In Cate Blanchett’s Oscar speech last weekend, she reminded the world that a) people will pay to see women in movies and b) there is a lot of talent in Australia.
I agree with her on both accounts.
Brendan Baker isn’t making movies about women, but he does hail from the land down under – and his talent and drive propelled him to a successful career at a very young age. By 24, Brendan was making a 6 figure income as a human resources mucky muck (official title) – and then he quit.
He tells us why in today’s happiness interview.
What makes you happy?
There are a lot of things that make me happy! Such as my fiance, my family and friends, food, sunshine, getting out in nature…
However, I feel the best thing for me that sustains my happiness is to be doing work that I absolutely love.
This is where I feel most people are let down in terms of their own happiness. When you’re spending 8 hours per day at work, it really needs to be something that you love doing. I believe this is the only true way of lasting happiness.
I also believe that the work that you do should have a positive impact on society or to someone else. It’s about having that sense of purpose and meaning and really adding value with your life.
For me personally, I love seeing people grow, witnessing beliefs change, being part of the experience of helping someone achieve success in their life.
What steps did you take to figure out what makes you happiest?
It has been a long, hard road and I actually feel there is a long way for me to go.
When I was seven years old I almost died. I hit my head on a moving train and fell in between the gap of the platform at a train station and the moving train itself. Somehow I survived.
Surprisingly, even at such a young age I still remember having these thoughts of “Wow! What if I just died? Has my life even mattered?”
From that day I’ve simply been exploring life as much as possible and trying out as many things as I can to see what I enjoy the most. I think on last count I’ve had about 20 different jobs Some were great, some I absolutely hated. I realized that the jobs that I really enjoyed were the ones that I felt I was making a difference in this world.
Although I feel as though now I have found my mission in terms of my line of work, I’m still very new to other areas of life that can lead to happiness, such as meditation – which is something I’m currently trying to learn and get the hang of!
Are there any “shoulds” you’ve had to let go of in order to pursue your happiness?
Ohhh YES! This one gets me so fired up!
I really feel that we live in a society that is FULL of “should’s” or “ought-to’s”.
Unfortunately, everyone is brought up knowing that they should get a great paying, secure job. A great paying, secure job can help you live your best life, right?
Well it can, if you are purely materialistic, but I honestly believe that every human being desires more than just a fancy car and a fancy house!
That is the single biggest “should” I have had to let go of. I remember when I was first negotiating the thought of leaving my corporate career and pursuing something that I loved. Those doubts and fears were so prominent and it was reinforced by family, friends and society saying that it’s risky and that I “should” stay in a corporate career where I have great income.
However, after personally experiencing it, I found that the moment I walked out the door of my corporate career for the last time, those fears and doubts vanished and I just started waking up happier each day.
That was just 6 months ago. So, I’m still not earning the same income I was earning when I was in the corporate world, but you know what? I’m happier And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
“Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.”
I don’t think it’s advice someone told me, but I’ve read about it a number of times and it absolutely holds true.
I believe focusing on reaching the state of happiness can actually lead to frustration. Instead, it’s about living in the moment and being conscious of your thoughts and your decisions. This can then enable you to take the right steps that will create a fun, fulfilling and happy journey for you in life.
The other best piece of advice I have received is that happiness is about balance. Too much of one thing is never a good thing. You always need to spend quality time in all areas of life.
Brendan Baker helps people who feel stuck doing work they don’t like start to make a difference and an income doing what they love. He writes over at The Start of Happiness and has created the Launch Your Life Academy to support people gain clarity of their goals in life and stay focused and motivated in achieving them.