A Declaration of Happiness

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence of the thirteen United States of America, July 4, 1776.

Bring out the flags, fireworks, hamburgers and watermelons! Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US. I love the phrase “pursuit of happiness. ” It has been bouncing around in my head all weekend. To be fair, I know that happiness can be fleeting. But it is worth pursuing. It requires practice, energy and determination. But the reward set before us is joy, satisfaction and a smile.

I often say that our goal as a team is to help our businesses create great compelling content, products and experiences, better, faster, safer and happier. Those qualifiers are important. That last one, “happier” is especially relevant. Working in entertainment, we ship happiness as a product, but it means more than that. It means creating a work environment that is as delightful and rewarding as the products we produce. I believe happy people produce happy products. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun! If you don’t believe me, ask Mary Poppins.

It’s true! We can find happiness at work. Some of life’s greatest moments are at the other end of hard work and effort. There is a great happiness that can be found in a job well done and a mission accomplished. For those of us in technology, solving complex problems and engaging creative energy to design and produce software, systems and automation is both taxing and rewarding. The beautiful paradox is that those things that are the most difficult, challenging and fraught with anguish, are often the ones with the highest dose of happiness, delight and satisfying accomplishment.

How are we doing? Are we meeting our mission in making this a happy place to work? Last week I sent out an end of quarter “happiness survey” to my team (with a scale from 1, “not happy at all” to 5, “extremely happy”). The last several months have presented us with some difficult challenges. I very much wanted to hear from all of my team to see how we were doing. The results were encouraging and informative. They highlighted some of the good but also the challenges before us and areas we need to improve.

Candid feedback is pure gold! Leaders need clear signal. My team impressed me with their candor. I was delighted. I assembled my leadership team and we looked at every comment and will be taking action to follow up on every suggestion and concern raised. It is a priority for us, as it should be.

Now, for your part…. You matter. Your happiness matters. Life is what you choose to make it. What can you do to cultivate happiness for yourself? Today, I challenge you all to think about how you are pursuing happiness. What does it look like for you? What can you change to make it better? Find your path to happiness. Look for it in your work, pursue it with all your heart and enjoy it. I wish you happiness this week and always!

For all of you in the USA, Happy Independence Day!

4th of July Party Image with hamburger, watermelon, US flags and fireworks.

Top blog post image of “4th of July Party” generated by Stable Diffusion AI and second image by Dall-E AI.