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Episode 6: What actually makes your employees happy (hint: it’s not more money)

Hap­pi­ness isn’t about the amount in your pay­check, but the val­ues that define your purpose.

In this episode, Jor­dan and Jason explore the sci­ence behind hap­pi­ness and its cor­re­la­tion to employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and work­place wellbeing.

They dis­cuss the impor­tance of humil­i­ty in the work­place and why more mon­ey is not the key to achiev­ing hap­pi­ness. They also exam­ine why 100% hap­pi­ness in the work­place should not be the ulti­mate goal and what should be instead.

Key ideas and highlights

  • Accord­ing to an MIT study, those who are self-report­ed to be hap­py makes them four times more like­ly to be a top performer.
  • When it comes to goal-set­ting, our val­ues hier­ar­chy mat­ters more than mon­ey to achieve happiness.
Noth­ing is mis­er­able unless you think it so; Noth­ing brings hap­pi­ness unless you are con­tent with it. — Boethius — Jason

Now avail­able on Apple Pod­casts | Spo­ti­fy | YouTube

Word of the day

Malarkey 24:01 AND 24:18


  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:30 The sci­ence behind happiness
  • 3:38 Being hap­py makes you 4x more like­ly to be a top performer
  • 6:13 Greek phi­los­o­phy and the pre­dis­po­si­tion of happiness
  • 10:45 Can you build a hap­pi­ness playbook?
  • 11:43 Why 100% hap­pi­ness in the work­place shouldn’t be the goal
  • 12:19 Where unhap­pi­ness at work stems from
  • 14:40 The impor­tance of humil­i­ty in the workplace
  • 16:00 Why lep­ers in India are hap­pi­er than most peo­ple in the West
  • 20:45 How lifestyle creep inter­feres with happiness
  • 25:00 Why more mon­ey is not the chief tool to accom­plish your goals


Jor­dan (0:00):

How many hours and years of our lives do we spend on work for near­ly all of us, we spend 30 plus years and one third of our days in our voca­tion, more time per­haps than we spend at rest or at play. But this isn’t a prob­lem. Why? Because work is good. Work needs to be inte­grat­ed deeply into our lives and must be in line with our most impor­tant goals and val­ues. And if it is, we have a far more com­plete and ful­fill­ing life expe­ri­ence. Wel­come to the How Peo­ple Work pod­cast, where we explore the inter­sec­tion of how humans think and act and how they apply them­selves to their work. When you under­stand both of these things, you’ll be equipped to be insight­ful, com­pas­sion­ate, and com­pelling leaders.

Jor­dan (00:50):

Wel­come back to How Peo­ple Work. This is Jor­dan Peace sit­ting here with Jason Mur­ray. Today we’re going to talk about hap­pi­ness, and Jason has been, as I like to use the expres­sion, nerd­ing out on a study that was done by MIT about this very top­ic of hap­pi­ness. And I’m going to kick it to Jason to frame up what this study was, when it hap­pened, why it hap­pened, what the results were, at least some of those results. And then we’ll just kind of spit­ball on our take.

Jason (1:21):

Well, I think there’s a bunch of ideas that come out of that. You and I have talked about a lit­tle bit in the past already, and we’ll talk about a lit­tle bit more on this episode. Yeah. And I believe it was Feb­ru­ary of last year. So this is 2023. That would’ve been 2022. A study came out and it was sort of pub­lished by MIT’s Sloan School of Busi­ness. And I could­n’t believe it at first when I came across it because it was lit­er­al­ly about hap­pi­ness and the impact. Yeah, well, it was real sci­ence about hap­pi­ness. And I was like, oh my gosh, I wish we had known this in 2018 when we start­ed Fringe, because it’s like nobody was talk­ing about that kind of stuff.

Jor­dan (2:05):

Well, that is easy too, in a busi­ness set­ting to be Mr. Tough guy and be like, hap­pi­ness is for my 10 year old daugh­ter, and how her love of uni­corns. That has noth­ing to do with adults and work, much less sol­diers, which is what you’re about to talk about.

