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The 4 Principles Needed to Achieve, or Deliver, Happiness

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The 4 Principles Needed to Achieve, or Deliver, Happiness

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It may be a cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true: Beyond a certain point money can’t buy happiness, at least not reliably or sustainably.

The key insight into the nature of happiness for us came when we realized that the quest for happiness was not only the reason that people pursued careers and started families, but was also what guided many of their decisions in day-to-day life. In 2007, we started really looking into the science of happiness to help guide our decision-making for Zappos.com in a more rational way — after all, if happiness was the goal, wasn’t it worth seeing what we really understood about the concept?

By 2009, understanding and delivering happiness had become the centerpiece of both our personal and professional strategies, which is reflected in the mission statement we adopted that year: “Zappos is about delivering happiness to the world.”

Delivering happiness sounds good, but to be effective, you need to know what that actually entails. What makes you happy? What makes people around you happy? Different people have different ideas about what might make them happy, and it’s important to note that people aren’t always on the right track about what they think will make them happy.

Fortunately, psychology has taken up the case of applying scientific principles to understanding what really governs happiness. Psychology used to be primarily interested in figuring out what was wrong with people and making them “normal,” which was used as a proxy for “healthy.” But in the late 1990s, psychologists began exploring what’s now known as “positive psychology” to get a better understanding of how otherwise average people might become happier.

It turns out, there are four key principles that drive happiness across the board. Whatever the specifics of how an individual derives happiness might be, these four key principles remain common:

1. A sense of control

Having a sense of control over your own destiny is paramount to lasting happiness. When this is lacking, people tend to easily give up and feel despair and helplessness, but with purpose and control over their own destinies, people become energized and unlock their talents and ambitions.

A good entrepreneur gives employees, partners and customers clearly apparent control over their own destinies in managing interactions with the company.

2. Perceived progress

It’s no fun feeling like you’re stuck in neutral. The perception of progress is a cornerstone of the path to developing sustainable happiness.

This is why the most successful video games offer unlockable content, achievements and badges and allow for “leveling up.” These elements function to keep people interested and motivated, and to feel as though they’re experiencing a sense of progression.

Good companies will do the same, offering clear and attainable promotional paths for employees and intuitive paths to satisfaction for customers and clients.

3. Connectedness

Humans are social animals. We thrive on connections to other people. In fact, we depend on those connections emotionally as well as physically. Engaged, connected employees work harder and report greater happiness than those isolated in offices or cubes. This is also why it’s important to build a real rapport with customers and vendors.

We have evolved to care about the success of the tribe — make your colleagues and clients part of your tribe.

4. Vision and meaning

There’s nothing wrong with making money, but as we’ve learned all too well, making money is simply not enough. In fact, research indicates that once you reach a certain compensation threshold, your salary becomes significantly less indicative of your overall happiness.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates how human motivation evolves rapidly once basic physiological needs are met, leading people to be more concerned with freedom of expression, social status, a sense of achievement, a sense of belonging and other intangibles.

If you’re counting on money to generate your happiness, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Being a part of something bigger and really committing to a vision brings deep satisfaction on a fundamental level. If you can find that sort of vision and meaning and offer it to the people in your life, you’re laying a firm foundation for genuine, long-term happiness that transcends financial considerations.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what it is that you want to do with your life. But taking the time to truly understand what drives happiness will equip you to act effectively when pursuing it — and when delivering it.

source:http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249255

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Industry

THE FINTECH REVOLUTION IN INSURANCE

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Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

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Business

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK RUNS BLOCKCHAIN HACKATHON

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A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

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Industry

GOOGLE NEVER REALLY LEFT CHINA: A LOOK AT THE CHINESE WEBSITE GOOGLE’S BEEN QUIETLY RUNNING

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More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — 265.com — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Ganji.com. Back in the early years of Google.cn, Google actually operated directly off of Ganji.com’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with Ganji.com — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of Google.cn, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, 265.com. A whois search of the 265.com domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

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