Choosing Career(s)

We spend about 80,000 hours of our life engrossed in our chosen careers; and a majority of those hours, for a majority of people, are spent being disengaged at work. One reason may be that we end up being round pegs in square holes.

Our initial career choices are mostly determined by parental expectations, peer pressures, financial security concerns or status and prestige of those professions. For some of us, it may be driven by an overarching interest or passion; but for most of us, a highly paid job with least amount of stress seems like a good deal.

But that doesn’t explain high levels of disengagement and lowered fulfillment in many people holding high paying jobs or a sense of boredom and ennui in those holding routine jobs requiring little stress. We may figure out that probably such lives are lacking in meaning and hence not fulfilling – and to make our work lives fulfilling we need to add meaning to it.

And we are right to an extent. But how do we add meaning to our lives? and is that the only answer?

The right answer, imho, lies in choosing a career such that it satisfies the four major goals of life:  Happiness, Success, Meaning and Morality/Integrity. Let me elaborate.

  1. Happiness: Happiness, in the moment, can be thought of as a plethora of positive emotions over a scarcity of negative emotions. One aim of determining the right job for yourself could be answering whether that job will feel pleasant while executing and will have least amount of stress/ anxiety/ negative experiences. However, a better predictor of job satisfaction would be answering which are the jobs in which you lose sense of time, perform at your peak and are in the zone. In short in which types of work do you have more opportunities to have ‘flow‘ experiences. We have more flow experiences at work than at home and its important you chose a career that affords possibility of such experiences. For e.g. 2 years ago I had a mid life career crisis and had to decide between remaining a  software professional or move to life/ strengths coaching. I enjoy coding, I enjoy managing people and especially coding and debugging allowed me to enter focused flow experiences often; similarly whenever I am with a client or conducting a workshop, I am in flow, so both options provided and will continue to provide flow experiences. So couldn’t decide on this alone.
  2.  Success: Success is often a result of excelling at what you do. And a lot of factors affect your performance and excellence.  While some believe that excellence is a function of aligning your work with innate talents, other believe talent is overrated and things like deliberate practice and plain old hard work are really important and that the skills you have developed over the years are to be the guiding principle. A similar strand suggests that one has a unique passion/ overarching interest (just like talents), and discovering that is a panacea; others believe that passion has to be cultivated and developed slowly by investing your time and energy and committing to something.  A middle ground is to discover and honor your strengths (which is a combination of talent +investment + skills + knowledge) and your potential (aptitude rather than mere interest or skill). In deciding between a software job and a psychology based career my strengths like maximizer, individualization, relator made me lean towards coaching while arranger was a good fit for management career in software.  Also, pragmatically speaking, you need to consider your odds of success while choosing the career. For e.g. as per study with college undergraduates, about 90 % had strong interests in arts, sports or music but there were less than 1 % jobs for the same. That doesn’t mean you should not try if you have good aptitude/ strength in that area, juts be cognizant of your odds of success.
  3. Meaning: Meaning often results from doing something that either feels very subjectively fulfilling or can be objectively seen to be making a real impact in the world out there. That is why teaching can be so meaning filled activity, as its highly subjectively fulfilling, though perhaps the real world impact can be seen much later only.  Similarly, doing social work directly can feel so enchanting and meaning suffused as it provides opportunities to see real world impact in the here and now. However, without getting entangled and caught up in whether  the work you are doing is either subjectively fulfilling or objectively impactful, you can use a simple metric: does it help people and if so how many (quantitative) and to what extent(qualitative difference). For e.g. in my role as a manager, I was perhaps touching the lives of a few peers and direct reports, but as a coach/ workshop facilitator I could perhaps touch a larger number of people and make greater contributions.
  4. Morality/Integrity: Finally, your work should be such that you can look at the man in the mirror and be proud of what you do on a daily basis. You can do this either by choosing a job that requires authenticity (being true to yourself- your values, potential etc) or by choosing  a job out of a moral imperative of what is required of you (- your duty to others). Again without getting too much caught between whether your dharama is what is authentic to you or what is your socially sanctioned duty, a good thumb of rule may be to find the fit between you and the world.  Where do your values align with the needs of the world. In my case it was clear that coaching/ workshops will provide me more avenues for aligning my values with what I needed to do.

When it comes to choosing a career, there are no easy answers and each individual’s journey will be different and unique; but hopefully thinking about your career in these terms will make you best suited to make your mark on the world and have fulfillment too!

