If you are thinking of making a new start, this is the time to open your doors to hope and health to bring happiness into your life. The New Year is when individuals, businesses, and societies contemplate a fresh start. This holiday is a celebration of last year’s accomplishments and plans for the next year. It doesn’t mean that you have to wait for this holiday to make a fresh start. You can make a new start at any point during the year and open the doors to hope and health.
Hope is the desire to accomplish something for yourself, family, business, or society. Without hope, your life has no direction. However, if you have hopes that involve a desire to accomplish what is unacceptable in civilized society—such as a desire to hurt or abuse someone—these can lead you astray on a personal, family, or business level.
As human beings, we are compelled to set our hopes higher than just meeting biological or survival needs. Our cognitive abilities are superior to any other species on Earth. For example, birds fulfill their biological and survival needs by picking up food from their surroundings, feeding themselves and their offspring and building nests for shelter in trees. If we had filmed their lives a 100 or 1,000 of years ago and compared this to their lives today, we would find their habits have not changed, except that their lives may have been impacted by our pollution.
In the past, we used to hunt for food and live in caves. Currently, we live in skyscrapers, and our food is served on plates. Our lives have changed because of the human desire to improve. However, we must continue to develop better lifestyles by including desires that go beyond our primary needs because changes have to benefit society at large. For instance, Steve Jobs sought to create perfect products and deliver excellent service to customers, which made him a billionaire and, at the same time, revolutionized the music and computing industries. His drive for perfection has helped his company and society, going well beyond a primary desire to meet biological and survival needs.
As an individual, family member, or business person, you have hopes. Thus, you need to set clear goals, set a timeline for achieving those goals, develop a plan for accomplishing them, evaluate them periodically, and change your plan if it is not working.
Health is critical to implementing plans for satisfying individual, business, or societal desires. Your personal health can be managed by dividing it into three areas: (1) physical, (2) mental, and (3) emotional dimensions. As a family member or business professional, you also need to focus on all three areas. The importance of each area may differ according to your work. Members of sports teams may rank physical health as number one because of the physical endurance this requires. They see emotional health as number two to withstand competitive or aggressive pressures from opposing teams and mental health as number three to make split-second decisions based on game plans. In contrast, business executives may rank emotional health as number one because they are working with hundreds and thousands of employees and millions of customers, while mental health is number two, helping these professionals make rational decisions based on the available knowledge and information. Their last priority would be physical health as they need this when participating in teams and communicating with—and directing—others.
Your physical, mental, and emotional health affects your personal or professional ability to achieve the goals you set based on your desires. For example, fans, investors, and analysts were concerned whether Steve Jobs’s company could accomplish his goals when his health information was released in 2011. Changes in health can have a similar impact on individual, family, and business goals.
Happiness is the mental and emotional state that results in the sensation that you are living a good life. Happiness is a positive feeling of joy, success, and accomplishment, as well as living a meaningful, satisfying life. This is the result of various variables, including genetics and addictions that may also affect individuals’ overall happiness. The following brief discussion shows how hope and health, in particular, lead to happiness.
The relationships between hope, health, and happiness are complex. I met a student in an overseas master of business administration (MBA) program who wanted to be part of the financial services industry. He had a bachelor’s degree in business, but he was unable to find a job in his target industry, which is why he accepted a low-paid job in the manufacturing industry. His desire was to work in the financial services industry, so he set a goal of getting an MBA because banks were hiring MBA program graduates. However, he did not have the money for tuition fees and had to sell his car and use a bicycle to get to work, as well as commuting to classes with classmates. He was in good physical shape and content to ride a bike to his manufacturing job. He was mentally and emotionally happy and actively involved in classes, as well as receiving top grades. He graduated with an extremely high-grade point average, and he was the happiest man after graduation because he was soon hired by a local bank as a commercial loan officer.
A desire based individual and collective needs and a healthy life lead to happiness. Levels of happiness differ for individuals or groups due to such variables as their genetic makeup and addictions. Happiness can be achieved by accomplishing goals set to satisfy hopes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
© 2017 Mohammed R. Ahmed
Ahmed, M.R. (2017). Hope and Health Will Bring Happiness Into Your Life.
Published in Linkedin