Jason (2:19):

So I think that the crazy thing is if you want to say, where would it be most unlike­ly that you think you would study some­thing like hap­pi­ness, you might say the mil­i­tary, but it is prob­a­bly one of the best prox­ies for what does this mean in the work­place or busi­ness, right? Because it is lit­er­al­ly the most mer­it dri­ven insti­tu­tion that exists because of the nature of what they do. And so this study, what they did was they fol­lowed about a mil­lion US Army sol­diers over the course of about five years, and -

Jor­dan (2:55):

Which is a huge num­ber, by the way. Your typ­i­cal sur­vey that you would pub­lish some­thing like Forbes and say, we inter­viewed 500 peo­ple and — And then you’d say a result that every­one is sup­posed to read and buy and believe based on 500 sur­vey results, which in all hon­esty is not so bad. 1 mil­lion is wild. That is a great cross sec­tion of soci­ety. If you got a mil­lion peo­ple, inevitably you got a sol­id cross sec­tion of -

Jason (3:25):

Right, and so they were look­ing at it from a lens of how did peo­ple self-report feel­ings of hap­pi­ness? So they lit­er­al­ly just asked them on a sub­jec­tive basis, which is real­ly how psy­cho­log­i­cal researchers do this stuff. So mea­sures of hap­pi­ness or well­be­ing are mea­sured by this sub­jec­tiv­i­ty scale, but it’s just peo­ple assess­ing you. Just a sense of it, right? Yeah. But they found that it’s still a reli­able way of assess­ing some­body’s over­all affect in that way. And so it was real­ly fas­ci­nat­ing because indi­vid­u­als that self-report­ed greater lev­els of hap­pi­ness were four times as like­ly to be top per­form­ers as their peers. So in terms of awards received, pro­mo­tions, any­thing kind of mer­it-based thing, those that report­ed high­er lev­els of hap­pi­ness lit­er­al­ly were bet­ter per­form­ers in the organization.

Jor­dan (4:19):

For math peo­ple, that’s 400% more. Or I think it is. Oh man, some­body’s going to call me on that. That’s wild. I mean, if you would’ve said every line that you just said, except for that num­ber, I would’ve guessed like 50%, like ish at best. 4x? Wow

Jason (04:42):

Yeah, it’s sub­stan­tial. And so this was a real­ly inter­est­ing piece of it too. So when you have a study like this, you can start slic­ing the data and say­ing, well, what are the fac­tors that need to be tak­en into account? Are there impacts when you slice things based on demo­graph­ics and so forth? Basi­cal­ly to look at what is the most sub­stan­tial pre­dic­tor of this out­come? So was it this self-report­ed hap­pi­ness or was it fam­i­ly back­ground? Was it race or eth­nic­i­ty? Any of these kinds of things, right? Years of expe­ri­ence or some­thing. And despite all of these oth­er demo­graph­ic fac­tors, when they were all tak­en into con­sid­er­a­tion, hap­pi­ness was still the great­est pre­dic­tor of this mer­it-based award attain­ment. And so there’s just some­thing real­ly com­pelling, I think, to the idea that what might be con­sid­ered sub­jec­tive, and actu­al­ly I think it’d be great to talk about a lit­tle bit more, is it actu­al­ly as sub­jec­tive as maybe we’re inclined to believe is this a sig­nif­i­cant pre­dic­tor of per­for­mance in the workplace?

Jor­dan (05:45):

Yeah. Yeah, it’s real­ly inter­est­ing. And I mean it also brings up ques­tions about, well, how are we defin­ing hap­pi­ness and how are the peo­ple answer­ing the ques­tion think­ing about hap­pi­ness and how much is hap­pi­ness poten­tial­ly a bit of a choice, right? A bit of an added per­spec­tive of maybe grat­i­tude and kind of focus­ing on what’s good in one’s life as opposed to focus­ing on the hard­ship or the neg­a­tives. It brings up a whole host of questions.

Jason (6:13):

Well, actu­al­ly to that point, there’s a real­ly inter­est­ing quote I came about in a book that I read a lit­tle while ago called The Hap­pi­ness Hypoth­e­sis, and I’d nev­er heard of this per­son, but it was a ancient Roman schol­ar in Greek phi­los­o­phy, and he said, ​“Noth­ing is mis­er­able unless you think it’s so, noth­ing brings hap­pi­ness unless you’re con­tent with it.” And so it actu­al­ly aligns per­fect­ly with what you were just describ­ing and how some­times we think about it.

