Posts filed under ‘happy’

Don’t Worry…Be Happy!

Remember this simple little song by Bobby McFerin?  I still hear it occasionally…and smile… 

“Here’s a little song I wrote

You might want to sing it note for note

Don’t worry, be happy

In every life we have some trouble

But when you worry you make it double

Don’t worry, be happy

Don’t worry, be happy now

Ain’t got no place to lay your head

Somebody came and took your bed

Don’t worry, be happy

The landlord say your rent is late

He may have to litigate

Don’t worry, be happy

Don’t worry, be happy”

I remember when I first heard the song I just had to have it… I rushed out and bought the 45 (a smallish version of a record for all you “Gen Xers and Millennials”… What’s a “record”?…forget it…). Anyway, I just had to have a piece of what Bobby was selling, and I wasn’t alone! The same impulse in other listeners pushed the hit to #1 on every chart in just about every country around the world. “Don’t Worry be Happy” won the Grammy in 1988 for Song of the Year, and won McFerin the Album of the Year as Well! But why…how could such a simple little ditty take the world by such storm? Because it was a gentle reminder of what we are all about…what life is all about…to be happy! If not happiness, what then…what possible purpose could life have if not happiness? And if we agree that the whole purpose of life is to “live happily”, then the question becomes “how?”

I remember the title to a little film I saw years ago…”Man’s Search for Happiness”; Don’t remember much about the film – just the concept that man searches for happiness. Makes sense if that’s what life’s all about, but…where to look? Hundreds of books are written each year on the subject, and thousands of seminars are conducted in search of this elusive “happiness”. Millions of dollars are earned…and spent in its pursuit. Relationships are forged…and broken, and honors and achievements are attained just to lay claim on “happiness”. And when all is said and done, earned, bought, and sacrificed “happiness” continues to elude its seekers like a little shadow fleeing from its child. As C.P. Snow put it , “The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it” .

Then why is something so simple to understand (happiness) so difficult to find? Fortunately, the answer really is simple, but the truth behind it is hard. The answer is that when we are looking for a thing, when we are searching the horizon, our eyes are trained outward…to the landscape, to our surroundings, to those around us. That is not where we find true happiness. The only way to find happiness…to be happy, is to focus inward and there find the wellspring of our own happiness…ourselves, our attitudes and our perceptions. The hard truth is that happiness is a personal choice; It is a decision . As Abraham Lincoln said “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” . The great news is that it is our choice…our decision… our creation, which means no one can take it away from us…but us. It is ours if we will it to be. No outside force, person, or circumstance can rob us of our happiness…only we can do that. And how do we do that? By not being true to ourselves and to the things we believe and feel deeply – our values. Mahatma Gandhi said “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” . We cannot fool ourselves, BUT…when we make mistakes we can forgive ourselves, get back on track, and live, work, and lead as we know we can and should. If we do as William Shakespeare penned in Hamlet, “ This above all: to thine own self be true” , and we decide to…”Don’t worry [about all that other stuff]…be Happy”, we can be.

And when we’re happy, those around us are happier…not because we give them happiness, but we make it easier on them by creating a “happy” environment. Have you ever worked with or for someone that never seemed to be happy? Kind of took the FUN out of work didn’t it? Did you want to be around them, talk to them, solve problems with them? Was it motivating in any way? Nope! You just wanted to stay as far away as possible.

With that in mind, how are you to work with? Are you a happy, energetic, and fun manager, leader, or salesperson? Or are you unhappy, cross, or negative? Organizational behavior experts have found that worker productivity relates far more to how workers feel than to what they know . You as a manager, leader, sales person, parent or friend set the tone for how others “feel”. Keep things positive, fun, even humorous and the energy level and productivity goes through the roof. Turn it off with a bad mood, or harsh or critical words or just a temporary fixation on your immediate problems, and it all comes crashing down.

“Ok” you’re thinking “that’s nice, but life is not that simple…it just isn’t a bowl of cherries… EXACTLY! Life can be rough! Disappointment and difficulty happens! And since it does… we might as well learn to handle it in a positive…even happy way! Beats the alternative all to heck!  In fact, in the middle of writing this, I took back to back phone calls from unhappy customers;  One was unhappy and the other was downright stark raving, maniacally, vessel popping, steam spouting mad! He was downright abusive! I got off the phone and had to laugh – not because I’m a model at what I writing about (I’m not), but because of the irony. Believe me, I was inclined to let this guy get to me…I had a choice…get angry or hurt and feel rotten, or maintain MY chosen course and BE HAPPY that… a) I’m not him, and more importantly b) because I know I have a choice – whether to be happy or not. I chose happy, and really had a good laugh…with myself.


” In every life we have some trouble

But when you worry you make it double”

……..Don’t worry, be happy”

Lead on…



February 25, 2010 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

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