Careers & Success

Why it is NOT important to be happy

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Jonar Nader

Jonar Nader says that we should not seek to be happy. Rather, we should learn how to cope with whatever life dishes out. We cannot be happy if we set out to be happy. We must learn how to cope with sadness so that we can have a healthy attitude towards life’s challenges. Further below is a transcript of the video.

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Here is the transcript:

Michelle: Do you feel that your climb up the corporate ladder is more like a slide? Is there a better way to be a leader in today’s business world? My guest today says there is. Jonar Nader is the author of this book, “How to Lose Friends & Infuriate People.” Thanks for joining us today.

Jonar Nader: Hi, Michelle.

Michelle: The title really kind of says it all. This isn’t about being nice to everyone and doing what they say and going along the lines of what the rules have always – this is the way we’ve always done it and, therefore, this is the way it always will be. You’re really kind of breaking through the walls.

Jonar Nader: Yes, do you know it’s not about being nice or not nice; it is about being true to yourself. So I’m not saying, “Go out and lose friends.” I’m saying “Do what you believe is right” because when you go to bed at night, all that you have is the energy with which you go to bed. It’s not the car in the garage or it’s not the $10 million in the bank account. You are you. Can you sleep with yourself? Have you done what you know should have been done? Or did you think, “Oh, well, I’ll let someone else worry about it,” or, “I’ll ignore it and it might go away,” or, “Hey, you know, there might be no tomorrow. When are you actually going to do what you know is right?”

Michelle: Right. I’ve compromised my integrity just to say okay and not make waves and not because this, “Gosh, they must know more than I do, so I’m going to go ahead and compromise my integrity.”

Jonar Nader: Or I might lose my job, or what will the boss say, because we are taught often one side of the story. We are taught to be nice to people. What about being nice to yourself? We are taught to be diplomatic, but sometimes diplomacy is a waste of time. We are tau ght that patience is a virtue, but sometimes impatience is just as heroic and just as noble and just as important. And if you don’t know how to be impatient gracefully and graciously, then you’ll be awkward with it. So I’m saying to people learn how impatience can be as a wonderful tool as patience. And, for example, we are taught to focus, aren’t we? You had better focus on your career, focus on your job. But, you know, sometimes, being aware is just as important as being focused. And not only now do you need to be focused and aware, you need to do them simultaneously. And there are so many things like that. Fear is another one. How many of us teach our children about fear? By at the age of seven, every child knows the fear of the dog, the boogey man, failure, and all the rest of it. And as they grow up, they have this, say, a level 10 of fear. But do they have a level 10 of courage? Because, you know, the opposite of fear is courage, and when you can engage both of them simultaneously, they disappear. Then you act on conviction, with neither one winning because you have both at your disposal. And that’s why – so the story goes, not only just fear and courage, but also logic and creativity, and so many things in life. So I’m talking about opposites. And the book sounds like an opposite, doesn’t it?

Michelle: Yes.

Jonar Nader: I mean, they go, “Hang on, you’re telling me to lose friends.” I’m saying “Well, it’s just that so many people have told you to win friends so many years. Let me just show you the other side. And then be neither, but use both and be what you have to be when you have to be.”

Michelle: Right.

Jonar Nader: That’s the point, yeah.

Michelle: And yet, on the other hand a lot of us would, again, be afraid to make waves. We’re afraid. Okay, if we start standing up for ourselves, if we start saying the things that probably should be said because, of course, every employee in a company, I think, always knows better than the person on top, right? Everybody’s got an idea of how it should be done. We’re afraid that by standing out, we will be a target.

Jonar Nader: Yes, and we’re not too good at protecting ourselves, too.

Michelle: Right.

Jonar Nader: So, where this book, for example, is so more useful than most of books on market is that it says, “Go and do all these things, but stop, before you go, have you got the strength? Have you got the right equipment, the right prerequisites?” And this book sets the prerequisites. See, so many times, we teach people to go and do something, but there’s like a little rubber band attached to your back.

Michelle: Right.

Jonar Nader: And now it’s a tug of war between you trying to get to where you want to go and the status quo pulling you back. And, now, you either had to rip the rubber band or it’ll catapult you back. And, most often, it will catapult you back because the comfort zone is where you know best. It’s the magnetic process where you go. So, what I’m saying to people then is, “Okay, look. I know you have a comfort zone. Before you venture out, have a backup plan, have some strategy, build your muscle, build your brain, b0uild your heart, build your spirit. Now, you can go and do whatever you want to do.” You see, so many gurus out there say that you go and do whatever you want to do, but they just send you to the wolves. I’m saying there are certain things you have to prepare for.

Michelle: Right.

Jonar Nader: Yeah.

Michelle: And your book starts off really with focusing on yourself because, of course, it would be one thing to say, “Okay, here’s networking. Here’s management styles. Here’s this type of a thing.” But you start off with, of course, the reader of the book.

Jonar Nader: Yes, that’s right. I mean, the book could easily have gone into what is leadership and what is sales and what is management and – but all of that is useless if you don’t have yourself in balance. And balance is more important than just – for example, people say it’s important to be happy. Well, no, it’s not important to be happy. It’s important to know how to deal with life’s knocks. So it’s important to have a good balance in life. And, well, that’s what’s called a healthy attitude. So, I’m not saying, “Go out and forever be happy.” I’m saying, “Go out and forever be able to deal with happiness and sadness equally and learn how to use them both.” See, in the network world – which is a buzz phrase we use, just to describe the world in which we live – in the network world, there are certain things that are also opposite. We are taught that, for example, the weak and the strong is synergy. So, you and I, one of us is weaker than the other, but together we can lift this table. On our own, we couldn’t have done it, but together the weak plus the strong gives synergy. That’s in the tangible world, which we are so good at. Tangible world, you can touch and feel it, and measure it. And I can look at your resume and you know you have the PhD and I can work at how much money you’ve got. Everything is so immeasurable. But in the intangible world, how do I measure how much wisdom you have? How do I measure how much calmness you truly have as in a true person? What spirituality you have. I can’t. So it’s not measurable and, therefore, I can’t see it. And in the world of things you can’t see, the weak plus the strong is the weakest, not the weak plus the strong gives you better.

Michelle: Right.

Jonar Nader: So, if in an office environment, you have 10 good people and one little weak bastard of a manager, then I can tell you that the weakest element will permeate. The worst of that group will permeate, whether it be deceit or lies or backstabbing, because the only way to fight lies in that sense is to fight with lies. And, therefore, most people who are good people are also fickle people. And that’s why the kind of manager I am – who loses friends and infuriates people – I would sack someone on the spot. And they’ll say to me, “Hang on a minute.” I’ve had many a letters from my CEO saying to me, “Jonar, our people are our assets. What are you doing sacking our people?” I’m saying “They’re only an asset when they’re an asset?” And you’d be wise to know when to get rid of them. So, decision-making processes are vital. Do not hesitate. Hesitation spells destruction in this fast-paced world.

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