of years and Josh’s company is gaining momentum. Josh has taken hundreds of meetings, become a virtual statistician, and seems more satisfied than ever. Is he happy? I’d say that he seems fulfilled. He has frustrations and bad days, but on the whole, he seems to really care about what he’s doing. I love hearing the enthusiasm in his voice when he reflects about the entertainment industry from a business perspective! He’s much more animated now when talking about scripts from the business point of view rather than the entertainment side.
How did Josh get HERE? While hearing his story for the last 8 or so years, I wonder if he would have found true delight if he had not started his own company. He thinks he’d be continually searching for how to get THERE when the answer was to really be here. He slowed down to speed up. He took stock of what his true passions are, was sharp to current trends in the marketplace, and gave careful consideration to starting a business. Each day, he is HERE with a good eye on what’s THERE.
His daily focus, attention, and intention is to make decisions that serve him and his company. He’s become excellent at taking stock at what actually is rather than how it “should” be or worse, how it “could” be. Josh is a true intellect, someone who reminds me to stay HERE rather than waiting until I’m THERE. F. Scott Fitzgerald says it best and describes Josh and his philosophy to a tee.
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
So happy International Day of Happiness, Josh and my other readers. May today feel fulfilling as much as happy.
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