Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finding Happiness at Work

by James Brett (Truly Tea)

There’s so much clarity with retrospective awareness and understanding!

I’m an individual who’s, for some reason, lucky enough to be endowed with innate passion, energy, determination & enthusiasm. A real go-getter.

With a super HSC and a finance & econometrics degree under my belt, the world was at my feet. The typical upbringing of “get a good job and work your way up” was a fundamental belief.

And so I sprinted to the corporate ladder like a true champion indeed! Nothing could stop me from achieving the ultimate goal – CEO one day! Joining Citibank (largest bank on the globe at the time), meant the potential for “success” was unlimited – should I want it, crave it, need it badly enough.

I persistently worked and worked – harder, longer, better, faster. That beautiful, sparkling, solid gold carrot was dangling there! How badly I wanted it!

Except... After a few years I wondered: “Do I actually want that carrot”? If so, to the detriment of what? I watched people come & go, inflate & deflate, create & destroy, scrambling over each other for crumbs. The saddest events I saw were the family & marriage break ups – unfortunately, most due to work-related issues. And not just one or two... Was this my destiny, too?

Sure, the pay was fine... Bonuses were sometimes good... I was constantly praised for over-achieving....

How about personal relationships? Marriage? Friends? Physical & mental health? None of these were priorities...

So I exited corporate quick smart and founded a Tea Company – Truly Tea. A curious and risky career change, but incredibly rewarding. Our customers love us & our products, and we strive to enhance their lives. We’ll often encourage them to sit, relax and take a breath – tea is a brilliant vessel for this.

Do I regret it? Not for a millisecond. I’ve learned some exceptionally valuable lessons from that chapter of life; lessons that smacked me down but sprung me back stronger. Now I proudly boast superior knowledge and appreciation for the most valuable things in my life.
In my humble opinion, we all need more self-awareness. Simple start: setting, evaluating and start achieving REAL goals. Not KPIs, sales targets, bank balance goals, or who’s-got-the-biggest-house-and-nicest-car goals. More like Life goals, Family goals and Happiness goals.

What makes me happy now? Knowing I have amazing family and friends surrounding me... a smile, hug, a laugh. So simple, yet so fulfilling!

And I’m CEO – super happy about that, too ?

James Brett
Tea Purveyor (happily ex-corporate)

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