We are in stressful times with COVID-19, George Floyd, and work. For those of working, we feel for those that aren’t. For those working with kids in school there are many unknowns for this fall with virtual classes, being at school and hybrids. Those are plans, and once something happens parents will have to adjust to changes. With everything going on in our lives at home, in life and at work, what can we do to find more happiness at work? That is the focus of this article.
By way of introduction before we hit on three keys to happiness at work let’s focus on home and life. We need to slow down. We need to promote kindness. We need to support ourselves with mindfulness, reflection, prayer and meditation for better health. This will help us to help ourselves and then others too. We need to be civil with one another, even with those that aren’t being civil with us. We need to build trust and listen to one another. Be a good listener. Help others to de-escalate. These general concepts will help you at home, in life and at work. With this having been said, what can we do make ourselves happier at work?
Find purpose in what you are doing
You are making a difference every day with what you do for society. It doesn’t matter what you do. Whatever it is you are doing step back and realize the differences you are making in people’s lives by what you do. What is it that gives you a passion for coming to work each day? The people? The people you serve? Is it the difference you make with your team? Is it what you produce or your team produces? We all have basic values. Do you see your values being carried out by what you bring to work each day? Do you see your own diversity and how your diversity adds value to your team? How do you appreciate others? How do others appreciate you?
Making a difference
We all strive to make a difference in this world. Do you every pause to think on how you bring a little light into the world every day with your attitude, your smile, the way you accept and work with others? Once you begin to reflect on this, you will realize that you do, perhaps without even thinking about it. For others upon reflection you realize that you do. Still for others this may be a time to reflect and realize only you determine your attitude. If you elect to be negative, you will be negative. If you elect to have a positive attitude you will be more positive. It is all up to you. You do make a difference once you begin to reflect on how you positively impact others.
Are you a roofer or a person that helps protect homes?
When a roofer asked me what I told him, he said, “wow that is really cool. I wish I had a job where I really made a difference.” That struck me. He saw himself as someone who replaced roofs on homes. I said to him, “what do you think you do for a living?” He said, “I build and replace roofs.” Then we had a conversation. I told him that to me he gave me relief. He brought me safety. He brought artisanship with the unique flashing associated with the way our roof and chimney came together. I told him I viewed him as someone that gave me safety and security. I knew when they were done my roof would not leak. It would last a long time and I could relax with the safety and security of knowing it was a job well done. He allowed our house to be a home. I really appreciated that. Once we had this discussion, he saw his job in a new light. He saw himself that helped bring safety, security and wellbeing to home owners so that they didn’t have to worry about their roofs. What about you? What about those working for you. Consider what you do and seeing it in a new light with a real purpose for what you do. Try reframing what you do into a positive light.
Be engaged at work
For many going to work is just that. It is a job. It is something I need to do to make money. Most employees are not engaged at work. Why is that? Do you have fun at work or with the people at work? How much control do you have on what you do at work? What have you done to take advantage of what you do at work to learn and grow your skills? Do you find yourself overwhelmed at work? Do you have to much on your plate and not enough time to connect with others? If this is the situation at work, give yourself downtime outside of work. Set aside time for mindfulness, meditation, prayer and reflection. You need to give yourself a break and have more balance in your life. Perhaps you like the adrenaline rush of a fast paced, always hard charging, hyper busy schedule. Your mind and body need a chance to recover from this too. Give yourself and others an opportunity to relax, recover and refresh to be engaged at work.
Everyone has set backs and failures. How you react to them is key. Help each other. Be there for others. Have their backs. Ask them to be there for you too. Breathe. Again, practice mindfulness, prayer, reflection and meditation. You are catching onto the common theme. Be authentic. Be yourself. Compliment others. Be appreciative. Realize that sometimes bad things happen to even good people. When bad things happen realize we have to find a way to figure this out. The key is looking forward and making it a we thing. We are all in this together. It only works if we all align and work collectively as a team.
To read more on this in depth check out this article from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley.