Coming to work in a state of nirvana is rarely possible and unreal. But coming to work with a positive attitude, ready to face the challenges and come home unaffected, is the superpower we all need to be happy at work.
According to the recent Gallup study, State of the American Workplace 2017, 7 out of 10 workers in the US say they aren’t fully engaged at work. The key reasons were; lack of enthusiasm and inspiration, not having the confidence in the quality of the work they do, and not feeling empowered.
Another study shows that 80% of employees who aren’t happy with their supervisors are disengaged and ultimately, less productive.
Most of these reasons are outside of our influence, or at least we think so? What would happen if that 70 % could change their circumstances? What if that 80 % could become independent of their supervisor’s behavior? We all know that avoiding the situations we dislike is sure easier, but far less efficient than facing them directly and building resilience.
I can speak from my own example. In one of my previous roles, I had a supervisor that had issues dealing with anger and how she approached her team under pressure. The team was afraid of her and eventually started resenting her and avoiding as much as possible. I could have done the same, but instead, I saw all the good things in her and realized that she had an amazing sense of humor, kind heart and just lot’s of insecurities. One day I came to work with a book on anger, that I thought might be helpful and left it on my desk. When she asked about it, I described the book as life-changing and explained how it did wonders for me. I managed to convince her to read it, and she loved it. Later I gave her more recommendations, and I could see that it was benefiting her and the team as well.
What if my boss is great and I still hate my job?
Recently I’ve read an article; “37 Ways to Be Happier at Work” and although those ideas seem like a great plan, it is designed as a reminder for people that are already happy.
If you need a list to teach you to smile, be playful, help out a colleague and think about three positive things, it means that you are disconnected from your inner source of happiness.
It is not in our minds where we need to remember to do good things for others, but in our hearts. And if your heart doesn’t feel the need to be kind, grateful, respectful, calm, free of judgment, hate, and sarcasm, that’s what you should focus on fixing. Everything else just falls into place.
So how do we “fix our hearts”?
Not until we become mindful, we understand that it is not the situations that are making us feel unhappy, it is ourselves that chose how to react to those situations. The permanent high-state experience, so called happiness, can only be truly obtained through dedicated inner work and self-awareness.
The biggest mistake most people make on this so-called “happiness hunt” is not realizing that our happiness is already there. It is the unhappiness that we need to hunt down and remove all the perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes that are blocking our way to happiness.
It is not that we need to learn to see the good in people but unlearn the judgments for those different than us. It’s not love that we need to attract, but remove the hate and resentment from our hearts.
Only then we can learn to be truly happy, at work, in life, relationships, but most importantly within ourselves.
Next time when a thought like “What can I do to find happiness?” comes, ask yourself instead “What is preventing me from experiencing happiness?”
What if it’s not me but the line of work I do?
Fulfillment can come in any shape or form, and it is up to you to decide to find it instead of complaining about the circumstances. See what you find valuable in the service you are providing and draw your inspiration from there. It can be as small as fixing someone’s computer, laughing with a colleague, negotiating a good deal or providing an excellent service and making people happy.
Focus on the things you love about work and if you can’t improve the circumstances, change your mind and the way you look at them. Happiness is not about the things you do, but how you feel about the things you do.
What are the things I can do right now?
Get to know yourself on a deeper level and instead of looking for blame in others, search inside yourself the reason why you reacted. Now that you’ve got your “problem” find a root cause and develop a plan for solving it. The best way to do that is knowledge. Decide on which books to read, seminars to attend, groups to join, and of course, don’t forget to meditate.
Originally published at medium.com