Jor­dan (06:42):

Yeah, I mean, I was just the­o­riz­ing, but he sounds smarter than me.


Yeah, well, his name was Boethius, so I mean, he’s got some­thing on you there.


That’s sol­id when you have an ‑ethius in your name, you’re set.


Yeah. Well, I think there’s some­thing too to this idea. Could cer­tain peo­ple be more pre­dis­posed to being hap­py, for exam­ple? And that actu­al­ly is true. So as researchers have gone and looked at these sub­jec­tive mea­sures, they do find that when they assess dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ty traits and so forth, that there are some peo­ple that just do have a high­er base­line, sort of a set point, if you will, of hap­pi­ness. And so it’s not sub­stan­tial. It’s not by a wide mar­gin, but it is true that some peo­ple are slight­ly more pre­dis­posed to be hap­py. But the study from MIT actu­al­ly dug into that a lit­tle bit. So they looked at what they called these her­i­tabil­i­ty fac­tors. So that’s what you might con­sid­er some­thing that’s maybe more just bio­log­i­cal­ly intrin­sic. So you’re pre­dis­posed to, well, how much does that pre­dis­po­si­tion impact the actu­al sort of felt real­i­ty of how you report your feel­ings of hap­pi­ness? And so when they looked at this, again, I thought this was super fas­ci­nat­ing, they found that the her­i­tabil­i­ty aspect of hap­pi­ness only account­ed for 20% of work­place hap­pi­ness or job sat­is­fac­tion, which means that the oth­er 80% was influ­enced by fac­tors with­in the work­place itself, or maybe more exter­nal fac­tors. And so it actu­al­ly brings you to a place where sort of the neces­si­ty is, well, you got­ta design good work­places and good work expe­ri­ences because it’s such a huge con­tribut­ing fac­tor to what some­body’s actu­al­ly felt expe­ri­enc­ing happiness.

Jor­dan (8:37):

Right, you can’t just go out and find the hap­py peo­ple. You can’t just go out and — That old 20% push and it’s just like, oh, well this per­son, we could treat ​‘em like crap, we could pay ​‘em ter­ri­bly, and they’re just hap­py. That’s infor­ma­tive even when you find some­body that maybe is a lit­tle bit pre­dis­posed to put a good spin on things and smile a lit­tle bit more often or what­ev­er, that is a small per­cent­age of the work that needs to be done in the work­place to actu­al­ly gen­er­ate that job sat­is­fac­tion. I mean, I think that’s observ­ably true. I mean, not to say researchers and actu­al sci­ence isn’t valu­able, and of course it’s valu­able, but it’s also observ­ably true. Obvi­ous­ly com­pa­nies where peo­ple feel kind of appre­ci­at­ed, seen, heard, dig­ni­fied, respect­ed, they’re going to be hap­pi­er in that work­place in a place where they feel like a cog in a wheel. And I know in our own expe­ri­ence, I’ve just heard — well, we don’t do it any­more, but I used to be able to do the final inter­view for every sin­gle per­son that came into Fringe. And the sto­ries about their old job was nev­er, I mean, and maybe it’s just my inter­view style, and I’m very per­son­al, and I real­ly don’t care about your resume or expe­ri­ence, I just want to know your sto­ry. But the sto­ry is always about the feel­ing of what it was like to work there wher­ev­er there was, or even two or three or four jobs ago that great expe­ri­ence that they had. And they end­ed up part­ing ways for some rea­son, or the com­pa­ny did­n’t make it or what­ev­er. But it was always about words. I loved it there. I was so hap­py there. I had a great rela­tion­ship with my man­ag­er there, or I was mis­er­able there. It’s always this word that is asso­ci­at­ed with the hap­pi­ness scale.

Jason (10:35):

So that’s a great exam­ple that I think we could maybe try and unpack a lit­tle bit, because when I hear that, I think, well, how accu­rate is some­body’s assess­ment of that? Is it actu­al­ly a rea­son­able judg­ment of hap­pi­ness because… is it just tru­ly as sub­jec­tive as I felt a cer­tain way? Or are there ways that we might be able to cre­ate a more con­sis­tent frame­work for under­stand­ing hap­pi­ness maybe a lit­tle bit more broadly?

