3 Do’s from the book “happiness at work” by Srikumar Rao

3 Do’s from the book “happiness at work” by Srikumar Rao

Posted on September 7, 2011


I liked this book a lot and before getting to the 3 Do’s, let me tell a story from this book. For the sake of brevity, the story is in my own words.

One day a king renowned for his excesses met a sage who was living in abstention. The king said to the sage, “How can you give up so many wonderful pleasures to live the way you do?”

“Me? I have given up but a trifle,” said the sage with genuine astonishment. “The body exists but for the blink of an eye, and these sensual pleasures fade altogether too soon and leave pain in their wake. You, on the other hand, have renounced eternal, never-ending joy and the deep purpose that gives meaning to all life. You are, by far, the greater renouncer!”

With this story as a backdrop, you will understand that this book is not entirely about work but has a spiritual aspect to it too.

3 Do’s from this book.

1. Don’t stick a label on it. Stuff happens. You miss a flight or you break a leg or you lose money. Don’t stick a label on it and say a “bad thing” happened to you. Just say, “I missed a flight” or “I broke a leg” without sticking a label.

2. Stop clinging to the if-then statement. Living in a if-then model is restrictive and causes unhappiness. So, severing the link between the if-then statement will bring about a change. If “it” happens, fine. If it doesn’t, still fine. This method simplifies life so that you are not so much focussed on the outcome but the process. So, while you are in the process, you are enjoying every step of it. Remember, life is a journey.

3. Follow your old, wise self-advice. Imagine you are at the end of your life and here comes your younger self. What advice will you give this younger self? Write it down, and starting right now, follow that advice.

There are many more great ideas, exercises and insights in this book. Here are some links to Srikumar Rao’s speech at Google and some of his other talks in case you are pressed for time.

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful day!

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