“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
~ Jim Rohn ~
When it comes to the research results on happiness in the American workforce, the statistics are not flattering. A recent survey, by the staffing firm Manpower Group, discovered that nearly two thirds of American and Canadian workers were not happy in their job. Another recent survey found that close to 60 percent of American workers were unhappy enough in their jobs to want a new career. Most of us have found ourselves at some point in a job that was not fulfilling. While psychologists and social scientist believe that some of our happiness is predetermined by our genes, a major portion is within our control.
Regardless of our situation at work, here are 7 ways of maximizing our happiness.
Commit to continuous improvement as a lifetime goal
Happier people believe in doing the best they can whether or not they are given credit for the work they do. Giving their best creates positive feelings about themselves. This establishes character, builds self-regard and good work habits which will benefit them in the future regardless if anyone in their present position notices or cares.
Have goals worth striving for
People with clear goals (that they are working towards) are able to look beyond everyday workplace irritants and problems. They know the obstacle will be temporary and are able to see beyond this dilemma. When things are not going well, they focus on their goals instead of the negative situation that surrounds them at work. They are acutely aware that this too will pass and when they are in a better situation down the road, they will view their present situation as a stepping stone, a point of reference to their destination. This ability to look ahead allows them to avoid being caught up in and expend energies on issues that will have no real significance to their future.
Don’t get caught up in issues beyond their control
Happier people don’t let themselves get emotionally caught up in negative vibe or gossip that is toxic in the workplace. They focus on the work at hand and on what they are able to do. They avoid becoming involved in issues and conflicts that do not include them and are beyond their area of concern. Their focus is always to concentrate their attention and energies on areas that they have control over and give them a sense of satisfaction,
Be willing and ready to help others
Happy people are always looking for ways they can help others. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that people who helped others at work were happier than those who didn’t. While helping others can lead to promotion, there are also warm feelings of satisfaction that come from helping out our fellow human beings. It also leads to better relationships with colleagues, which helps make the workplace more pleasant. Instead of looking for immediate kudos and appreciation for helping others, happy people see these acts as making themselves better people. For them, this holds its’ own intrinsic rewards apart from what the outside world bestows upon them.
Avoid negative people as much as possible
When coming across a negative person or chronic complainer at work, happy people find ways to refocus on coming up with solutions or looking at the situation from another angle. Their positive energy often causes complainers and whiners to avoid them as they know they will not receive a sympathetic ear. An unintended consequence might result in a negatively focused person changing their attitude; at least temporarily; in order to have some type of a relationship with someone who is happy and positive. Happy people are aware that negative people are an energy drain and find ways to limit the amount of time they have to spend with them.
Make gratitude an integral part of their life
While striving for more in life, happy people are constantly aware of all the reasons they have to be grateful. They express their gratitude freely and openly, being quick to offer thanks to those who help them or do a kind deed. This attitude of gratitude attracts people to the positive energy they emit. Colleagues at work want to be around people like this and work with them. When things are not going well at work, they choose to focus on events that have gone well in their lives.
Manage their emotions through smiling and use of humor
Happy people automatically try to make the most of every situation, whether at work, home or play. They have discovered they can change their emotions by smiling, thinking of humorous events or situations. They are also able to distract themselves by bringing memories of pleasant, happy, fun times and places. Whenever a situation comes up that threatens to engulf them in negative energy, they rely upon their ability to rise above and remain in a positive mental space.