In a recent Atlantic article, Emily Esfahani Smith argues for the merit of a meaningful life as opposed to a happy life.  She cites psychological researchers whose study showed that happiness is about feeling good and that people become happy when they get what they want.  According to one of the study’s authors, “‘Happy people get a lot of joy from receiving benefits from others, while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others.’”  Meaning comes from giving part of oneself away to others, from making a sacrifice on behalf of the overall group, from investing oneself in something bigger than oneself. Read the full article…

When I was in high school and then at university, I viewed good grades as something to be earned.  If I worked hard enough and had a little luck, I could get A’s.  This view carried over to Decurion.  In my early days at the company, we were debating whether or not “respect” was one of the company’s core values.  I argued that respect was something one earned, not something we should simply confer on one another.  My focus remained on the outcome, not on the process; on the achievement, not on the person.  All changed utterly ten years later when I attended a rehearsal of the USC Symphony Orchestra led by Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. Read the full article…