Happiness is rarely touched upon in entrepreneurship. Everyone may assume that entrepreneurs are always happy, but when we are under pressure that can make or break our business, can we still maintain this mythical level of bliss?
As an entrepreneur, we learn to always show excitement whenever we pitch our business and tend to always be an optimist. With the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, waking up feeling happy can be a challenge. Faking it until we make it can take a lot of energy.
That is why Alex Ikonn and U.J. Ramdas created the "Five Minute Journal," an easy-to-use, structured journal to help you become happier and create purposeful action in your day.
Related: 11 Habits of Truly Happy People
The journal was inspired by research from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley that launched a multi-year project expanding the science and practice of gratitude.
The research showed that keeping a gratitude journal can promote higher levels of positive emotion, boost joy, optimism and happiness, all while making you feel less lonely and isolated. Let’s face it. With all our means of communication today people are feeling more disconnected than ever.
Successful entrepreneurs know the importance of their well-being. These characteristics are essential to our success. Using these three, quick Five Minute Journal ideas can help inject some happiness into even the most frustrating of days.
1. Start with gratitude.
Mornings are the most important time for an entrepreneur. This is often when we get the real work done and have the opportunity to set the tone for the day. To start on the right foot, focus on actions that would make your day great. This conditions your brain to focus on the positive and ensure you begin each day with purpose. If you walk into your office with an angry face, your employees and colleagues immediately brace for a bad day. Similarly, entering with energy and a smile can create the perfect environment for productivity and success.
At night, before bed, reflect on the good things that happened throughout your day and how you could improve for tomorrow. It’s amazing how often we tend to focus on all the things that are wrong. By doing this you short-circuit the negative thought loops from completely taking over. You will sleep a bit better and calm your mind no matter how messy your day may have been.
2. Set your purpose.
Each and everyday you need to find your purpose. If you're making a big pivot, know your reasons why. As the Dominican University study on goals research has shown, simply focusing on your goals makes it more likely you’ll follow through on them. You cannot hit a fuzzy and unclear target.
Related: The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness
In the Five Minute Journal, there is a specific section to set your purpose for the day. This enables you to easily find your focus and sets the stage for accomplishment. No focus makes finding success like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.
3. Be specific.
One of the most overlooked aspects of reflection and goal setting is the power of being specific. If you're setting a goal to grow your business, you need to break down the details. No one ever got anywhere in business without knowing the specific steps. Randomness and luck rarely prevail.
The same goes for happiness and writing what you are grateful for: The more specific you get, the easier it is to connect with the feeling behind the gratitude, which is the most important part.
As the world renowned life hacker and New York Times best selling author Tim Ferriss said, "The Five Minute Journal is one of the simplest ways I have found to consistently ensure improving my well-being and happiness. Both in terms of achievement and actual measurable, quantifiable results."
If you're missing happiness or gratitude in your life, it's time to make a change. Entrepreneurs should be happy with what their doing and feel purpose in the business their creating, despite the inherent ups and downs. You cannot simply be fueled by money as a measure of success. Looking back at what you have accomplished and where you are headed helps build a legacy of which you can be proud.