Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Ted Leonsis' Secrets to Happiness: #4
Gratitude: This is one of my favorites. My philosophy is eerily similar to his, so that’s my bias as I write this review. Though I’ve never met Ted, I do confess I’m connected to him on Facebook, with thousands of others. He posits that gratitude for what people have and empathy for others is critical for happiness. And because I actually teach this, I say, “Right on, Ted.” Here’s how he puts it so well and simply: “To me, empathy, gratitude, giving back to society, and having a higher calling are all part of a continuum.” And he calls empathy a “super ingredient.” If you look at the writing of well respected writers and speakers like Marshall Goldsmith, Chip Conley, Dan Pink, and Daniel Goleman, you’ll find this word, empathy, emerge regularly and vigorously as the key ingredient of truly happy people. As an example of a happy person, Ted uses Alex Ovechkin, whom he describes as “the ultimate team player….he makes players around him better….he walks into a room with happiness.” No wonder the guy makes $100 million! Or, is it because he makes the big salary that he’s so happy? I rather doubt the latter. Just look at the research on that salary, which ranks lower than most people think when it comes to the list of factors that makes people happy. But if you want to see what gratitude can bring, looking at Leonsis’ life might be even a better example.