Friday, December 20, 2013

Your ego is getting in the way of your happiness

We have been doing something amazing for the past year and a half at PointSource.  We have pivoted a company, created a culture, hired many people, and been blessed with a successful business that is growing at a rate and pace I could not have imagined.  Our company was recently up for North Carolina's fastest growing small company by NCTA.  Our success elicits a few different kinds of responses from peers in the past including a sense of entitlement, envy, or happiness.  

"I deserve to be the same level as him/her/them."  Seeing a peer (or someone viewed as a peer) leave and do something successful is exciting to many people.  But then instead of being happy for them, they feel they are entitled to the same opportunity or to be the same level if they decide to also jump.  For example, Let's say a peer left, joined a company and quickly rose to CIO of a publicly traded company in two years.  These people with false entitlement feel two years later even though that haven't done much new that if they left they deserve to be CIO as well.  Instead of being happy for their peer or looking for an opportunity to accelerate and grow their career, they view themselves as being entitled because they were once upon a time at the same level.  Their sense of entitlement is getting in the way of their happiness.

"Erik isn't that smart he was just in the right place at the right time."  When jealousy and envy spill over from an individual, it comes out as all forms of ugliness.  I am blessed to have gotten the opportunities I have had and blessed that it has been successful.  This jealous blind rage that people spew that ultimately gets back to me just makes me sad for those people.  As far as I know, I haven't hurt too many of these people in the past and if I had I hope I have the chance to find out and say that I am truly sorry.  Indeed when you say mean and spiteful things about someone who is successful some of it is rooted in truth.  I am just a sinner and I would be nothing without God's blessing in my life.  These are truths.  But what I pray for these people is that they don't allow their jealousy or envy get in the way of their own happiness. 

What I notice about these last two cases is they both are anger driven by their egos.  These statements don't come from people who are happy and content with what has happened in their lives.  They are people who desire the same blessings or believe they are entitled to something different.  Said another way, their egos are getting in the way of their happiness.  You see, if they checked their pride at the door they could pursue that which could make them happy.  Often it isn't "I need to run my own company" or "make this much money" but instead could be thankfully "I need to have a job where I can feel accomplished and take care of my family."  What a simple but sweet notion - finding what makes you happy.

"I am happy for them."  Yes, some people do respond genuinely with a happiness for the success we have been blessed with.  Its not a lie.  They are happy.  They are happy because they are also at the root content with where they are.  I am thankful for these people.  I want to surround myself with these people.  I try to surround myself with these people.

Part of the challenge with happiness is that it is so difficult to find what makes you happy.  For me, it is the hope in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I have sought happiness in many other ways such as love, career and alcohol.  None of those made me happy.  They drove me further and further towards envy, greed, lust, anger, and ultimately disappointment.  I will be happy regardless of what happens in my career now because Jesus has given me the hope and satisfaction I need in life.  If you are looking for that hope and satisfaction in your life, connect with me today.  I'd love to share the good news which gives me great joy.