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Marija Desivojević Cvetković, Senior Vice-president Of Delta Holding

What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

I follow with interest in the trends of business literature over recent decades. From the Six Sigma programme and “benchmarking”, through the Balanced Scorecard, at the beginning of the 21st century we got to the subject of leadership, and today, apart from digitalisation, the most common term encountered at conferences and lectures, and in books and magazines, is happiness.

What is it that business gurus are trying to tell us? In chasing success, have we forgotten about that which makes us alive and that which we’ll regret when there’s no more time? What does being happy mean to each of us? Can a woman who combines, on a daily basis, nurturing her family and raising her children, a responsible job, socialising with friends, travelling and other activities that she enjoys, be happy? Am I happy?

I don’t view my life as a see-saw that needs to be tilted to one side or the other: obligations or satisfaction (among other things, on which side of this are children?), work or holidays, travel or friends. I think that what we’ve long since referred to as the work-life balance is a false and outdated notion.

I don’t want to balance between being a good mother and a good manager, or a leader at Delta Holding. I don’t want to balance between creating good people out of my children and shaping young people in the company into good personnel who will very soon lead the company. I don’t think there’s a need to strike a balance between business trips and climbing the Himalayas or the Andes. I don’t think there’s a juxtaposition between my business training at Harvard Business School and my swimming, running and cycling training.

I don’t view my life as a see-saw that needs to be titled to one side or the other: obligations or satisfaction (among other things, on which side of this are children?), work or holidays, travel or friends. I think that what we’ve long since referred to as the work-life balance is a false and outdated notion

All of these things comprise my life, and I believe the lives of many businesswomen look similar. Those are the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle that wouldn’t be complete without those pieces.

That’s why I don’t want to balance and measure days on the basis of which side of the see-saw is prevailing. I want to integrate everything that fulfils me and is important to me in order to create a whole in which I enjoy and which works.

I don’t consider happiness as a fleeting feeling; as a set of moments that are actually just having fun or satisfying current desires.

Happiness is a state of being, something that exists in us and represents internal peace with ourselves, and with all the choices that we make every day. Happiness is being self-realised in your work, continuously learning, advancing, researching and creating new values. Happiness is giving back to the community in which we live and work. Happiness is creating deep, high-quality and enduring emotional relationships with friends and family. Happiness is living in harmony with nature, engaging in sports and passing the finish line of a marathon. At the end of the day, the greatest happiness is when you arrive home after a day spent at work and are awaited there with the question “Mum, what are we going to do today?”

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