If . . . then

I listened to a wonderful presentation last week by Dr. Srikumar Rao, who received his Ph.D. in Marketing from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University and his M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.  His undergraduate training was in physics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. 

Impressive, no?

Rao is a professor at Columbia, a well-regarded speaker and the author of “Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What.”  I am looking forward to reading it.

What is really impressive about Rao is his easy-going humorous style. He exudes happiness.

In his presentation, he explained that most of us are using the “If . . . then” model, which means we are constantly telling ourselves, if this happens then I will be happy. 

If I  . . . get into the college I want;  lose weight; get the perfect job – or in tough economic times, any job; find the perfect lover/husband/wife; buy a car; have a baby; get a higher paying job; take a vacation; buy a house; get another degree; have another baby; buy another car; lose weight; start a blog; buy a bigger house; buy more stuff to go into the bigger house; take a better vacation; find a new and even more perfect lover/husband/wife; take a longer vacation; write a book; buy a more expensive/sportier car; lose weight; sell my house; retire; travel, etc., etc., etc., . . . then, I will be happy.

Life is a never-ending series of “ifs” – if we let it – and could then turn out to be a never-ending series of delays and disappointments – if we let it.  

Rao suggests that instead of putting all our eggs in the outcome basket, we put them in the process basket. Meaning, we set goals, but do not delay gratification, appreciation and happiness until, or if they are reached.

Plan ahead, but seize the day – and fill it with happiness.

I like that. 

Here’s his 17 minute talk.  If you are in a really big hurry, listening to just the first 9 minutes will improve your outlook (around 7 minutes he uses a great example that will make you LOL and hit home for me), listening to the last 8 minutes can change your life.

If you like it, then you might want to listen once a week to stay focused on the goal of being happier in the process!

Have a great weekend.

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