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Leading positively

In this lesson we will look at how to lead positively and create happiness for your employees.

There is a popular framework that looks at the responsibilities of leaders/ managers and divides them in four domains. This is the Head, Heart, Hands, Voice model.  The head refers to thinking, strategy etc; the heart to relationship building, the hands to executing aspects while the voice refers to influencing on the job.

Sometimes these functions are at loggerheads with each other. For example if you want to get things done, you will lean on your executing or Hands strengths even at the cost of spoiling some relations or creating friction in the relationship or Heart domain.

However, it’s important to recognise that all functions are important and to be a good leader you need to use all domain expertise wisely.

Also as per another research by Gallup, your employees or followers have four basic needs and to be a good leader and to keep your employees happy you need to address those needs. These needs are that of trust, hope, compassion and stability. A good leader addresses these needs and takes care of his followers. With this we come to an end of our happier @ work course.

Time for a quick round-up of what we have learned so far. Here are the key takeaways from all the 10 lessons:

  1. It pays (literally) to be happy at the workplace.
  2. Small daily rituals like meditating for 2 mins at work can have a lasting impact on your happiness.
  3. Creating a gratitude filled culture is the most effective way of creating a culture of happiness.
  4. Along with happiness, finding Meaning in work has to become a number one priority .
  5. A calling orientation towards work is best  and you do have some latitude to craft your job to make it more calling like.
  6. The basic needs of Autonomy, Mastery, Relatedness and Purpose need to be satisfied to keep us motivated at work.
  7. Being optimistic and hopeful has multiple positive outcomes including increased resilience and grit.
  8. SMART, WISE and self-concordant goals are a key to a happy and productive work life.
  9. Discovering and deploying your strengths is life transforming experience
  10. Leadership consists of using your strengths in Head, Heart, Hands, and Voice domains and providing hope, stability, compassion and trust to your followers.

That brings us to the end of this course. I wish you happiness and fulfillment at work. If you like the course share with a friend; after all sharing is caring and a sure shot way to increase happiness in your community/ work environment.

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Discovering and deploying strengths at work

One of the easiest and most effective way of ensuring that you feel happy and productive at work is to make sure that you are able to deploy your strengths at work everyday. But what exactly are your strengths, you wonder? Well, in this lesson we will be talking all about strengths and how to leverage them at work.

  1. Focusing on strengths: Strengths, in simple terms, are the feelings, behaviours and thoughts that come naturally to you and at which you are good and can use them to your advantage. However, in the workplace, the focus is typically on addressing weaknesses. The world, and especially your manager, is obsessed with what you lack and where you need to improve, to the exclusion of  ever considering what you are good at. However,  research by Gallup and other organisations, has clearly shown that your most impactful growth happens in your areas of strengths and you cannot become like anyone else, but by focusing on your strengths you can become the best version of yourself.  Because strengths are a natural, authentic expression of yourself, using your strengths and being in the strengths zone leads to more happiness and productivity.
  2. Identifying strengths informally: You can reflect on times when you were at your best, energised by what you were doing rather than feeling depleted,work that you look forward to doing again, work in which you exhibited rapid learning, work during which you lost track of time and work which was deeply satisfying.  Reflecting on such work incidents will make you figure out what strengths you were using in those situations and which come naturally to you. You can also use the positive 360 degree method we discussed earlier to figure out your strengths.
  3. Identifying strengths more rigorously: You can use a formal strengths framework and tool like Gallup’s the Clifton StrengthsFinder2.0 assessment to figure out your top 5 or all 34 strengths. While using such a tool it’s important to be focussed on developing your top strengths and not get distracted by your lower strengths and getting obsessed with them as weaknesses to be worked upon. Another popular tool and framework is the VIA survey of character strengths.
  4. Leveraging strengths:  Pick up one strength at a time and work on it. Try to use it in novel situations or in new ways in familiar situations. Try to use it more intentionally and consciously. Create a strength habit or ritual at work. Use the cue , routine , reward framework to create a healthy strengths usage habit. Build complementary partnerships with others where you lack a particular strength .  Be creative in how you use your strengths.

Discovering and deploying strengths is a powerful new framework that increases both happiness at the workplace and also everyday productivity.  In the last lesson we will look at how to lead others positively.

