Are you in great personal and professional relationships? Are we the average of people we spend the most time with?
First of all, let me tell you a Japanese story I like. I often tell my children about this oriental tale because I think it brings a different perspective on ourselves.
Dogs talk about an attractive yet mystical house near village, nobody knows that there are 1000 mirrors on the second floor in this house.
The first brave dog decides to explore it. He enters into this house, step by step, he climbs the stairs up. The ambience is so silent that the cracking of the wooden floor makes him doubt his initial decision. He starts to be anxious and nervous because he has no idea what will happen. His face becomes more and more tense as he approaches the 2nd floor. In the reflection of the first mirror he sees a dog stressed, this image does not please him because it is neither friendly nor welcoming. He then shows his teeth because he feels uncomfortable. You may guess his following reactions. The reflections he sees in other mirrors are more and more frightening that he decides to flee.
The second dog wants to try this adventure despite the fears and the bad experience shared by the first dog. He presents himself confidently, we can hear a smile in his voice “Hello is someone there?” As he sees the reflections in the mirrors, the smiles he gets become more and more warm and delightful.
In addition to this traditional tale from Japan, in China there is also a millenary expression 相由心生 xiāng yóu xīn shēng which means “Your body is an outward reflection of your inner self“.
Do you look joyful? Are your close relations happy? Napoleon Hill wrote in his book “Think and grow rich” published in 1937 that we are the average of 5 people we spend the most time with. 50 years later, the great American motivator Jim Rohn also reminded us this law of the averages throughout his career.
Why connection and relationships are tremendously important to everyone? Even more significant than money or social status? Harvard professor Robert Waldinger revealed in a 2015 TED talk the result of the 75-year-old longest-running study on human development explaining that our happiness is based on our relational health: how deep we connect with others, our love ones, our co workers and our community.
These wisdoms lead me to live happiness by design. My Asian art of living helps me to do often “inner mirror” exercise: connecting with myself first by introspection. Once I am in harmony with myself, everything becomes clearer and easier: gaining more energy, defying odds and most importantly for me creating positive impacts.
What other ways have you used to make yourself happier at work and in your personal life?