By definition, happiness is the state of one being happy; however many are confused or think of the subject as blasé. Happiness at work has traditionally been seen as a potential by-product of positive outcomes at work, rather than a pathway to business success.
When we are asked if we are happy with our jobs, our daily routines, and our passions, we often forget to ask one of the most and only essential questions: Are you satisfied with your specific purpose?
Sure, all these previous questions have significance as they become part of who you are, but if we were to ask what truly makes you happy in life, and most importantly in your workspace, do you think your answers might change?
WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES TODAY
We live in a fast-paced world where technology takes over at a rampant speed and we are obliged to keep up with the trends. When such tasks become mundane and repetitive with no incentive to advance within ourselves, our jobs, as well as our interests, become less appealing and more like a dragged chore.
In a study conducted by the 2021 APA‘s (American Psychological Association Statistics) have shown that at least 3 in 5 employees have experienced negative work-related stressors each month, as well as 87%, think that change needs to occur within the corporations. Many factors cause such stressors, but the primary that keeps resurfacing is low salary (56%), long hours (54%), and lack of personal growth and advancement (52%).
As the eagerness and excitement of starting a new chapter occur in the beginning stages, one would hope to prolong it throughout their career; however, that is not always the case. We asked Executive Business Coach, Diane Laschet, What is the true meaning of happiness and how does she implement it in her job?
“Happiness to me is related to inner and outer well-being. It is the focus of being present and acknowledging that no matter what change is occurring, we can still accept the challenge for what it is”.
Our culture has taught us that we must work to support ourselves financially and become responsible members of society. That is why most people go to work, as they feel required to do so, not because they feel happy working.
We rarely think of our work as a space where people go to seek happiness, instead, we perceive it as an area where we provide our knowledge and time, in exchange for money to help us live a comfortable life.
To contrary belief, work doesn’t have to be perceived as a boring and unfulfilling action but the complete opposite. Just as we seek and show minimal effort in stepping up to our interests beyond the office walls, so we can apply this in our jobs.
It is easier said than done, why does it not come as natural?
Diane further explains that many of us, lack the mind shift from negative to positive. When we have a bad day, miss a meeting, or forget to complete a task by its deadline and so on, our day tends to take a toll on stress. Instead, rather than focusing on the negative, we can always remember that there is some learning to do.
Ask yourself: How can I avoid repetition? What can I do better? How can I keep myself happy, and fulfilled as well as maintain motivation?
What causes executives to be unhappy in the workplace?
3 broad-known factors contribute to managerial unhappiness: role conflict, role overload, and role ambiguity.
Managers are at their least happy and productive when their roles are unclear, there is too much conflict over the tasks required, and there is just too much work.
What’s more, these role stressors also reduced managers’ levels of job happiness and satisfaction, and ultimately their performance.
Why does happiness at work struggle to spread?
Because so many places today have a toxic work environment, one in which negative behaviors are predominant. One in which bullying, manipulation, yelling, demeaning, and so on—are so intrinsic to the culture of the organization that a lack of productivity, a lack of trust, politics, high-stress levels, and discrimination become the norm.
So ‘happiness at work’ needs first and foremost to be a ‘decision’ by the Board and Boards are still struggling to make this realization their own.
Five requisite factors in workplace happiness are meaningful: a team atmosphere, work-life balance, appreciation, and growth opportunities.
Yet somehow when it comes to happiness at work, we still think of it as a utopia.
As I said Happiness is an inside job and when external events destabilize us, we should cultivate our happiness, thinking of it not only in a hedonic sense (achieved through experiences of pleasure and enjoyment) but in a eudaemonic (achieved through experiences of meaning and purpose), as competence and muscle to train, a soft skill.
Training happiness is, therefore, necessary for the workplace as it becomes a strategic business lever.
Happiness comes from small things and constructive routine
We then further asked Diane, What can we do to influence ourselves positively to reach satisfaction in everyday life? to that, she responded
“Having a routine and a sort of mantra, helps start my day on a positive note that is then prolonged throughout the rest of my tasks.
I start each morning 2-3 hours before my first meeting, with a nice cup of espresso. As I sip my coffee, I enjoy the serenity of a quiet house, as my family isn’t up yet. Listening to the birds chirping outside my front window and watching mother nature wake up with me, I will then proceed to do one or both of the following: Words of affirmation and a self-guided meditation.“
Diane then explains in detail the mantra she repeats to herself, by one of her favorite all-time authors, Louise Hay.
“ I am love, I am loved, I am loving, I am lovable, I am loving kindness, I am lovely” by stating these words, she reminds herself that to be happy is an inside job, and in her surroundings, she needs to be at peace with herself.
“Be honest and authentic to others”.
Working on yourself
When we dedicate time for ourselves, whether it is by having a few hours of privacy, listening to music, giving ourselves a pep talk, or spending some time outdoors, we improve our overall well-being. The inner well-being is then transferred onto our work leading us to feel more relaxed, creative, and productive, and therefore inspiration and drive increase.
“I expand in abundance, success, and love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same“. (Gay Hendricks)
Diane further touches on the topic of bringing to light one’s own Sage ie the inner wisdom present in all us. At first, this subject may come as a bizarre concept but it makes a distinction between ‘your sage vs your saboteurs’.
Your Sage is equal to your inner guide. If fact your mind is your best friend but it can also be your worse enemy. When feeling unhappy and unsatisfied with your work let yourself be guided by your Sage for a more positive approach and outcome.
“Between every trigger event and its response, there is a space and I make good use of it through my Sage.”
There is a solution to every problem, and even in one’s unhappiness, you can make a quick shift with just a few simple steps. Following is a list of simple changes or additions Diane suggests to incorporate into your routine:
- Gratefulness – make space for gratitude. Expressing gratitude can help improve relationships and help people increase positive feelings towards each other.
- Keep a Clean and Organized workspace. A well-managed, clean, and organized workspace can create a positive vibe and increase motivation and productivity. It will also keep your mind fresh and leave you feeling good throughout the day.
- Time Management. Focusing on one task at a time and evaluating its priority will help you combat stress and leave you focused.
- Meditation and Mindfulness practice. By doing so you will be less cluttered and more refreshed, energized, and happy.
- Healthy Balance. Many tend to overlook this point, however ensuring you are providing yourself with proper Nutrition and Sleep, will reduce fatigue, stress, and illnesses. Try aiming for a full 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Take Breaks/Vacations. Highly important for your inner peace and sanity. Regenerate so you can bring more creativity and productivity.
- Set Goals and Purposes as they will be the drive for your motivation.
- Value Yourself. Always take a moment to appreciate yourself and every achievement you have brought to the table (big or small).
In conclusion, Diane says, “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections”.
Happiness is not something you are born with, but rather a thought pattern you create for yourself. The attitude you show up with is already 50% of your solution.