The case for not deferring happiness - Mark MacLeod

September 25, 2023 - Mark MacLeod

The case for not deferring happiness

When is the last time you were truly “happy”?

When was the last time you experienced real “joy”?

I asked one of my CEOs this recently. He talked about the day he got married and when his kids were born.

Both of these milestones were a LONG time ago.

Entrepreneurship involves sacrifice. But, the kinds of CEOs I work with are at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy. They are fully self actualized but somehow don’t prioritize happiness.

They run established companies. They have assistants. They have wealth. They can think of things then have their teams make them happen.

They are deeply intentional with their businesses. But, not with their lives.

What is the point of all this sacrifice if you are not happy?

Happiness makes life worth living.

I actually think it is the point of life. When you are happy, you will make others happy. You will naturally be of service to others. This is a virtuous cycle.

What is happiness?

Happiness is not ecstasy. Not excess. It’s not getting drunk. It’s not a great meal.

It’s not raising more money or shipping a product. It’s not even the sale of your business.

In fact, it’s not anything external. It is inside you.

It is being here right now and needing nothing. Pure contentment.

When you are in this place, life is great! Things flow.

From this place, everything is easier, including building your company.

This is the funny thing. Most CEOs postpone happiness in order to build their business. But they can build better, more valuable businesses if they make happiness a priority.

When I ask my CEOs to start solving for happiness they feel guilt. It feels indulgent. They worry that they are not setting the right example for their team.

I will tell you what I tell them: Just try it. Make some small changes where the goal is happiness. See what happens. See how it feels.

Does it actually give you more energy for your business? I am guessing it does.

Photo by Stan B on Unsplash

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