Jor­dan (11:09):

Yeah, I mean, I think you can set up a frame­work that gives peo­ple a lot high­er chance of being sat­is­fied in their job. There are peo­ple, in my obser­va­tion, again, this is not com­ing from sci­ence or research, but in my obser­va­tion, there are peo­ple that are deter­mined to be mis­er­able. Like you could set up every­thing in the way in which it kind of ought to lead to sat­is­fac­tion, but they’re just not will­ing to accept that. And typ­i­cal­ly it’s some­thing in their past, some expe­ri­ence that they’ve had, some wound that it’s, they haven’t over­come. That has­n’t been fig­ured out. And so we can’t pro­duce hap­pi­ness 100% of the time in our work­places. That’s not, should­n’t be the goal, right? I think the goal ought to be to pro­vide an envi­ron­ment in which peo­ple can thrive, that we can see this human flour­ish­ing and that we’re not in the way of that human flour­ish­ing, that we’re both pro­mot­ing it and not being a stum­bling block to it.

Jason (12:17):

Yeah. Well, maybe one way we could come at this, because I, I haven’t thought through the answer to this ques­tion, so I’m curi­ous what you’ll say is what caus­es some­body to be unhap­py at work?

Jor­dan (12:31):

I think there could be a num­ber of things. The thing that’s, let’s be hon­est, you nev­er know what I’m going to say. Human beings always look out­side of them­selves for their source of unha, what­ev­er the word is, dis­sat­is­fac­tion, right? Dis­ap­point­ment, what­ev­er. They always are look­ing out­side of them­selves. So I think in your sur­vey­ing, and when you ask peo­ple, why are you unhap­py? The answer almost always is going to be that per­son, that sit­u­a­tion, that I was­n’t equipped because of, right? There’s kind of always fin­ger-point­ing with when I’m not hap­py, when I am hap­py, it seems to be more bal­anced, right? It’s like, well, I’m sat­is­fied because I felt like I did good work and I was proud of myself and it’s bal­anced with, but I also had a great coach and a men­tor, and it’s bal­anced with, well, I real­ly love my lead­ers. And it seems to be more clear and hon­est and well round­ed in that answer.

Jason (13:35):

Well, because this is a tough thing, and this maybe ties into the quote from Boethius a lit­tle bit here, is at what point as an indi­vid­ual, do I actu­al­ly have a valid claim or an invalid claim on being unhap­py? So if maybe my unhap­pi­ness is large­ly a result of cir­cum­stances around me and I’m kind of point­ing the fin­ger else­where, can I not as an indi­vid­ual, take some respon­si­bil­i­ty to maybe per­ceive the sit­u­a­tion dif­fer­ent­ly? Or is that just kind of pos­i­tive think­ing bull crap?

Jor­dan (14:15):

No, no, I don’t think so. I mean, think what you’re describ­ing is one good def­i­n­i­tion of what matu­ri­ty is, being able to clear­ly see who’s respon­si­ble for what. Espe­cial­ly what you are respon­si­ble for. And humili, I think part of what humil­i­ty is when you are hap­py to rec­og­nize that you aren’t the one that got your­self there, not ful­ly, that there are a lot of peo­ple that poured into your life and your sit­u­a­tion and your work and what­ev­er it is to help you. And when you’re unhap­py, the matu­ri­ty is, I took part in this, my atti­tude, my lack of effort, my lack of for­give­ness for those that have wronged me, what­ev­er the case may be. So I think the claim that I’m not hap­py is valid because we’re talk­ing about an emo­tion, and I can’t tell you, yes, you are hap­py, you feel what you feel and that the feel­ing is valid. But I think there is a need to chal­lenge who­ev­er in our lives, whether we work with them or they’re our friends or they’re our wives. We’re talk­ing about our wives on the way here, very pos­i­tive­ly, all prais­es. But there, there’s a need if peo­ple care about each oth­er to kind of call out some BS and to kind of say, well, yeah, I know you’re mis­er­able, but some of that’s on you, and let me walk you through maybe some of the steps you’ve tak­en. And that’s tough love, and that’s hard, and that’s awk­ward to do that, and espe­cial­ly in the work­place to do that. But I think that’s kind of the lev­el of rela­tion­ship on a peer-to-peer lev­el or maybe man­ag­er to peer lev­el that breeds a healthy cul­ture in an orga­ni­za­tion or a healthy fam­i­ly to have the abil­i­ty to have those conversations.

