London is full of people bustling along the streets and speeding though underground passage ways. Everyone is so incredibly diverse, yet seemingly sharing what appears to be a collective mind built around speed.
Upon my arrival seven years ago, I had never experienced such a fast paced group environment of people! Soon, I noticed that I was moving just as fast – almost as if a dormant speed setting had suddenly been turned on.
This fast pace, believe it or not, is actually in pursuit of happiness and ironically, a reason we are having such a hard time finding it.
A good friend of mine, whom we’ll call Thomas in this article, seems to have it all.
He and I are old friends from university where we played football (soccer for you Americans!) together; he was a central striker and I was a right winger. As a dynamic duo, we led Plymouth University to victory.
After graduation, our lives took different paths.
Now he works hard and parties even harder! He spends his entire week bringing in deals and smashing targets. The high rise apartment in Canary Wharf, a few super model girlfriends, sports cars – everything a man would ever dream of having.
You would think he would have been completely and utterly happy, right?
But for the most part, he is incredibly unhappy. He would often confide in me over pints in some swanky bar, that he was actually depressed. “I’m just not happy Rob, my life has just become work, my job holds me in account for my lifestyle, and it rules me completely”.
Busy people like Thomas are career driven, focused people that are considered the most highly envied among us. But it is really unfortunate that a lot of these individuals are not always happy.
You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have a deeper reason for having it, you soon realize money doesn’t buy happiness.
Happiness can come no matter where you are or what stage your career maybe in. It’s there, waiting for you to embrace it. Measuring happiness and how it’s achieved could be argued that it’s up to the individual since happiness means so many different things to each person. But there is one ultimate universal truth; we each have the power right now to be happy, we just simply have to stop for a moment and reflect.
Here are two simple ways to help you maintain your happiness! (I’ve tested them for you!)
– Take 5: Every morning, take five minutes on the way to work to just breathe and be fully present. This gives your mind a restart and allows you to face the challenges of the day level-headed and calmly.
– Cultivate Gratitude: Once a week, sit down to do an exercise to cultivate gratitude. With pen and paper in hand, think about three of your best friends and below their names, write what it is that you love about them. Almost instantly you’ll be overcome with a warm fuzzy feeling… this is gratitude. It doesn’t just stop with friends; you can do the same with family, your pets, a hobby if you have one, your favorite band, or genre of music. The list is endless. Allow yourself for a moment to bask in that feeling of knowing just how lucky you are and that they’re sharing their life with you.
While having goals and aspiring to accomplish great things is important, it is also important to appreciate what you do have and be happy no matter where you are in your life.
Remember, the happier you are personally the happier all areas of you life (incl. business) will be!
Robert is a freelance journalist, writer and cultural commentator. Residing in London, you’ll likely find him at either one of the Tates, or hunched over his MacPro in Queens Park’s Costa. You can follow Robert on Twitter @FocusOnTheDay. Read more of Robert’s writing at Huffington Post UK, London Calling, and Tearmatt.