Saturday, 26 September 2015

Why working on happiness is like working at your job

When it comes to our work, we know that there are times when it’s going to be tough. As they say (and I truly believe) anything worth having doesn’t comes easy. We know there’ll be ups and downs, but most importantly we know that success comes through determination and working at it. It takes sweat. 

Well I believe that happiness is a lot like aiming towards success at work. It takes mindful effort!

Sometimes hard work, and a lot of mindfulness and conscious.

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I don’t think it is necessary the case for people to always let happiness just ‘happen’. I think sometimes we need to manufacture it, take control and make our own happiness, not just leave it to chance. 

Easier said than done I know, but if you approach finding and creating your happiness in the same way you would your success or work, I think you’ll have it nailed sooner and easier. Here’s how…

Have a goal
Like you would at work or in your business, define your aim for happiness with a goal. What is your happiness goal?

We know when we have been successful in the work setting, because we have goals (SMART goals hopefully), and aiming for happiness is no different.  Have a goal of what happiness looks to you. Is being happy having a work life balance, thousands in the bank, or getting to travel the world?

We cannot do it all (sorry to burst that bubble), so some things have to give. In order to know what to get done without detrimentally effecting our happiness, we need to know what our happy goal is. For example, you may be career driven but know deep down that your happiness stems from a work/life balance that means you’re home every evening at 6 to have dinner with the kids. If you start to think you’re disappointed with yourself for not bring in a higher position in your career, and thus unhappy, you can ask yourself if that is really what you want anyway, as your ultimate happy goal was the work life/balance, not being director by 35.

Knowing your happy goal, like any goal, stops you chasing the wrong goal.

Surround yourself with happy people
It’s a commonly said that your salary is usually an average of the three friends you spend most time with. It is widely regarded important that in order to achieve, you need to surround yourself the right people too, whether it is having a supportive partner, a guiding mentor or positive friends to keep you going when you’re struggling.

The same can be applied to happiness.

Surround yourself with negative people, and their dramas will soon become yours. Surround yourself with positive people, their upbeat nature will soon rub off on you too!
I have never done this but perhaps you could get a happiness mentor! Someone whose positive spirit and attitude to life and happiness you admire and can learn from.

Learn from mistakes

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Everyone is seems to agree when it comes to aiming for success, that mistakes are there to be made to learn from. If you have never got it wrong, how do you know you are getting it right? Happiness is like that too. We are all on one long learning journey and we won’t always get it right. I find that it’s especially when we’re young, we’ll mistakenly think things make us happy when they won’t. A common one, is to think having shiny possessions, the latest gadgets and a cupboard full of Louboutins will make us happy.

Yea ok, that would put a smile on my face, but that wouldn’t be the stem of my happiness.

After spending all your disposable income on this in your early years, (when really what makes you happy is for example is travelling and spending time with your close ones) is a learning curve. Don’t beat yourself up on it, just learn from now! Like work, make the mistake and learn from it, than you can adjust your actions to assist on your journey to happiness.

Drop that things that don’t add to your happiness
I find a lot of people live in a “should” world, one where we constantly feel like we should be doing something, one way or another. We should be eating organic. We should be visiting our elderly relatives more. We should be further on in our career. We should be saving more money.

The trouble with this attitude, is that it often creates guilt and guilt eats in to our happiness.

So my advice, drop then should!

This was a piece of advice offered to me about 5 years ago and I can honestly say it’s had a positive impact on my happiness quota. Drop the things you don’t want to do that don’t add to your overall happiness.

At work, we advocate that things that don’t contribute to the bigger goals are not needed, and therefore in order to prioritise, we can drop these things in order to boost productivity. Well happiness is similar. Drop the things that are not productive to your happiness

Of course the needs to be taken with a little caution. I mean your long term happiness here. There are things that add to our happiness and also things that add to our necessities that lead to our long term happiness. Just because pulling a sickie and going to the pub all day with your mates would make you happy right now, doesn’t mean it’s a wise move. Short term yes, it’ll be much better that sitting at the desk all day, but long term, performing badly at work and drinking too much booze will NOT add to your long term happiness when you’re sacked and have liver sclerosis!

Like anything, the road to happiness is a journey, so don’t be a back seat driver or passenger, get in the driving seat and take yourself where your happiness is!

Enjoy the journey and be happy! 

X x X 

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