How to be Happy at Work

April 2, 2014


When you sidestep negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger and nurture positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and gratitude, you can substantially increase your happiness, motivation, and satisfaction.

Here are steps to a happier job and more satisftying career:

  • Decide to be happy. Make a conscious choice to boost your motivation and satisfaction. Don’t waste your time or drain your energy by making excuses or assigning blame. The fulfillment in your work is up to you.
  • Reprogram your beliefs. Identify negative thoughts and counteract them. You can learn to recognize and challenge thoughts that you have about being inadequate or powerless.
  • Choose to be in environments and around people that increase your motivation and satisfaction. Close working relationships with those who are positive, successful, and productive are the best antidotes for unhappiness. Negativity is contagious; avoid those who carry it.
  • Take on a challenge. Whether it is a special project, a new skill, or leading a team, do something that stretches you and makes you feel a wee bit uncomfortable. Athletes don’t break records by sticking with their “personal best".
  • Cultivate happier emotions. Specifically, choose to be more forgiving and more grateful. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, and even illness.
  • Do what matters—and more of what you like and are good at. Put more into activities that mean something, that challenge and stimulate you. Make sure that your time and energy are used most intensely on important projects. Do one thing every day that is important to you and gives you a sense of achievement.
  • Nourish yourself. Give yourself praise when you do a good job and tell others about it. Make sure to develop your own professional skills and grow interpersonally.
  • Know when to move on. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can’t change ourcircumstances, no matter how unhappy they are. If, despite your best efforts, the situation in intolerable, give yourself the support and motivation you need to move on.

The importance of mindset as a factor in professional success AND satisfaction should not be underestimated.


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