At the recent SXSW (South by Southwest) entertainment and technology conference, one of the seminars that seemed out of place among the usual presentations of innovative ideas, thought leadership, and ways to get noticed by venture capitalists was one titled, "Make Yourself the Happiest Person on Earth." The article in Employee Benefit News mentioned that this seminar was led by Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer who devoted 20% of his time to projects he was passionate about -- a company policy of which he took full advantage.
So why is this important to note? The fact that over-worked, technology-minded individuals who basically live off caffeine and energy bars are starting to recognize the value of happiness, well-being, and overall life balance. The article focused on how business professionals were noticing that their best and brightest recruits wanted more out of life than just money and clout.
Today, it seems that youthful entrepreneurs aren't just looking to sacrifice everything for the ultimate job; they simply want a good job where they can make a decent amount of money, while at the same time making the world a better place and having some free time to pursue their dreams. This new work-life priority appears to follow the "pay it forward" maxim that if someone makes others happy, then they will in turn be happy.