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Setting powerful goals

In the last lesson we saw that being hopeful or optimistic involved having clear goals. In this lesson we will look at how we can formulate powerful goals that are inspiring and that continue moving us upwards and onwards.

  1. The importance of having goals: Having some goals, that one looks forward to achieving, are by themselves good for well-being. If you have goals, you have something to look forward to, some clarity on what you need to do and some idea of what success looks like.  Having clear and coherent goals ups the ante on well being further. By coherent and self concordant goals we mean that the various sub-goals you mave have should be coherent and not contradict each other and also be in concordance with an overarching life/ work goal.
  2. Finding overarching work/ life goal: Daniel Pink advises people to write a one sentence mission sentence defining who they are and what they are passionate about. Another way to think about it is to think as if you died and imagine what would be your epitaph or what eulogies people will say about you. These define your core essence and will help define your overarching work/ life goal.
  3. SMART and WISE Goals: It’s good to have one overarching life / work goal but achieving that and addressing it in its entirety can be paralyzing. That is why we are advised to chalk out sub-goals that are more short term and both SMART as well as WISE. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Agreed-on, Realistic and Time-bound. These dimensions ensure that the goal is concrete and manageable. WISE goals on the other hand are Worthy, Inspiring, Stretching and Energising If we are to continue growing and remain invested in our goals, they better be WISE too.
  4. Materialistic vs Organismic goals: Some life goals are materialistic like owning a ferrari. Others are more intrinsically motivated and organismic in nature like becoming a  good physician and saving many lives.  Organismic goals have been shown to be better for well-being than materialistic goals. Having materialistic goals is associated with worse mental health outcomes like depression, anxiety etc.

In this lesson we learned the importance of goals, how to define and choose goals and also which types of goals are better for well-being. The emphasis on organismic goals gels nicely with our earlier emphasis on intrinsic motivation and viewing work as a calling. In the next lesson we will take a look to how to discover and deploy strengths at work.

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Optimistic and Positive attitude

English: learned optimism cartoon

English: learned optimism cartoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Optimism is the ability to look at the bright side of things- to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Optimism leads to a more enthusiastic and energetic engagement with all that we do and in this lesson we will look at what we mean by optimism and how we can exercise it at the workplace.

 

  1. Being optimistic: Optimism can be both future directed as well as guided by the past. Our brain uses the same region to think about the future as it does for remembering the past. Thus, the way you think about your past influences the way you think about your future. While optimism is this generalised expectancy that good things will happen in the future, say at the workplace; it is build up by how we explain the good/bad things that have happened to us in the past. Someone with an optimistic explanatory style will explain a good event like promotion as due to stable and global  internal qualities like working hard or being knowledgeable; while avoid explaining negative events like a customer loss in terms of global and stable internal qualities , like not being good at sales. This means failures are temporary and not reflective of global internal deficiencies and can be overcome. This leads to more resilience, energy and commitment to one’s work, in the face of obstacles which are inevitable.
  2. Being hopeful: Similarly, hope is more than wishful thinking. It comprises of three parts- goals, will and pathways. First you can only be hopeful about something if you have it clearly defined in form of a cherished outcome or a goal. Secondly, being hopeful entails having the confidence in one’s ability to execute the task and achieve the goal. Lastly, obstacles and difficulties are inevitable, so if you are really hopeful instead of giving up on first obstacle, you will figure out early on what all obstacle may happen and have alternate plans A , B and C. One setback is not the end of the world and there are multiple pathways to success.
  3. Boosting optimism: One quick way to boost optimism, is to imagine yourself transported by a time machine 5 yrs in the future. In this future, everything has turned out exactly as you wanted, you have worked hard but have been able to achieve all your dreams and wishes; now write for 15 minutes about what you imagined and how  a typical day at work looks like. This ‘best possible future self’ exercise has been shown to reliably boost optimism and happiness. So go Visualize. If you can see it, you can be it!

Apart from increasing happiness and resilience, optimism leads to all sorts of positive outcomes like increased energy;  good health, both physical and mental; increased immunity from disease; increased grit i.e. passion and perseverance;  and more entrepreneurial success. Hope as we saw involves having clear goals; in the next lesson we will take a look at how to set awesome goals in the work context.

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Remaining motivated at work

The typical picture that comes to mind when thinking about motivation at work is dangling carrots and looming sticks. But does that really work? Intuitively we know that carrots and sticks is not the best route to either happiness or productivity. In this lesson we will look at other ways of keeping oneself motivated and fulfilled at work.

