Jennifer Moss is passionate about her work at Plasticity Labs, the company that provides people with the tools to live a happy, high-performing life at work, and at home. The reason for this isn’t just because she is the co-founder and CMO. It’s also because she knows personally the impact happiness has on our lives – through both the good, and even the bad times.
This week the Harvard Business Review, the most prestigious business publication in the world, published an article Jenn wrote on the subject titled:
Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings
Here’s an excerpt
Happiness feels intolerably elusive for many of us. Like fog, you can see it from afar, dense and full of shape. But upon approach, its particles loosen and suddenly it becomes out of reach, even though it’s all around you.
We put so much emphasis on the pursuit of happiness, but if you stop and think about it, to pursue is to chase something without a guarantee of ever catching it.
Up until about six years ago, I was fervently and ineffectively chasing happiness. My husband, Jim, and I were living in San Jose, California, with our two-year-old son and a second baby on the way. On paper, our life appeared rosy. Still, I couldn’t seem to find the joy. I always felt so guilty about my sadness. My problems were embarrassingly “first world.”
Jim never worried about death. I did.
When we were told Jim’s illness was letting up, that he’d won this round, we were relieved. When we were told Jim might not walk for some time – likely a year, maybe longer – we were worried. We knew this prognosis meant the end of Jim’s career as a pro lacrosse player. What we didn’t know was how we’d pay the medical bills, or how much energy Jim would have for parenting.
With 10 weeks to go until the baby arrived, I had very little time to think and reflect. Jim, on the other hand, only had time. He was used to moving at high speeds, both in life and on the field, so minutes passed like hours in the hospital. He was kept busy with physical and occupational therapy, but he was also in need of psychological support.
He put out a note to people in his social networks, asking them for reading suggestions that would help him to mentally heal. Suggestions flowed in. Books and audio tapes were delivered bedside with notes about how they’d “helped so much” after whatever difficulty this person had also experienced but overcame.
Jim would spend his days reading motivational books from Tony Robbins and Oprah or watching TED talks, like Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight, about the impacts of brain trauma. He would analyze spiritual books by Deepak Chopra and theDalai Lama. Or review scientific research papers about happiness and gratitude written by researchers Martin Seligman,Shawn Achor, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and many others.
There was a repeated theme throughout all the literature – gratitude. It would weave in and out of the science, the true stories, and the drivers for success. Jim responded by starting a gratitude journal of his own. He got very thankful – thankful for the people who changed his sheets. Thankful for the family that would bring him hot meals at dinner. Thankful for the nurse who would encourage him and thankful for the extra time his rehab team would give on their own time. They once told Jim that they were only putting in extra time because they knew how grateful he was for their efforts.
He asked that I participate in his efforts, and because I wanted to help him to heal so badly and I was seeing how hard it was for him, I tried with all my efforts to be in a positive place when I came into his world inside that hospital room. I wasn’t always my best. I sometimes resented that I couldn’t break down – but after a while I started to see how rapidly he was getting better. And although our paths weren’t congruent, we were making it work.
I was “coming around.”
Please read the entire article: Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings
We are extremely proud of Jenn and her and Jim’s outlook and how they are positively benefiting Fibernetics, (we are a plasticity customer and partner with them through Fibernetics Ventures).
But we are also very proud for the work she, Jim and their team are doing to improve workplace culture around the world through the Plasticity platform. It’s true to the Fibernetics core values and it’s very gratifying that such an auspicious publication as the Harvard Business Review would recognize this as well.