What entrepreneurs can teach us about happiness

Finding your own compass can be key to happiness in life (pic courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici)

Finding your own compass can be key to happiness in life (pic courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici)

Is happiness about following your own way in life? A thought-provoking article by Luke Johnson in the FT suggests it is. If so, then people seeking their purpose and potential in life could learn a lot from entrepreneurs.

People who choose to run their own businesses aren’t just doing it for the money – though that can be a benefit. They’re doing it to make their own choices in life, and to be in charge of their own destiny.

Even though the first years of being an entrepreneur can be tough – financially and personally – running their own show is preferable to being given orders by someone else. They know the link between reward and success, and they work hard to achieve what they really want. They get where they are through their own efforts, rather than jumping through hoops to impress a boss they don’t like to gain a promotion they may not particularly want. Even when they achieve higher status at work, this can bring additional pressures to impress a new boss, who may end up stealing their ideas and leaving the person feeling lost, frustrated and wondering what life is really all about.

If that’s how we’re feeling in life, then perhaps entrepreneurs have a lot to teach us. The key point is that to lead a fulfilling life we need purpose.

If you seek approval and permission from other people then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be happy in life, as you’ll be trying to please others all the time. Entrepreneurs build businesses to meet other people’s needs, but they don’t lose sight of their own vision. They pursue what they’re passionate about, rather than going along with what others demand of them.

The article reports that entrepreneurs are twice as happy as the average PAYE worker, possibly because they make their own choices. Yes, entrepreneurs have those nail-biting moments of when the next contract or piece of work will come in. But, as they’re pursuing their dream and living their passion, they relish the ups and downs of life, rather than feeling victims of them.

Having a sense of purpose is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It gives us a compass: we know which way we’re heading each day. If you don’t know which direction you’re headed in, then you could easily get lost along the way. Knowing where you stand with your north, south, east or west can help you make choices of where to move to next. It can leave you a whole lot happier than feeling you’re left with map in hand, not knowing where to go.

If you’d like help in identifying your true potential and knowing how to navigate your life towards your passion and purpose, email davanticounselling@gmail.com or call 07956 823501.

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