Control

Happiness and control are intrinsically linked, but how does this knowledge play out in the business world? Does this mean that if your career is dependant on other people, the lack of control over your job will make you unhappy?

Some careers are especially dependant on external influences. Actors rely on other people to decide whether they are successful in an audition. They let others pick their life path – as opposed to the director in charge of the choosing. Who is happier in this scenario? Has the actor handed the control of their career path to someone else? On the flip side, if they get that role, the joy can be overwhelming as they have now been given that control back.

What about a CEO who is given the opportunity to grow their company rapidly, but to do so they must delegate key roles to other staff? Will that CEO be giving up some of their happiness too? If this decision has been forced on them – maybe they have been told to do something by an investor – then that in itself means control has been taken away from them. However, if they interpret the situation as if it was their choice, nothing changes.

The same is true for the actor. They can accept that a director’s decision is out of their control, or that God or the universe decided the part wasn’t for them.

This is also the case for the musician. If they love playing the piano, it is a joy because it’s their choice when they want to play it. But, if they are made to play the piano by their parents or in a club they dislike, then they hate it. They are, of course, still playing the piano, but their perception of who is in control is different.

The knowledge that we can only control ourselves and our attitudes can be applied to any career. It is possible to change your perception of what control is. If you are disappointed that something didn’t work out, you can justify it in your mind that it was never meant to be. Sometimes lowering your expectations. or changing them, will make you see it differently. In this, you take the control back, and with it the proportional happiness.”

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