Chris Suarez & I hosted the Xperiential MBA group of leaders in New York this past week. It was an epic event!
New York is an epic place. The energy there is electrifying and palpable. It’s a blend of historic significance and futuristic vision. Our group got a taste of the history and future over the course of a few days.
Here’s my 7 biggest takeaways from leading this group through New York.
#1 The science of happiness
Happiness is not just some elusive mystery or some fleeting feeling. It takes on 3 distinct characteristics. And you can be intentional in experiencing all 3 when you choose.
Hedonic well being is the “fun” feeling. It’s doing something that makes you feel, well, happy. Playing games, hobbies, watching TV, eating ice cream. It might not have any other redeeming qualities, yet you simply enjoy it.
Eudemonic well being happens when an activity has significant meaning. We achieve ecumenic happiness even if the activity in the moment is arduous or difficult as long as it fulfills our greater purpose . Engage in deeply meaningful activities and you’ll have happiness!
Psychologically rich life happens when we are engaged in something that we are fascinated by or interested in. It stretches us and grows us in a way in which we’d like to grow.
Find opportunities for these 3 flavors or happiness and notice the richness in your life skyrocket.
#2 Be in the room where it happened
It’s a song from the play “Hamilton” – The Room Where it Happened. There’s something magical about being at the location where something happened or is happening.
There’s an electricity that happens when humans get together to engage in growth relationships and conversation. It’s among the reasons we feel FOMO, we want to be there. And we were there on the NY Stock Exchange trading floor. People all over the world were waiting, watching and hoping for good fortune when that iconic bell started ringing to signal the beginning of trading that day. We were in the room.
There’s also the incredible sense of significance when we are in rooms where things did happen. Reading the original document that founded the NYSE and the fact that 3 of the 4 cornerstones of the agreement are still the fundamental tenets of the exchange today makes being in the room with that document all the more special.
#3 Successful habits happen early
We are habitual creatures. Sometimes the actions we take and the results we have are the result of a habit that took place much earlier.
It’s called a keystone habit. It’s simply a habit that starts a chain of habits that affects our ultimate behavior.
For example, if you create the habit of making your bed each day, what is likely to happen? Well, you’ll have a neat bed. The diligence of making your bed also creates the momentum for greater productivity, healthy eating choices (which leads to better health) and even getting to bed earlier and sleeping better later that night.
#4 Emotional Intelligence is as much about self
When we think of emotional intelligence, we typically think of our ability to emotionally relate to other people. And that’s true.
However, before we emotionally relate to others, we must have awareness of our own emotional state.
Without awareness of how we’re showing up, it’s hard to calibrate ourselves for other people. We won’t know what to calibrate for the benefit of someone else. TO be emotionally intelligent, we must start with ourselves.
#5 You don’t know what’s behind a door until it’s opened
We had an amazing dinner together. Food, drink, conversation, connection, laughter.
You would not have known the magic that awaits by looking through the front door. The restaurant is a throwback to the speakeasy days of the city. In keeping with the theme, the entire restaurant is through the door of a pawn shop.
It was easy to be curious about what kind of experience awaits. Truth is, we couldn’t see the restaurant until we walked through the door. You gotta walk through the doors to get to the experience.
#6 Create Scale by NOT doing things at scale
The definition of scalability is being able to grow without proportional effort. In short, it’s like being able to double revenue without much increase in cost.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? I get to that point, though, we must do unscalable activities. Anything that requires us to do manual tasks, by definition, isn’t scalable.
To have a scalable business, you need customers. To get customers – especially early in a company – manual tasks are a must. Customers must be drummed up.
To get to scale, you must first (and sometimes always) do the unscalable.
#7 It’s all about perspective
On the 100th floor of One World Trade Center, approximately 1600+ feet in the sky, you can see the whole city. Building new and old. Ant-like pedestrians and cards. There’s a peacefulness & serenity as you look out over the city.
The elevator ride down takes 46 seconds. You’re traveling at 25 miles per hour. When you get down on the ground and walk outside of the building, you’re in the hustle & bustle. Cars are honking, construction sites blaring. What only moments prior looked peaceful, now feels hectic. The only thing that changed was me. As my perspective changed, the way I saw the world did, too.
The experience had all the magic befitting one of America’s great cities. Being part of this crew truly makes me… happy.
If you’re lacking clarity, inspiration or a community of high achievers going into the new year and you want to grow yourself, your business with greater levels of fulfillment, join Xperiential MBA. Check out the link here and secure your spot with 40% off the first month.