Leadership Life

Work Hard, Be Happy

house-and-host-happy As I mentioned in my previous post, this week was going to be an exciting week.  House & Host launched and I made a quick trip to California to watch a project I have been working on for months come to life.  I wasn’t performing brain surgery or finding a cure for cancer.  But, I was a part of a fun, innovative, challenging, tiring, confusing, exciting initiative that reminded me of Julia Child Rules, lesson 6:  To Be Happy, Work Hard.

Here’s the deal.  No matter what work you do, it will be hard.  And stressful.  And at times you may feel like you are curing cancer and someone has to bring you back down to earth.  Or maybe you are actually trying to cure cancer.  And maybe you want to give up. (Though for the most part, Julia didn’t want to give up…she had a martini and moved on and never looked back!)  The plan didn’t work out as you wanted.  Someone quit.  Someone else just drives you crazy.  You went over budget.  You disappointed.  The end product wasn’t the perfection you had hoped.  All of these things are inevitable (in more than just our 9-to-5 life, might I add).  And for me, this week and the hours and days and nights leading up to this week, I knew those things would be inevitable.  I have had the privilege of knowing this firsthand one too many times in the last couple years. I would call myself pretty experienced in the “the plan didn’t work out as you thought” game.  And so I didn’t focus on the 85 things that would go wrong. I focused on working hard.  I focused on reminding myself I love what I do and I love this project.  I focused on having a little fun amidst chaos and exhaustion.  I focused on learning and growing and being humble.

And what happens when you do that?  You smile.  You receive joy during and after whatever you are working on is complete.  You laugh at the mistakes and you chalk them up as learning opportunities.  You enjoy people more during the process.  You realize that you have a choice.  A choice to work hard and be happy, or to work hard and by grumpy.  I chose the former.  And friends, I can say that 9.9 times out of 10 when you choose the former, your happiness will increase. And life will be savored.

And I don’t know about you, but I need all the happy I can get!  Who’s with me?

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