Jason (16:07):

Yeah. Well, there’s some­thing to that matu­ri­ty. I think. I’m not going to remem­ber the name of the book, so maybe we’ll find it for the show notes after­wards, but the premise of this book was a guy went and lived with the lep­ers in Cal­cut­ta in India for a year. And he basi­cal­ly went to just study how they lived and what their life was like. And what he described in the book was some of the hap­pi­est peo­ple you would ever meet, and you would think, how could they pos­si­bly be the hap­pi­est peo­ple that you would ever meet? Because cir­cum­stan­tial­ly, there’s noth­ing about their life that we would look at, espe­cial­ly where we live in the first world, in the west, and say, oh, man, I can total­ly imag­ine why they must be so hap­py with every­thing they got going on. Sounds great. I mean, it sounds mis­er­able. It sounds hor­ri­ble. And so it speaks to the fact that what, I guess what lies behind true hap­pi­ness, even our sub­jec­tive feel­ing of it, has to go deep­er than those exter­nal circumstances.

Jor­dan (17:13):

It does. I mean, that will take me down a deep rab­bit hole to talk about that, right? I mean, real­ly, how many times have you heard peo­ple say, sta­tis­ti­cal­ly the hap­pi­est peo­ple are those just above the pover­ty line? So that’s just a finan­cial real­i­ty that breeds hap­pi­ness. In this sit­u­a­tion, these peo­ple are dying. How many sto­ries have you heard of peo­ple that are, how many songs have you heard? We were just laugh­ing about coun­try songs, and we don’t enjoy the twang nec­es­sar­i­ly, but the sto­ry­telling can be real­ly good. This sto­ry, we’re sit­ting here drink­ing tequi­la and this song about tequi­la, which I won’t share any lyrics of right now, but there’s a song, right? I hope you get the chance to live. You were dying. And it’s all in this coun­try, I can’t remem­ber who it is. I apol­o­gize, I can’t remem­ber who the singer is, but what he would do if he found out he was dying, and it’s not like, well, I would just sit around and mope. It was like, I’d go sky­div­ing and I’d go moun­tain climb­ing. I’d do this and that and the oth­er thing, because your appre­ci­a­tion of every moment is so much sweet­er when you see the time­line, right? So yeah, it’s not wealth that brings hap­pi­ness. It’s not even sta­bil­i­ty that brings hap­pi­ness. It’s a view­point of what I have, and I ought to be appre­cia­tive of what I have because it’s limited.

Jason (18:44):

Well, it’s an ori­en­ta­tion. So I think what you’re talk­ing about, and we were talk­ing about this this morn­ing, is like you can’t expe­ri­ence true hap­pi­ness unless you actu­al­ly know what you’re aim­ing for. And so what hap­pens when you know, get that death sen­tence essen­tial­ly because you’re mor­tal­ly ill, all of a sud­den, it brings into focus what actu­al­ly mat­ters most. And most of us just kind of stum­ble through life with­out ever think­ing about these things. And so we just kind of wake up and we’re like, what are we doing today? I don’t know. I’m just going to go do some stuff and maybe it’s good. Maybe I have no idea because I’m not actu­al­ly think­ing about what’s most important.

Jor­dan (19:20):

Because I don’t have to think. For cen­turies, on cen­turies and mil­len­nia, your chief goal was to sur­vive, right? You had to make the food, find the food, cook the food, eat the food. Stay alive, have shel­ter. Like med­i­cine was­n’t even a thought for many thou­sands of years until it was, and then there was some con­cern about that, and that was part of the stay­ing alive nar­ra­tive and goal and focus. But it has become, for most of us, I should say, not to, there are unique sit­u­a­tions, but for most of us in the West, it has become too easy to sur­vive. Right? And so if sur­vival’s not the goal any­more, then we fail to make goals some­times where it’s like, oh, okay, well yeah, I just kind of coast, I guess. I’ll just go from one thing to the next rela­tion­ship to the next job, to the next what­ev­er, kind of wher­ev­er life leads me. And yet we have the high­est anx­i­ety rates, depres­sion rates in all of human his­to­ry, sui­cide rates in all of human his­to­ry, and we’re the wealth­i­est we’ve ever been, right? It’s so much eas­i­er to sur­vive than it’s ever been. We’ve got more med­i­cine, we live longer, and yet we’re less hap­py. Right? That should rock us to to think about that. Why is that, right? Isn’t that the whole point? Live longer, have more, relax more, work less, right? Isn’t that the whole thing?

