The Road to Happiness

In my last project at McKinsey, I was so exhausted with the late nights that I felt like I was dying.

One weekend, over dinner, I met this brilliant entrepreneur introduced to me by a Wharton classmate. This guy had founded a company and later hired his Harvard classmate to run.

So I asked him what his worklife was like. He said, “I do two calls a week, two hours each, to get a status update on the company.”

I couldn’t believe it – so I clarified, “You work only 4 hrs a week? What do you do the rest of the time?”

He said, “Yeah, the rest of the time, I just ideate.’

I was working 16 hr days and at that moment, I envied him more than I have ever envied in my life. That day, I wanted nothing in the world more than being an entrepreneur.

And today, I am an entrepreneur. Admittedly, I don’t work 4 hrs a week – I do much longer hours but no late nights and I control my time. In short, whatever I craved for that evening in 2009, I have achieved it.

But do I feel thrilled about it? Or grateful? Nope – I take it for granted.

When it comes to seeking happiness, humans are running on a treadmill. In fact, it even called that – a “hedonic treadmill.”

No matter how good a thing happens to us, we get accustomed to it. Seeking more is not the road to happiness – realizing that we already have what we need to be happy, is the answer.

It may not be a pleasant answer, but some truths in life are like that.

– Rajan

Similar Posts