Simplicity: An Essential Ingredient for Happiness Strategy

Happiness is still a young and evolving discipline. We need to make a course correction for leveraging the tremendous potential of the concept, writes Rajesh Pillania

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TICE Creative: Happiness Strategy

Author: Rajesh K. Pillania

We human beings are in search of happiness for a long time. Generally, historically poets and philosophers used to talk about happiness, however, in the last 30 years there is a lot of research on happiness from multiple disciplines. However, we have made happiness look very difficult, complex and out of reach for many of us.

The first session of every class or training program is an interesting session. In the first session of a Happiness Strategy course some time ago, when I asked students what they expected from the course, one answer was learning some cool frameworks and models of Happiness. I was not surprised. This is not a new expectation. This answer comes often. I asked what they mean, and they came out with the names of some frameworks they have heard about Happiness.

Many times when I start a Happiness Strategy course or training program and ask about the expectations from the participants, there is one thing common in the expectations, to learn some cool frameworks and models in Happiness. It looks like many people have a simple equation in mind for Happiness. The equation is given below:

Happiness = Cool Frameworks

Rightly expected, there are many interesting frameworks and models for happiness. These are quite useful, and any student and practitioner of Happiness should be familiar with these techniques and frameworks. However, there is much more to Happiness than just cool techniques and frameworks!

Happiness is a quite widely used concept, and it is quite useful, but the sad reality of Happiness is many Happiness programs fail! Even if successful, the sustainability of success is not long in many cases. So is there anything fundamentally wrong?

We are studying why Happiness fails, particularly the failure of Happiness implementation. One of the major findings that are coming out is, Happiness implementation fails due to the complexity of Happiness.  This is something serious that needs to be addressed. We need to add simplicity to Happiness. Don’t get it wrong. We don’t need to make Happiness simplistic. We need to follow all the rigour and intuition that is required to make a good Happiness Strategy but we need to keep the final output, i.e. the final Happiness Strategy, simple.

An Evolving Discipline

In the business context, Happiness is still a young and evolving discipline. We need to make a course correction for leveraging the tremendous potential of the concept. The course correction is to not think of Happiness Strategy just as a set of cool frameworks. The course correction is, adding too much complexity is not a cool thing for Happiness. 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication was rightly highlighted by the great Leonardo da Vinci many years ago. This is what is the need of the hour for Happiness. Contrary to popular perception, we need to keep it simple! Again, to paraphrase Leonardo da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication for Happiness.

To keep it simple, a better Happiness equation could be 

Happiness = Cool frameworks + Simplicity (some other elements also which are beyond the scope of this article)

About the Author

Dr. Rajesh K Pillania is the leading teacher and researcher on happiness in India, popularly called India’s Happiness Professor. He has written ten books and reports on happiness and his work is endorsed by leading global thinkers in happiness and industry stalwarts. He has taught thousands of students and executives about happiness strategy. He is a prolific writer, a popular teacher, and a highly sought-after trainer on happiness, strategy, and innovation. Currently, he is the CEO of the Happiness Strategy Foundation.

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