Happiness is…in friendships

Happiness is…in friendships

by Marshall Goldsmith for BusinessWeek

If you want to acquire a sense of meaning and happiness, enlist a friend to assist you on a regular basis. All it takes is one phone call a day

In my work, the most frequent question I hear is: “What is the one quality that differentiates truly successful people from everyone else?” My answer is always the same: Successful people spend a large part of their lives engaging in activities that simultaneously provide meaning and happiness.

In other words, truly successful people have what I call mojo. The twin goals of meaning and happiness are what govern my operational definition: Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside. Our mojo is evident when the good feelings we have toward what we are doing come from inside us and are apparent for everyone else to see. There is no gap between the positive way we perceive ourselves_ã”and how we are perceived by others. Of course, the only person who can define meaning and happiness for you is you, and my goal in writing my most recent book, Mojo, is to help people define and achieve it.

An exercise you can do easily is to ask yourself after a typical activity that you do every day: How happy was I? How meaningful was it? Rate your answers on a 1-to-10 scale. There are no right or wrong answers, and this is not a one-time test. This is something you can do for a few days, and you will find that patterns emerge. You’ll soon see areas where you have strong mojo and where you have weak mojo. Once you see the patterns, you may ask yourself: “Is this really what I should be doing?”

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