People loved the 1980s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” The recording gained worldwide popularity, largely because of its cheery theme.
Auto-retailing industry iconoclast Dale Pollak has a somewhat different message to students at Northwood University, a business school here about 120 miles (192 km) northwest of Detroit.
“You cannot and should not pursue happiness as a life goal, even though many people have been told to do that,” he says in a speech to a student assemblage. “Happiness is elusive. It finds you. It’s not something to pursue. It’s not like there’s a happy button to push.”
For sure, Pollak, who is blind but didn’t let that stop him from becoming a software developer among other things, isn’t urging young people to become dour worrywarts. But he warns against constantly seeking bliss fixes.
“Life has its ups and downs,” he says. “One day you can be happy, the next day profoundly sad.”