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On June 3rd 2019, Oil India in partnership with Happy Ho organised a conference for its employees at Duliajan, Assam. The topic at hand was ‘Happiness & Metrics for Success in Corporate Life’. One of the esteemed speakers at the conference was Mr. Nagesh Alai, a finance and legal professional having over 4 decades of entrepreneurial and corporate experience. Here’s a short insight into his session on the day.

Given the topic and the composition of the audience (all new/recent joinees in the age group of mid 20s and early 30s), Nagesh was clear that he will not be using any visual aids but rather having a conversation with the audience and making it an interactive one, so that the participants could journey and discover happiness and success metrics on their own. He simply wanted to be a facilitator in this process.

Any standard dictionary defines happiness as joy or contentment or satisfaction. This is as generic a statement as possible. “But joy or contentment or satisfaction with what precisely?”, asked Nagesh. Quite clearly, happiness will mean different things for different people and triggers are myriad. True enough, when asked the audience had vastly different answers to give. It varied from being with the family, looking after the family, doing a job well, being with friends, playing sports, doing an activity they like and so on. In essence, happiness would literally mean a billion things for a billion people.

With a bagful of answers from the audience in hand, Nagesh then decided to add different perspectives to the discussion.

First one was a religious outlook. He took them through the common thread of happiness running across all religions where the central theme was about the well being of mind and doing good or doing one’s duty as the cause for overall well being and gaining salvation or moksha. To validate the point, the audience was taken through the central percepts of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Next, the audience was taken through the biological factors of happiness – the endogenic and exogenic factors leading to a biological process and release of happy hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.

Nagesh shared with them some other relevant information like a research study by James Montier showing that 50% of the people are predisposed towards cheerfulness. And Martin Seligman’s view on the pleasant life (material happiness), the engaged life (being absorbed and happy in an activity like becoming a professor or a cricketer) and the meaningful life (doing something for the greater good and deriving happiness).

Thereafter, Nagesh went on to the metrics for success in corporate life. He made the discussion participative by inviting the audience’s views on what these success factors are. The enthusiasm of the audience was a high point and demonstrative their positivity and awareness. He then took them through the various causative factors for success in corporate life including some concepts that he had developed for the conference – the principles of 5’s.

  • 5 N’s – Now (no procrastination, execution), Next (plan next move), Notice (being aware), Nice (interpersonal skills) and Network (contact and connect with superiors, peers and subordinates and influencers)
  • 5 A’s – Aim (clarity of mission/goal), Aptitude, Attitude, Acceptance (of situation, people) and Awareness
  • 5 Q’s – IQ, EQ, SQ (spiritual quotient), DQ (digital awareness and competency in today’s internet and technology savvy world) and HQ (importance of health)

The session ended with Nagesh summating it with an observation that whatever we do, we need to do with our full heart and soul. He encouraged the audience to not make life complicated and to not ignore their purpose of life if they wish to be in a good state of mind and happy.

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