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The Secret to Finding YOUR Own Happiness!

Author : Dilip Saraf
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An auditorium-full of people from all walks of life had gathered to hear a famous philosopher on how to be happy in their lives. After his talk he asked each person in the audience to get a name tag and put their name on it so that they could introduce themselves to others as they all shuffled into a large gathering hall, with enough room for everyone in the audience to move around, introduce themselves to others, and engage in a brief conversation. As this was going on one of the organizers handed a yellow balloon and a marking pen to each participant. This was called Happiness Balloon and pretty soon every one was holding one, with a marking pen in their hand.

The philosopher took to the mike again and told the standing audience that since they had come to hear him talk about how to find their happiness, he told them that each person now holding their balloon was holding a secret to their happiness. Then he asked them each person to write their name on the balloon they were holding with large letters to make it easy for them to find their balloon when they were all asked to carry and leave them in an adjacent room, where everyone was standing.

Pretty soon, the adjacent room with glass walls was packed with all the yellow balloons with each participants name. The philosopher then asked the audience to into the room, a few at a time, and to find their own Happiness Balloon with their name on it. After struggling for a while, the audience realized that this was an impossible task. People simply could not navigate through the crowded room packed with balloons to find their own Happiness Balloon, no matter how hard they tried and how long they struggled.

After some time the philosopher got on the mike again and asked his audience what the problem was. Everyone shouted almost in unison, This is an impossible task! We cannot find our own Happiness Balloon!!

The philosopher then asked the audience to go into that room filled with Happiness Balloons and randomly pick a balloon with anyones name. He then asked them to come out of that room and to give that balloon to the person whose name they were able to track from the nametags everyone was now wearing. Within a just few minutes everyone was holding their own Happiness Balloon, with a smile on their face!

As everyone was standing in the hall with a smile on their face, holding their own Happiness Balloon, the philosopher reminded his audience: We just learnt how difficult it is to find your happiness on your own. But, it is much easier when you find and give someone elses happiness to them first; youll get yours in turn.

Moral: If you want to be happy, instead of chasing your own illusive happiness, try finding it for someone else and make them happy first. Youll get yours in turn!


This Happiness Balloon idea was adapted from an email I received from my class Yahoo Group!

About Author
Dilip has distinguished himself as LinkedIn’s #1 career coach from among a global pool of over 1,000 peers ever since LinkedIn started ranking them professionally (LinkedIn selected 23 categories of professionals for this ranking and published this ranking from 2006 until 2012). Having worked with over 6,000 clients from all walks of professions and having worked with nearly the entire spectrum of age groups—from high-school graduates about to enter college to those in their 70s, not knowing what to do with their retirement—Dilip has developed a unique approach to bringing meaning to their professional and personal lives. Dilip’s professional success lies in his ability to codify what he has learned in his own varied life (he has changed careers four times and is currently in his fifth) and from those of his clients, and to apply the essence of that learning to each coaching situation.

After getting his B.Tech. (Honors) from IIT-Bombay and Master’s in electrical engineering(MSEE) from Stanford University, Dilip worked at various organizations, starting as an individual contributor and then progressing to head an engineering organization of a division of a high-tech company, with $2B in sales, in California’s Silicon Valley. His current interest in coaching resulted from his career experiences spanning nearly four decades, at four very diverse organizations–and industries, including a major conglomerate in India, and from what it takes to re-invent oneself time and again, especially after a lay-off and with constraints that are beyond your control.

During the 45-plus years since his graduation, Dilip has reinvented himself time and again to explore new career horizons. When he left the corporate world, as head of engineering of a technology company, he started his own technology consulting business, helping high-tech and biotech companies streamline their product development processes. Dilip’s third career was working as a marketing consultant helping Fortune-500 companies dramatically improve their sales, based on a novel concept. It is during this work that Dilip realized that the greatest challenge most corporations face is available leadership resources and effectiveness; too many followers looking up to rudderless leadership.

Dilip then decided to work with corporations helping them understand the leadership process and how to increase leadership effectiveness at every level. Soon afterwards, when the job-market tanked in Silicon Valley in 2001, Dilip changed his career track yet again and decided to work initially with many high-tech refugees, who wanted expert guidance in their reinvention and reemployment. Quickly, Dilip expanded his practice to help professionals from all walks of life.

Now in his fifth career, Dilip works with professionals in the Silicon Valley and around the world helping with reinvention to get their dream jobs or vocations. As a career counselor and life coach, Dilip’s focus has been career transitions for professionals at all levels and engaging them in a purposeful pursuit. Working with them, he has developed many groundbreaking approaches to career transition that are now published in five books, his weekly blogs, and hundreds of articles. He has worked with those looking for a change in their careers–re-invention–and jobs at levels ranging from CEOs to hospital orderlies. He has developed numerous seminars and workshops to complement his individual coaching for helping others with making career and life transitions.

Dilip’s central theme in his practice is to help clients discover their latent genius and then build a value proposition around it to articulate a strong verbal brand.

Throughout this journey, Dilip has come up with many groundbreaking practices such as an Inductive Résumé and the Genius Extraction Tool. Dilip owns two patents, has two publications in the Harvard Business Review and has led a CEO roundtable for Chief Executive on Customer Loyalty. Both Amazon and B&N list numerous reviews on his five books. Dilip is also listed in Who’s Who, has appeared several times on CNN Headline News/Comcast Local Edition, as well as in the San Francisco Chronicle in its career columns. Dilip is a contributing writer to several publications. Dilip is a sought-after speaker at public and private forums on jobs, careers, leadership challenges, and how to be an effective leader.



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