“Should I quit my job, Should I marry this girl, My dad’s answer to such life changing questions would inevitably be.
“Do it, if it will make you happy and I will support you.”
And while that unconditional support was stolen away from me last July, I still am left with a mantra to evaluate my life choices. Will it make me happy?
But What really is happiness?
So like a true millennial, I searched for happiness on amazon, and found over 3000 titles with advice on the 7 habits, 9 choices, 10 steps, 12 secrets and 14,000 thoughts that would bring me happiness. It turns out that for once, same-day delivery was not gonna cut it.
An equation that a friend shared with me is Happiness = Reality – Expectations
We can either change our reality or lower our expectation.
What were your expectations when you walked into huntsman 600 days ago, “A dream job?Maybe love and friendship or perhaps we all just needed the license to dream big again?”
Or the expectations of a partner who said, “Sure go live 5000 miles away and follow your dreams, we will figure this out.”
Or the expectation that at 4 am you will take your drunk roommate home.
These are the expectations that we should care about and thus we try and improve our realities in search for happiness.
Look around you, In 2 days, we will be alums of the Best business school in the world. Our realities couldn’t be better.
And sure, Friday’s will be working again and a certain $200K loan will be due soon.
But whether you are a vet who served internationally or an international student who left home for the first time, the father to two beautiful daughters or swiping right on tinder as I speak, you can’t deny that for once in our lives we have the opportunity to look beyond our own reality.
We can choose to lead with empathy and passion or succumb to goals and deadlines.
We can press for progress on diversity and inclusion or let it remain a small group dinner discussion.
We can be the friend who stands by you when your world falls apart or we can be just another addition to the network.
We can redefine the happiness equation to add another factor. The happiness of others around us.
There is no word in the English language for finding happiness in someone else happiness but that is what the class of 2018 can be about.”