In today’s episode, our guest is Jenn Lim. She is a global workplace expert, bestselling author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO and co-founder of Delivering Happiness [DH], a company that grows purpose-driven organizations with more profitable and sustainable approaches to business. Jenn launched two bestselling books—Delivering Happiness in 2010 and authored Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact.
[3:40] Why should I listen to you?
I just love real talk. I simply prefer to dive in sooner than most people, and I enjoy getting to know people on a personal level. So the only way I think I can do that is by expressing myself from the core. We had meaningful conversations where I learned a lot of things. I learned more about how to implement sustainable scientific happiness in my company.
[5:28] Where did that pop out for you?
I think multiple levels, but the most important is my inner circle. We had to sit and talk to ourselves; some saw this as a good thing, while others saw it as a bad thing. We had conversations about setting the right priorities, doing the right thing, and lots more.
[8:48] Can you break down the birth of this idea?
I launched a book with Tony Shea, the late CEO of zappos.com in 2010 and the book was titled delivering happiness. We didn’t have an idea about how well it did and realized there was a demand for happiness in the world. Tony co-founded a company called delivering happiness and the purpose was to help other organizations focus on how to create happy environments for the staff and customers. If there is happiness in an organization, you’ll have a more sustainable profitable business. At the end of 2020, I lost my co-founder and one of my best buds. It’s not just about sharing all these stories but how we made all these organizations happier, more productive, and more profitable. Right now, it’s more than just happiness but reinforcing the perception of happiness.
[12:35] Do you mind sharing some of your lows?
There was a time I lost my job, lost my title, lost my status, 911 happened and in that same year, my dad got diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. I eventually lost my dad and that shaped me into figuring out what is meaningful to me and I found out that it’s a misalignment of values. So I shifted from money to the values that are dear and near to me. I had meaningful relationships that got me into the place of exploring. It wasn’t even happiness at that time but how to ground and stabilize ourselves in a world that is uncertain and unpredictable.
[15:15] What do you recommend for people who are currently going through their darkest and low moments?
When Tony died, the book was already due, but luckily the publisher gave me a little bit more time. But during that time, I was too weak to do anything. I was at my lowest and depressed. When you talk to people about it, they try to cheer you up and recommend some quotes that will help you, but that does not really help. What really helps is picking up a mirror, looking inward, and seeing what you’ve done in the past when you were at your lowest. Reflect on how you got through those times. So processing and reflecting on your own abilities helps you get your resilience back.
[20:25] How would you define happiness, and then go beyond it?
We kind of base happiness on scientific research and data, and we try to bring academics into real life. What we’ve learned from that is that there are different types of happiness, including pleasure and all those things related to it. However, the most sustainable form of happiness is purpose. We hear that all the time, so it’s basically being part of something bigger than yourself. From a scientific standpoint, there are various ways to increase internal happiness, such as having a sense of autonomy and development. So if you are thinking of what you may do, have more control, more progress, more connections, or enhance that sense of greater purpose.
[23:12] In your journey, did you find something that can also lead to happiness?
When I completed the book, it was a moment of pride. I was able to complete it in an honorable way, which is like an achievement, and that is a natural part of what we want to do as human beings. It’s just good to look at what you’ve accomplished and be proud of yourself.
[31:03] What has the work turned into over time?
We are still helping organizations, companies, governments, and hospitals around the world implement change. One of the silver liners is that we can now embed conversations about mental health. The last few years have deepened the stuff that we’ve done so that people understand that it’s not just rainbows and unicorns. People want to show up as themselves. Authenticity is the number one happiness and then we feel that sense of progress and purpose and how we can do that on a day-to-day basis. A lot of people are obsessed with leaving a legacy, and to me, that’s not what it’s all about. It’s living the legacy today instead of thinking about what you’re going to leave behind.
[36:30] What are you passionate about now?
The last three years have been pretty much about getting better. Right now, we are looking at the outlook. There have been talks of an impending recession, and there will be some unexpected events this year. But what I think is cool about this particular time is that people are more ready and open than ever to being curious, courageous, and creative about themselves. Humanity is more ready than ever to receive something more than usual. We are ready to receive ourselves and each other.
[41:50] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
I will have the opportunity and the choice to show up and be who I was born to be.
[30:40-30:43] The more you exude yourself, the more growth within yourself
[42:35-42:40] The greatest gift you can have is to have a deeper understanding of yourself as God our Creator meant it.
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