Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn has posted Five keys to happiness that he learned from his mentor and happiness expert Ray Chambers:

1. Live in the moment

2. It’s better to be loving than to be right

3. Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional

4. Be grateful for at least one thing every day

5. Help others every chance you get

It’s a great list to read and be inspired to improve behaviour. Being grateful for something every day is one thing I can get better at immediately.

I want to think about three of them in a work context though as it seems to me there is a trade off between getting stuff done on the one hand and living in the moment, being loving rather than right, and helping others all the time on the other. It seems to me that in these three areas (1, 2, and 5 in the list above) we should be striving for the right balance, and the thing to do is assess where you are at the moment and whether or not we should do more of them.

  • Possible even simpler approach. Read “Trustee from the Toolroom” by Neville Shute, because context is important. If you can’t find the time, or avoid reading books published more than 10 years ago, here’s summary: just be content with what you have.

  • 🙂 I was born with a relentless drive fur self improvement…

  • Maury Shenk

    I believe that suggesting that there is a trade-off between getting things done and living in the moment misses the point of the advice (which really is the key to contented existence). This advice to be present in the moment (which is the essence of Buddhism and similar philosophies) means that we should not bring unnecessary external influences (past, future, attached emotions, etc) to dealing with what is in front of us. Someone who can do this is much more effective in their life. If is not a trade-off. The other 4 points somewhat flow from this first one.

  • Interesting. I can see where you’re coming from, but on a practical basis I make choices every day between answering requests for help from people I barely know and doing things that aren’t fun but need to be done, life hustling for money.

  • Maury Shenk

    Fair enough. For the ‘Help others every chance you get’ advice, there does seem to be a trade-off. I was more focused on ‘Live in the moment’. I do think the former can also be reconceptualised in terms of Buddhist ‘right living’ in a way that does not involve a practical trade-off in terms of lost opportunity, but it certainly involves a balance.

  • Yes. One answer would be to choose a vocation where fewer or no trade offs are required.