English: Autonomy Mastery Purpose vs. Carrot a...

English: Autonomy Mastery Purpose vs. Carrot and Stick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Motivators vs. Hygiene factors: Most of us believe that salary is the primary reason we are motivated to work. Wrong! Salary is a hygiene factor as per Herzberg, and we will leave the job or become very dissatisfied if we are not adequately compensated; however salary by itself will not motivate us to put our best efforts or to be happy at what we do. Herzberg distinguishes between Hygiene factors that are a minimal requirement for work like salary and satisfactory company policies and administration, and Motivators or factors like opportunity for advancement, recognition and achievement, that pulls one towards the work and lead to job satisfaction.
  2. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation: According to a prominent theory of motivation, known as self-determination theory, people may engage in a task whether due to extrinsic reasons like gaining money, social approval, higher status etc or they may indulge in an activity because they find the activity self-motivating or internally driven. In the latter case of being intrinsically driven, it’s more likely that one will enjoy one’s work. For example, children who inherently love and enjoy drawing with crayons, stop enjoying/drawing with crayons if their earlier drawings are made contingent or rewarded with money. Basically, if you offer monetary incentives for tasks that are inherently satisfying you are creating extrinsic motivators which may undermine the intrinsic motivation.
  3. Autonomy: There are some basic needs that have been identified by Deci and Ryan as necessary for intrinsic motivation. One of them is feelings of autonomy or experiencing some choice and control over your work. Companies can easily allow employees some choice over what to work on, where to work from (work from home policies) and whom to work with to create feelings of autonomy. Maybe your company is not Google /Zappos encouraging 20 percent of your time to be spent on your self chosen projects, but there would be some autonomy you can exercise.
  4. Mastery:  Another basic human need is the need to be competent and to achieve results/ some progress on a daily basis. Companies can provide an environment where employees are provided stretch assignments to grow their capabilities and to develop and grow. And we should be willing to step out of our comfort zone and take on new assignments that lead to feelings of competence.
  5. Relatedness:   A third basic human need is relatedness or feeling connected at the workplace. Companies can encourage more formal as well as informal bonding within teams and we need to make best use of such opportunities to create lasting relationships at work that help us feel a sense of community.
  6. Purpose: We have already talked at length about this basic human need of finding cohesion and meaning in all that you do. It’s important to look at your work in the bigger context and have a clear big picture view of the impact you are making. Also important is to align your work values with your life values and find a sense of work-life integration.

Addressing the above basic needs and ensuring you are intrinsically driven will make it more likely that you are both happier and more productive and engaged in what you do. In the next lesson we will look at how cultivating a positive and optimistic mindset helps you at work.

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Orientation towards work and job crafting

In the last lesson, we looked at the importance of doing meaningful work. However, that might have prompted some of you to think that some jobs are inherently more meaningful than others and if you are stuck with a dead end job, there is no salvation for you. Not so quick!  In this chapter we will look at how you can take any work situation and make it more meaningful and personally fulfilling.

We will look at research by Amy Wrzesniewski and colleagues, especially as related to work orientation and job crafting.

  1. Work as a job: Some people see their work primarily as a way to earn a paycheck. Their primary motivation is money and all they look forward to is vacations and Weekends as in Thank God It’s Friday. These people typically do not feel as fulfilled in their work or are as productive. They of course have life beyond work as in hobbies etc, but they keep their work life and personal life separate.
  2. Work as a career: Some other people see their work primarily as a way to advance and grow in status and reputation. Their primary motivation is status and higher responsibilities and they look forward eagerly to the next promotion. These people have medium outcomes in terms of happiness and productivity.
  3. Work as a calling: The rest if us see work as a calling , as a way to serve people or to make a lasting beneficial impact on the world around us and as a way to express ourselves completely and authentically.. They see their work as a privilege and would continue doing it for free too.  They look forward to more work and more opportunities to have an impact. These people have the best outcome in terms of happiness and productivity as they find their work immensely meaningful.
  4. A calling orientation: One may find a calling orientation in the least likely of people and jobs. If you are like me, you may believe that some jobs are more suited to a calling orientation than others. For example in a hospital setting, doctors as per this line of thought may be more calling oriented than the janitors, whose work is menial. However, Amy’s research has found that each profession has its shares of work orientation. Thus a hospital janitor who defines her role as ensuring hygiene so that patients don’t get infected maybe having a calling orientation, while the doctor for all you know may be in it for just the money.
  5. Job Crafting: You may feel you have little control over how you enact or perceive your work, but you do have some latitude. Job crafting involves changing some aspects of your job or perceiving it is a different way or creating different relationships and emphasizing certain interactions, in the pursuit of a more meaningful work identity. For example, a hospital cleanings staff who is sensitive to how the patients are feeling and thereby taking some time to chat with them and uplift them , or ensuring that the ceiling they stare at is free of troubling distractions , are crafting their jobs to make it more aligned with their view of themselves.

