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The Chair of the Business Ethics and Legal Studies Department at the Daniels College of Business told an audience of about 120 people that if they live according to values and principles, they’ll actually live a happier life. Corey Ciocchetti, JD, was the keynote speaker for the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Speaking Series at the University of Denver (DU) April 26.

“If you want to develop peace in your heart, you have to develop a foundation of integrity,” Ciocchetti said. “You can become a virtuous person. It’s a character that’s developed from your habitual actions and the five people you hang out with the most.”

Corey CiocchettiCiocchetti shared his personal story of coming to DU for his undergraduate degree. At the time, he was pursing education to become successful. He graduated from Daniels with a degree in finance and went onto law school at Duke University.

“I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I just thought, go to law school, end up rich, buy a big house and a fancy car. MTV told me – have those things and you’ll be happy.”

Instead a job at a top law firm made him miserable. On his one-year anniversary at the firm, he quit his job. Three years later, he was offered a teaching position at the Daniels College of Business. Today, Ciocchetti speaks all around the country to students and executives, sharing his message of living an authentic life. It’s part of the core curriculum at Daniels due to the College’s Founder Bill Daniels.

Daniels was a man of strong values and principles. He lived his life according to these values, and they guided his every decision and behavior, whether business or personal. He believed they were the dominant forces behind his success. The principles include integrity, trust, accountability, transparency, fairness, respect, rule of law and viability.

Professor Ciocchetti took the audience through the list, building a case for why your life would be better if you lived by the principles. He asked the audience to do homework by writing down their top 10 priorities. On the left side of the paper, make a list of what their heart’s desires are for their lives. Then, on the right side of the paper, make a list of how they currently live their lives.

“You have to be really honest. How am I spending my time? Where is my heart?”

He told the audience that his given this talk for 11 years to thousands of people and most people aren’t chasing the right things.

“I have never met one person who puts their job first who is truly content and happy,” Ciocchetti said.

His point is that chasing a life that’s filled with the Daniels principles will lead to happiness.

Drew Hoffner, a senior finance major, agrees. He’s heard Ciocchetti’s talk four times. He says it’s a phenomenal message and one of the main reasons he chose DU.

“It’s important to stay true to yourself.”