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Go Ahead . . . Be Selfish

Angie Morgan, April 16, 2018

Why Happiness Matters in Leadership

Pictured here: Pete Kirkwood, owner of The Workshop Brewery and guru on the pursuit of happiness. Angie recently sat down with him at Mundos Roasting & Co. in their hometown of Traverse City, MI.

I recently had coffee with a great friend, Pete Kirkwood. He’s lived all over the world, but it just so happens that he and his family decided to settle down in my community and open up a brewery, The Workshop.*
It’s more than a brewery. It’s a sacred space where people from all political views, religions, and personal preferences can get together and build relationships. His vision is that a community space, centered on craft, can unite people and help them achieve something we all aspire to achieve: happiness.
It seems to me that happiness is in short supply lately, yet it’s something that we all want. Pete recently made a very keen observation:

Many of us dedicate tremendous time getting better at things that do not make us happy.

He’s spot on. I’ve met too many disgruntled professionals who get stuck in paths that don’t help them reach their potential or serve them in meaningful ways. Their habits leave them hollow, and that’s neither a productive nor fulfilling place to be.
Happiness isn’t a frivolous pursuit. How we feel impacts so many critical aspects of our life: our relationships, our career, our health … just to name a few. I think it’s fair to say that our personal pursuit of happiness is something we should be intentional about and, let’s face it, a little selfish, too.
What’s selfish about happiness? It requires that you do something purely to make you happy. Yes, it might help others, but it fills your buckets primarily … not theirs. If there’s benefit to others, so be it. 
As an example, I recently started running with my son’s track team after school. When I’m able, I gear up and join them on long-distance runs. This is 100% purely for me. I want to spend meaningful time with my son, get to know his friends, and – honestly – squeeze a workout in. I hope I make connections with the runners, too, and help them get better, as well as share my love for the sport. But this pursuit fills my bucket first and foremost, and I’m so okay with that.
You might find your happiness bucket is filled by sport or date nights, volunteering or long walks in the woods. It could be, too, that happiness for you is fulfilling a long-held goal, like going back to school or writing that book. 
My point, though, is simple – do what you need to do to get to a good place so you can be your best. When you’re at your best, you inspire others to be at their best, too. 
Need some motivation for being intentional about your pursuits? Hear from Angie and Sean on leading with Intentional Action.



*If you’re in Traverse City, visit The Workshop – and try the pork nachos!! You’ll be HAPPY you did.


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