Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Work, Happiness, Game of Life

As far as I can remember, school counselors had always said something along the lines of “Get a job you love, and you’ll never work for a day.” The worn out axiom suggests that my life long purpose lies in a pursuit for some “lovable” repetitive task. Does that make sense?

I love my family, close friends, and olive oil (more on that later); yet to this date no tedious process has kept my passion. I want happiness out of life. Nothing short of it would do.

According to CNN, it has been quantified since 2003 (http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/01/06/happiness.equation/)

The formula,

Happiness = P + 5E + 3H

P = Personal Characteristics (optimism, adaptability, resilience)

E = Existence (health, social life, financial wealth)

H = Higher Order (self-esteem, expectations, ambitions)

Given the variables, happiness becomes an output in the payoff function in the game of life. People like you and me represent players in the game, and the rational ones work to maximize happiness as total payoff.

It becomes clear. Our work serves simply a pathway, or process toward happiness. It seems much more sensible to focus on things we want out of life, rather than “loving” the routes toward them.

We wake up every morning making the decision on the kind of work, i.e. strategy, to uptake in order to achieve greater levels of happiness as payoff.

Exempli Gratia:

Some mothers choose to set up home offices so they could afford to have more time with their kids.

Mark Chen, an old friend, chose to work for a global conglomerate because it provided him financial stability and a chance to fulfill his corporate ambitions.

My uncle Philip operates several pro-athlete gyms in California and invests in Macao casinos because these ventures offer greater wealth and social life.

Therefore, choose paths with the least extent of resistance, with the greatest potential in payoff, and you are mathematically bound to find happiness at the end of the road. J

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