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Following Happiness: 60% Of The Time, It Works Every Time

Brian Fantana: They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.
Ron Burgundy: That doesn’t make sense.

Anchorman (2004)

Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in on a conference call with Penelope Trunk. She was putting it on for members of Brazen Careerist (Gen Y career-ish oriented blogs) and I was extremely impressed with the overall call. Many people have a visceral reaction to Penelope (if you read through her comment sections, you’ll begin to understand) but despite my disagreements, it always seemed like she was interested in contributing to the overall careers discussion in a positive way. The hour long conference call solidified my feelings on this.

Some of the people on the call talked about some of the difficulties they faced in maintaining their blog or understanding the limit between what should be written about and what should be left behind. There was also an in depth discussion on what should be written about as far as interesting content. It was definitely relatable because I felt those same issues when I started blogging.

One of the things I took away from the call (that wasn’t mentioned but lit up in my head) was the fact that people should write about things that they are good at writing about in order to be successful bloggers. Anybody can write about things in a way that makes them happy. It is a low standard to hit. My first adventure into blogging involved a LiveJournal account that was full of emo lyrics and poorly thought out political stances. This sort of blogging made me happy but nobody cared what I wrote. It wasn’t well executed and writing about things in a way that made me happy turned my blogging into an unfocused disaster.

When you write about things that you are good at writing about (that’s a mouthful), you can hone your skills and actually become successful as a writer. Of course, being successful (usually) makes people happy and that’s what most people want.

Of course, I couldn’t help relating it back to careers. People often pursue (or desire pursuing) the thing in life that makes them happy. They often assume that what makes them happy makes for a good career. That seems entirely unreliable to me. My dad likes working on his 1950 Chevy but he wouldn’t like it as a career (and that would make him unhappy). Doing something you do well is a more reliable way to ensure happiness. It utilizes your strengths and it builds pride in yourself. And to me, that is much more important than following happiness.

Follow success and happiness will follow you.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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