Jason (20:58):

Yeah. Well, I mean, that kind of goes back to even what we talked about last week when we got on to all the weird def­i­n­i­tions of dif­fer­ent types of hap­pi­ness and what­not. But a lot of those things that you’re just describ­ing would kind of fall into that buck­et of hedo­nic hap­pi­ness, which is basi­cal­ly just things that I get to have very short term ori­ent­ed kind of plea­sure expe­ri­ences. And what hap­pens with all of those things, say food -

Jor­dan (21:20):

For those of us that aren’t as smart as Jason, that’s based on the word hedo­nism as in plea­sure-seek­ing. So just that def­i­n­i­tion for everybody.

Jason (21:30):

So if you take food, for exam­ple, like food sati­ates, so it brings a great deal of plea­sure for a very short peri­od of time. And when the expe­ri­ence is over, you feel full, you actu­al­ly can’t enjoy any­more with­out it becom­ing a hor­ri­ble expe­ri­ence. Right? And then the same’s true of some of these oth­er things. So when we talk about wealth or earn­ing income and things like that. There’s what’s called the adap­ta­tion prin­ci­ple, so this is again a psy­cho­log­i­cal term. I can’t take cred­it for it, but it just means that once you have some­thing, you adjust to a new set point of that experience.

Jor­dan (22:09):

When we were in finan­cial plan­ning, we used to call that lifestyle creep.

Jason (22:12):

Yes, exact­ly right? And so it cor­re­lates exact­ly to these stud­ies that have been done around happiness.

Jor­dan (22:19):

What­ev­er I had yes­ter­day is my new demand on life. I must have that every day from here for­ward, right?

Jason (22:26):

So I think this is why the research around that kind of looks at the cor­re­la­tions between income and hap­pi­ness, it all breaks down over a cer­tain thresh­old. Because over a cer­tain thresh­old, it’s just the adap­ta­tion prin­ci­ple at work. You have a new set point, it’s not going to sus­tain a lev­el of hap­pi­ness because it’s not actu­al­ly tapped into that goal ori­en­ta­tion. So you real­ly have to step back then and say, well, fun­da­men­tal­ly, that longer term sus­tained hap­pi­ness is based upon some­thing deep­er and more mean­ing­ful and pur­pose­ful. Yes.

Jor­dan (22:50):

Yeah. I mean, you look at the super wealthy in the world, and for most of their life, they gen­er­ate wealth, gen­er­ate wealth, gen­er­ate wealth, and some of ​‘em nev­er real­ly changed from that, or they die young or what­ev­er hap­pens. But you see a lot of peo­ple get into their six­ties, sev­en­ties, and all of a sud­den, like a Bill Gates, Bill and Melin­da Gates, for exam­ple, good exam­ple, just a switch flipped. And they were like, we need to give back. We need to seek pur­pose. You could just tell that that is the mis­sion in their house. Well, I don’t think they have a house­hold any­more, but you know what I mean. You could just see that change. All of a sud­den Bill Gates was Microsoft and then all of a sud­den Bill Gates was a foun­da­tion and it was all about that. And you just won­der, did it take him until that point in life and did his set point change so many times that he final­ly real­ized, oh, this is just a lim­it­less pur­suit of lim­it­less wealth that will nev­er sat­is­fy me. This is malarkey, for lack of a bet­ter word. Yeah. So you keep bring­ing up goals. So I think it’s a good tran­si­tion of what do we want in life? What is it that mat­ters to us? And I think anoth­er thing that’s malarkey, to use the word twice, is that we assume that it’s mon­ey that is the pre­dom­i­nant tool that will get us the thing that we want. And that might be the case. You might sit down and set goals, and the thing for you that just taps into the heart of hearts for you is a yacht. Maybe that’s the thing. Don’t, I’m not going to try to judge that push on that if that’s the thing. Right? I know you would. I would too, but I’m being a lit­tle bit play­ful here, but I’m not try­ing to say mon­ey’s unim­por­tant or it’s not some­thing to pur­sue for cer­tain means. Your goal might be to give away a bil­lion dol­lars in your life. You’re not going to be able to do that unless you have a bil­lion dol­lars. So it’s not that mon­ey, in and of itself is the bad thing. It’s just the assump­tion that that is the chief tool need­ed to accom­plish the goal is falsehood.

