Personal Performance and Happiness

by David Samoranski on June 18th, 2012

Everyone sets goals and measures themselves differently based on their personal values. Some people continue to take action and achieve their goals with rigor and discipline while others tend to lose focus and direction after time. I have been doing a lot of work with business management concepts and tools focused on optimizing organizational performance lately. There seems to be a great possibility of applying similar methods to the concept of happiness. Here are my thoughts on what this could look like and what I am currently using to manage my personal performance and the pursuit of happiness.


I think happiness is a result of knowing what you value, creating goals that align with those values, completing actions that enable you to achieve your goals, and practicing habits that help you sustain your action plan. Many people find themselves unfulfilled or unhappy with the quality of their lives even after achieving societal or social targets that signal success. I believe this is due to a lack of understanding and the failure to achieve goals that are aligned to the unique values of each individual. Thinking about what you value out of life and breaking it down into incremental targets can make the life you desire a manageable plan. Getting what you want out of life results in happiness.
Happiness Framework


Values identify what is most important to you. These are the facets of life that you cherish and wish to align yourself with. Understanding what you truly value in life is the first step towards happiness. People are often clouded, confused, or misguided when it comes to honestly understanding values. Perceptions of values differ greatly based on the personal, social, and environmental factors we have experienced in life.


Goal setting is the next step. Values help you understand what is important to you and goals help you create a vision for what happiness looks like to you. Identifying things you want or would like to achieve creates a destination you can target and work towards. Goals are high enough that it should take you several years (3-5) to complete. A goal is something you strive for.


Actions are self-explanatory. Goals are broken down into actions so that the achievement of the goals is more manageable. Actions are still activities that you need to perform in order to work towards your goals. Actions could take you a year or more (1-2) to complete and can be decomposed into smaller activities with an action plan. Action plans specify measures and targets to routinely gauge performance on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.


Habits are basic practices we follow to empower us to complete the actions we have defined. Actions are specific activities with measures and targets while habits are behaviors we practice until they are nearly involuntary. Habits can also help to restore and recharge us so that we can sustain our progress and complete our plans.

This simple framework provides a structure to identify what you are working towards and ensure it aligns with what’s important to you. There are already tools in the business world that people use to help organization’s achieve this kind of alignment and execution. These tools can also be modified to help people obtain happiness. I posted about a Personal Balanced Scorecard and created a strategy map in an earlier post a few months ago. I have been working with this model for a while now. I am making a few updates to the map/template and will upload on my next post when I share my action plan/template.

From → Personal

  1. Very well written information. It will be useful to anyone who employs it, including yours truly :) . Keep doing what you are doing – can’t wait to read more posts.

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