The Essential Guide to Happiness at Work, With Rashida Jones
"The tricky part is that everything is located in the same little place: Work, pleasure, distraction, misbehaving, responding, wasting time, buying, selling, dreaming, focusing … all options live together, and I can float from one to another with no effort. It is truly amazing. I’m in awe. But it doesn’t help me be productive."
The other thing I’m working on is being willing to accept failure, whether it’s a failure to get a TV show made or a failure to reply to a midnight email. Failure and risk are inherent parts of any real work. But there’s a lot of fear of failing. (And yes, it is harder for women. Men’s failures are not tied to their gender in the same way; that’s just a truth.) Even though my instinct is to feel the shame associated with failure, I am finding ways to be OK with failing and being imperfect. I have to say, “Fuck it.” I mean, the most creative, most successful people fail all the time. I’m working with Pixar—Will and I are cowriting the script for Toy Story 4—and there’s definitely an attitude there of “fail fast, fail often.” Our team does that. We cycle through ideas. Great ones and bad ones. Everybody has bad ideas. The most intelligent, most talented people in the world have bad ideas. That’s a good thing to learn.
Happiness is not the endgame.
One thing does help. I try to remind myself that happiness is not the endgame. If your happiness depends on selling your company, snagging one perfect job, finishing the design for your perfect living room, you’ll never actually achieve it. And now that work and life have merged together, it’s doubly important to remember that you deserve to be happy all the time. Luckily, there are techniques and tools that can help you achieve this total world domination—or at least a smooth day at the office.