Jason (25:14):

Well, it’s a means. It is a means. Yeah. It’s one means to an end, which the end is the goal. But then you have to say, let’s say, let’s take the yacht exam­ple. See, you could­n’t let it go, then you can’t let it go. Well, I think it’s a good one. Yeah. Well, cause I take myself and say, I’ve been dream­ing about this vaca­tion house that we don’t have right now, but I’d love to have some­thing like that for our fam­i­ly. But you know, look at some­thing like that. It’s like, well, you need cer­tain resources and you have to get a down pay­ment. All these things got to come togeth­er in order to make some­thing like that hap­pen. But if I real­ly step back and say, why do I want that? Yeah. Well, it’s not exact­ly, because I just want a place to get away. It’s that I imag­ine all of the expe­ri­ences that I’ll have with my fam­i­ly there and all the oth­er peo­ple from my fam­i­ly and friends that I’ll bring there and the expe­ri­ences that we’ll share togeth­er. And so all of a sud­den the val­ue that’s behind just like, Hey, it’s not actu­al­ly about hav­ing a vaca­tion house, right, in and of itself. It’s actu­al­ly about these expe­ri­ences. And so then you start kind of unpack­ing that and it’s like, why does that mat­ter? It’s like, well, because those rela­tion­ships in my life are the most impor­tant thing to me. And so all of a sud­den you’re build­ing this val­ue hier­ar­chy that you can ori­ent your­self towards in the day-to-day things that you do. And so now all of a sud­den the hap­pi­ness isn’t like, well, do I have more mon­ey or not? Because that’s not real­ly the ulti­mate end any­ways. Yeah. The ulti­mate end is what’s at the top of that val­ue hier­ar­chy that I actu­al­ly care most about? What is that thing, and am I mak­ing progress towards it? Do I feel that I’m mak­ing progress towards it?

Jor­dan (27:01):

Right. I am shocked by how long we’ve been talk­ing. It feels like it’s been five min­utes and it has not been five min­utes. If you’re good with it, I would love to just pick this up next week. Con­tin­ue down this very same track because I think it’s a ton more to say on hap­pi­ness and I think some per­son­al sto­ries. We can share our own goals, how you go about set­ting goals, how you go about set­ting goals if you have peo­ple in your life like a spouse or a life part­ner or some­body impor­tant to you that you need to coset those goals with. I think there’s a ton to dis­cuss. Is that good? All right. Cool. I know we have anoth­er top­ic planned, but I think would be fun just to con­tin­ue. So let me wrap it up. Yes. And we’ll jump back on next week.

Jason (27:45):

And I got to give you the word of the day For this week, which is symbiosis.


I’m going to have to look that one up too. Is it like sym­bi­otics sym­bio­sis? Okay. I know my root words. Yes. I know my pre­fix­es pret­ty well. Yeah. Oh, okay. All right. I’m with you. Well, great. Real­ly enjoyed this dis­cus­sion. I hope you all enjoyed lis­ten­ing to our dis­cus­sion and hap­pi­ness. We’re going to pick this up next week. We’re plan­ning on talk­ing about hav­ing a pos­i­tive vision of work, and so I think we almost could even blend the two hap­pi­ness, pos­i­tiv­i­ty at work. They do kind of go togeth­er, but we’re going to pick this up. Real­ly enjoyed it. Thank you, Jason, for the time. Real­ly enjoy the dis­cus­sion and we will catch you all next week on how peo­ple work. Bye-Bye. Bye.

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