Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Last week, I attended the Vator Splash event, where I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos (sold to Amazon.com in 2009 for $1.2 billion). While his talk was mainly about building Zappos and the company culture within, it was the last 5 min of his presentation that really inspired me. He talked about the science of happiness and referred to one such framework, where he defined 3 levels of happiness as Pleasure, Passion and Purpose.
Most of us, most of the time, seek happiness by pursuing things that give us pleasure. This kind of happiness is short-lived as such happiness cannot be sustained beyond the existence of the stimulus. The next level of happiness comes from pursuing your passion; this tends to last longer. The longest lasting happiness, studies show, comes from a higher purpose – this is about being part of something that is bigger than just your self.
Tony went on to state that great companies are built on similar framework –Profits, Passion and Purpose. Tony might be pleased to hear that I had defined the purpose of Green Coriander long before figuring out how to make a profit (which is still an ongoing exercise). Our purpose is to educate and encourage people to i) eat better ii) understand the sources of their food and iii) support sustainable food systems and lifestyle. We provide a service that allow our customers to eat foods from good sources and empowers them with a choice if they love Indian food.
The purpose stems from my passion for doing what we can to preserve our health and protect our environment. Reiterating the purpose led to a great suggestion: why not send a message with every meal that either educates or reinforces the importance of eating well. Kinda like Snapple. So, look for it with your meals starting next week. And if you follow GC on Twitter or Facebook, you already know that every now and then I post links to articles that are informative.
My belief is that if we remain true to our values and work hard to improve every single day, profits will follow. I also believe that by aligning passion with a purpose, happiness can be achieved with small pleasures in life. Thank you, Tony for laying out a great framework – you indeed did live up to your goal of “Delivering Happiness”.