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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Measure: Post #6--Happiness

Happiness in Relationships: We tend to overinvest our resources (time, attention and money) in our careers but underinvest in our families. Often, we invest in the short term and not the long term. Setting boundaries at work can help people reallocate their resources and direct them toward family. Leaving work on time to get home to a child’s soccer game is a long-term investment and requires much discipline. The theory of bad capital: Investors put money into a company to grow it and take out profit. Fully, 93% of all successful companies abandon their original strategy which proved not to be viable. The successful ones have enough money to pivot toward a new approach that is a winner.  “…good money from investors needs to be patient for growth but impatient for profit.” In short, you have to stay profitable in the short term or there’s no growth (and no company!) in the long term. But once a good strategy is discovered, companies need to switch from a focus on profit to growth. Same is true for our families. If we don’t invest for the long term—spending time and attention when the kids are young—our future family relationships are dim. Investing in friends and family along the way helps our long-term strategy of happiness. All too often we figure this out when it’s way too late. Here’s a research finding—the more words a parent says to a child in the first few years of life, the greater their performance on vocabulary and reading comprehension in the future. “Language Dancing” or engaging in chat with a child [talking about what ifs and wouldn’t it be nice….inviting the child to think deeply] has enormous development effects and helps the child’s brain develop rapidly. It’s not the money but the language investment that develops a child.

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