I encourage all of you to creatively craft your jobs and to at least try moving to a calling orientation- it will ensure you find the majority of time you spent at work fulfilling and meaningful. In the next lesson, we will take a look at how to remain motivated at work.

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Finding meaning in work

Till now, our focus has been on happiness or positive emotions in the workplace. However, psychological research has shown that happiness and meaning, though closely related, are different constructs. And we all intuitively know that if the happy state of affairs is not accompanied with a sense of personal meaning and accomplishment, it’s a hollow state of affairs. It’s like taking the blue pill and remaining trapped in the Matrix. If one adds, making work meaningful, as another lever of making employees engaged and productive, then the combination of happiness and meaning becomes more than the sum of its parts.

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Ignore at your own peril. How would you feel if your contributions at work were ignored or if what you did was actually meaningless and never put to use? Many product based companies have realized that a majority of features they add are never or very rarely used, so this is a real situation. Consider a study by Dan Ariely, in which students had to complete a task on a sheet of paper and there were three conditions. In one the experimenter looked at the paper and acknowledged their work. In the second, the paper was immediately shredded before their eyes before anyone else could take a look at their results; and in the third the paper was ignored and put in a pile of papers. Both passive ignoring and active shredding was equally demotivating to the individuals, so think twice before discouraging or ignoring someone at work.
  2. Sisyphean tasks, anyone? In another experiment, Dan Ariely asked participants to make Lego toys and again there were two conditions. In the Sisyphean condition, the lego toys were destroyed immediately before the eyes of the participants who made them while in the meaningful condition, the created toys were hidden under the table and would be destroyed only later once the experiment was over. The first group made only 7 toys on average while the meaningful group made on an average 11 toys. The point being that if your day job is meaningless and likely to have little impact, you will be less productive/ engaged/ happy.
  3. Knowing the impact you have is the key. Now that we know that meaningful work is important, how do we endow meaning to work? Research by Adam Grant gives some clues. In one study, Adam worked with telecallers associated with University of Michigan and responsible for raising funds from the alumni. Because of the nature of work, where majority of people refused donations, the burnout was high. To address this Adam made the telecallers interact for 10 minutes with students who had benefited from the fundraising by receiving scholarships. This brief interaction boosted fundraising by 171 percent and time spent on calls by 142 percent. And all this was below conscious awareness of having found meaning. Thus, a parallel way to induce meaning in your work is to visit / interact with the end beneficiaries or customers and see for yourself the impact your products or services are having in the real world.
  4. Be other centered: In another interesting study Grant put up signs at a hospital’s hand-washing stations, reading either “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases” or “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” Doctors and nurses used 45 percent more soap or hand sanitizer in the stations with signs that mentioned patients. The bottom line being that you find it more meaningful when the work you are doing is benefiting others and society and not just yourself. Be on the lookout for opportunities to define your work as not just a paycheck for yourself but as a way to help others.
English: hand washing with soap

English: hand washing with soap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this lesson, we looked at the importance of meaningful work and how we can add some meaning to our work; in the next lesson we will take a closer look at crafting our jobs to create meaning and happiness.

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Creating a positive, gratitude filled culture

In the last lesson, we looked at some tips to be happier; in this lesson we will look at how you can create the right environment and culture of gratitude and positivity such that happiness, and helping and appreciating others, becomes the norm.

One legitimate question that may arise in your mind is why gratitude? In research by Martin Seligman and colleagues, it has been shown that writing a letter of gratitude and reading it to the person you are thankful to, is one of the most powerful positive psychology intervention to increase happiness. Given this, what can you do at your workplace to create a culture of gratitude?

