“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This line from the Declaration of Independence has always stood out to me, and when I saw it again on the Fourth of July, it was no different. This famous line explicitly portrays a message that has been a constant in this newsletter from the beginning: it is everyone’s right and obligation to pursue happiness.
I work to live, never the other way around.
Now, that said, I work hard, and I take pride in my work. I’m generally the first one into my office in the morning, and the last to leave in the evening. I spend my fair share of Sunday mornings in my office trying to catch up. The spare three-day weekend visiting one of my daughters aside, I couldn’t tell you the last time I took an actual vacation. And what’s more, even with all that, I enjoy my work: getting to help people that I’ve built relationships with over the past 30-plus years has proven to be an amazingly fulfilling career.
But, I put those hours and that effort in for one simple reason: to take care of my family. To make sure that my children were able to grow up and never want for anything. To make sure that I will be able to walk out the doors of my office one day (hopefully in the not too distant future) and retire happily. Everything I do, and everything I’ve done, is to that end. I left the safety of a big recruiting company 21 years ago and started out on my own, so that I could pursue that happiness for myself and my family.
It hasn’t been easy, and it hasn’t always worked, but the goal has always been happiness and a comfortable standard of living, outside of the office, for myself and my children. So, I’ve done what had to be done to achieve it. I’ve taken the risks and put in the work to fulfill my own Pursuit of Happiness.
As always, I encourage each and every one of you to look in the mirror and give your Pursuit of Happiness some thought. What motivates you? What is your happiness that you’re trying to pursue? What do you need to do to reach it?
For instance, if you’re a Corrugator Supervisor now that wants to be a Plant Manager someday, because you feel that it will give you the validation, and the ability to give your children anything and everything they ask for and need, what do you need to do to reach that goal?
What classes can you take to learn the management and business skills you’ll need?
Is your current management aware of your aspirations? How can they help?
Are there other parts of the facility that you can become familiar with and cross-train into?
Who can you network with within your company to put yourself in the best possible position?
Bottom line, while the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right, no one is going to do it for you. You have to speak up for yourself, and take the steps necessary to achieve your goal.
If you’re happy where you are, and your current situation fulfills you and your pursuit of happiness, that’s fantastic! If your aspirations are higher, or just different, from your current situation, how will you achieve your goals?