Yesterday I read that Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) co-created a company and named Jenn Lim as the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness. Their mission is to “inspire happiness in work, community, and everyday life” and the company is helping to communicate the Zappos model that created an effective (and happy) company culture.
She’s not the only one with this title or idea. Others titles like Chief Happiness Officers are out there. Academics are teaching students and companies like AOL, Facebook, and Adobe — how to find and export joy. Books, articles, classes and information on happiness are increasing in popularity. Philosophies and approaches like Authentic Happiness and Positive Psychology are starting to make inroads into corporate programs.
Studies show that happiness increases productivity, which improves profits. And yet other statistics show consistently that by far the majority of us are not happy or engaged in our work. In fact there are less than 25% that are engaged in our work.
There’s proof that giving makes us happier than receiving. Couple that idea with creating something in the world that you’re passionate about, that utilizes your skills and strengths and putting it out there – and you could just have found a personal happiness jackpot.
The question is: What are you doing in your work today that combines your skills and talents with what you really love?
I met someone else recently who’s a fantastic illustration of this. In my brief interaction with him I learned that he was trained as a epidemiologist, teaches at Harvard and conducts research that has focused on a variety of infectious diseases from malaria to HIV to Lyme disease. He was in town for a meeting with Google. “Why”, I asked. Because he’s been creating an app called Healthmap in partnership with them. It tracks the global outbreak of infectious diseases. As my curiosity piqued I found out that he’d worked on developing this app from not only a medical or research perspective but technological and business as well. I wondered out-loud if this was a new trend for the professorial folks out there and he said “nope, there are a few, not many but I love it.”
John is a great example of combining what he loves with his skills and talents and finding a way to put it out in the world. And in this case he has global health map app to prove it.
I was inspired by his story and his joyful energy when he shared it. I told him I’d share it with others. Perhaps my little way of delivering happiness….at least for today.
This week’s challenge: Find a project or idea that combines your skills with what you really love – and deliver it in your workplace. What have you been wanting and waiting to do?