Happiness doesn’t motivate people, but the lack of it does. So, managers focus on making people happy because they want to eliminate the “de-motivators.”
Making people happy really helps, because unhappiness really does cause people to struggle. The problem is, with unhappiness gone, most people don’t have a real motive to go forward.
Begin with the idea that you have to manage your own life for happiness before you can manage others. Then realise that you can not make people happy. That’s a cat chasing its tail. If a person is not happy now, then no matter what you add, they will have the habit of seeing imperfections and therefore remain in a constant state of dissatisfaction. Like eating, filling, hungry, eating, filling, hungry. Therefore management is a really difficult and thankless task unless it is given without expectation of return. It is, in some ways, a mothering or caring role, supportive, recuperative.
Management is the process of eliminating unhappiness, but, as we’ve seen, in a consumer society (Nature) there’s an endless stream of possibilities for becoming dissatisfied – unhappy. It is so easy to take for granted what we’ve got, take things for granted, and compare ourselves to what we could have. Overcoming discontent is therefore a real motivator for most people but it’s energy sapping and leads to unethical responses and often
There is a more powerful mechanism. With Happiness in the bag and an appreciation for what is, there can be an incredible opportunity to go into the future, happy but inspired to do better.
Can you see the radical difference. One leads to disappointment and ill-health, the other leads to success, love, contribution and betterment without doing harm to others. So, as well as what do we need to manage – we can ask “WHAT FUTURE DO YOU WANT?”