  1. Thank you notes and emails: For starters, you can start your day be sending an email or a thank you note, to a peer or a colleague, thanking them in a specific and genuine manner. Ensure that you really mean it and try to thank a different person each day. Make it part of your daily email checking routine, getting that thank you note out first thing in the morning. Remember, this will not only make the other person happy, but boost your happiness a notch.
  2. Peer to peer recognition system: Many companies have formal employee recognition systems, some of them peer to peer based where you can recognize and reward a peer in a timely manner, with or without the approval of managers involved. Even if your company does not have a formal peer to peer reward and recognition system, you can send a public email  or give a public speech recognizing the colleague at an appropriate moment. Again timely recognition from a valued colleague boosts happiness of the recipient at the same time creating ripple effects of happiness in the group.
  3. Positive 360 degree: Traditional anonymous 360 degree surveys sometimes leave bad taste in the mouth , when one receives critical, negative feedback, some of which people may have just given because of the cloak of anonymity to get back or from ulterior motives. Even when the feedback is genuine, because of its critical nature, it’s demotivating , though essential. The antidote? Welcome Positive 360 degree- a mechanism whereby people in a team give open, public feedback about a chosen person (the star of the week) about what positive qualities and strengths they observed in the person, what positive behaviors they witnessed or benefited from and so on. And of course all persons in the team get to be the star of the week, one time or the other. This tool helps the star of the week identify not only his strengths and positive qualities, but also builds a very positive and appreciative environment in the team.
  4. Gratitude jar/ wall: We all witness moments of appreciation when we want to thank the people in our lives and then again we feel moments of dejection when everything seems downhill. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have easy access to those moments of gratitude and positivity when we are feeling low? Welcome the gratitude jar. Keep it in your cubicle for personal use or in a meeting room for collective use. Whenever you feel thankful for something or someone, write down on a piece of paper and drop in the gratitude jar.  Read from the gratitude jar, when feeling low or at the end of the year. Similarly, designate a whiteboard as a gratitude wall and encourage each other to write thank you notes on that wall; wipe ot clean from time to time and start afresh.

Above are some simple, but proven and effective, ways to create a culture of gratitude and happiness. In the next lesson we will learn how when we add meaning to the happiness equation, it leads to an exponential increase in productivity and all round outcomes.

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Helpful tips to be happier @ work

In the last lesson we realized the importance of being happy at the workplace; that realization itself – that happiness matters – is the first step towards attaining happiness. In this lesson we will look at some simple tips and techniques to become happier.

  1. Other people matter. The number one way to boost happiness is to have good relationships. What holds outside the office holds true in the office too! So if you really want to be happy, build good relationships with your colleagues. Help them when they need it. Be kind. Take them out to coffee. No, seriously. If I gave you 10 $ to spend, by the end of the day, either on yourself or on a colleague; spending it on a colleague will make you much more happier. Also, research by Gallup has shown that those employees who have a best friend at work are likely to remain more engaged and productive. So go ahead, make that best friend at work and spread happiness.
  2. Schedule healthy activities. If your job involves sedentary activities, move. Remember to stretch every two hours or so. Do a 2 minute meditation whenever stressed or on a regular basis; just breathe; and breathe deeply, go to a meeting room and do some quick yoga. Use the company gym to stay fit. Exercise. A combination of exercise, meditation and mindfulness makes you happy when you need it and where you need it most. Research by Pebble, has shown that afternoon (post lunch) is when our energy levels drop and are at the lowest and scheduling these activities around that time creates ripples of energy and happiness that can overturn that effect.
  3. Eat and sleep adequately. Take that eight hours of sleep (at home:-) ), and take that 15 minute afternoon power nap in the office. It will leave you happier, refreshed and more productive. Avoid too much caffeine and eat lunch with friends- possible refreshing your mind by talking about things other than work during the lunch time. Try not to skip healthy lunch/ breakfast to grab a quick bite of junk food – take your time to eat and be relaxed and focussed on food while eating- will make you much more happier (and productive) than multitasking while having a working lunch.
  4. Focus on the positives. Consciously try to notice at least three good things that happened to you at the workplace, each single day at work. Reflect at the end of the day by keeping a journal. Reflect also on how you felt when the good thing happened and why do you think those good things happened to you. Keeping track of three good things has been shown to boost happiness and even lift people from their clinical depressions.

In this lesson we have briefly touched upon some quick tips and techniques to become happier @ work, including focusing on the positive. In the next lesson, we will take a deep dive into creating a positive and gratitude filled culture.

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