3 questions to measure happiness according to Steve Jobs
Before his untimely death in 2011, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc, left us with some weighty advice. In the face of inevitable death, Steve shone light on what it means to genuinely be happy and some questions one must ask and ponder upon each day to evaluate happiness. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life," he said.
Are you living the life you want and doing the work you want to do?
In a world rife with competition, and everyone you know head-to-head in the race for ever-elusive "success," it is fairly common to see people suppress their dreams and gravitate towards work that provides instant gratification. In the process, they see their youth race past them, and very often, towards the winter of their lives, or like Steve Jobs, in coming face to face with death, they end up with unfulfilled dreams and regretting getting into the rat race to begin with. Almost all our fears, failures, and our pride "fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important," said Steve. Towards the end, Jobs started to live each day, as if it were his last. Thankfully, not all of us have to wait until that dismal moment to shift perspectives, and change gears. Look for what it is that you love doing and even if it is for an hour, devote your time towards it.
If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are doing today?
Another heavy question, and one that may need the reader to take a plunge within themselves. If the answer is a consistent "no," understand that something needs to change. This could be your line of work, your daily schedule or your behaviour. The question forces you to pick the very best things you would want to be doing and serves as a reminder that those are the things you should be paying attention to. This does not mean giving up your job for a hobby or anything drastic like that. It could be simple like tweaking your schedule to meet your best friend, being more patient with your toddler, taking some time to finish that incomplete painting or making plans to visit your parents.
Are you doing what you love?
The cliché 'Do what you love and love what you do' has been around for a reason. Work is an inevitable part of us and it would be a truly dismal life if one had to wake up every day and go to a job they hate. Professional life becomes much easier if one enjoys what they do. If it's a role one knows they are meant to fill, and one they identify with, it gives them purpose and invariably helps them excel at it, ushering in happiness and excitement into the most mundane of lives.