Happy, smart and useful

In a thought-provoking article by author and entrepreneur Derek Sivers, he outlines the three things to consider when making life-size decisions.
  • What makes you happy

  • What’s smart — meaning long-term good for you

  • What’s useful to others

In terms of career, smart and useful, but not happy, is akin to the strict parent who says “you must be a lawyer” or similar, even though the kids doesn’t want to do that.

Happy and smart, but not useful, is a self-focused way of operating. It’s the passive income searcher or the lifestyle design addict.

Happy and useful, but not smart, is the charity volunteer, or people who stay at the same job for years without improving.

Sivers puts forward the idea that when a life or plan feels ultimately satisfying, it’s because he’s found the perfect intersection of smart, happy and useful.

The article, including more detail and a Venn diagram, can be found here.

How important are the concepts of smart, happy and useful to you and your family, and how could each be introduced as a way of framing a future career?