When I was younger, I always assumed that happiness lay in nicer things, bigger experiences and a more ‘successful’ life.
Now that I am well into the middle-third of my life, I realise that there is happiness in a productive day, a long morning walk, a beautiful song, an interesting conversation, or knowing that I have made a positive difference to someone else’s day.
I will never give up striving for the rewards that hard work brings, but I realise that I am (and always have been) surrounded by happiness - all I have to do is connect with it…
Looking back, there were a few key moments in my decision to leave my corporate life behind, and one of them - the purchase of a new WiFi router - bought home the point that 'nicer things' rarely deliver any long-term happiness.
I purchased that new, shiny, 'fruit-based' WiFi router because I thought I would get some sort of happy feeling, when all I was actually doing was wasting money on something that was no better than the perfectly good router it was going to replace, and when that realisation hit home - that I had reached the point where I was throwing away money in a vain attempt to make myself happier - I knew that I needed to leave that life behind.
These days, in the growth phase of my business, money is pretty tight, and the whole family is making do with things that are past their best, but we are absolutely, definitely, 100% happier.
I do think that the decades-old model, where we chase financial success in the hope that it will somehow make us happier is on it's way out, and will ultimately be replaced by the realisation that having a purpose, doing work that matters to ourselves and others, and enjoying the beauty of living in the present moment are the real routes to happiness...