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How to Love Your Work

How to Love Your Work

We spend more than half of our waking hours working, and for many of us it can even be more. Those hours can seem even longer if we don’t like what we do. So how can we learn to love our work? The first step is trying to find something you love when you are looking for a job. When people love what they do, they are happier and more successful. They work longer hours, make more friends at work, spend most of their time thinking about how to do things better, and talk to everyone about what they do which provides them with lots of diverse ideas on how to do their job even better. Their job becomes intertwined in their life rather than separate from it and they excel because of it.

But the job may not be your passion. It may just enable your passion. Your job can be how you earn enough money to surf or play music. So you are not passionate about the job, but you are passionate about what it enables you to do. The key is to put your job into the perspective of your passions or dreams.

Job crafting is one way to find more interest in your job. How can you make adjustments in your job so it leverages your strengths, calls on your passions, and changes the boring and routine tasks? I often use the example of our janitor who doesn’t think her job is to clean bathrooms, it is to keep the “kids”, her name for our young work force, happy and productive. She makes sure they have coffee in the morning, clean dishes, and re-arranged furniture to help them be productive. Last week she pulled furniture out of an old storage room and set up shelves for the people who’s desks were getting overcrowded. She changed her job to be something she was passionate about. As part of job crafting you can also turn boring routine tasks into contests with yourself or others. If you did 100 entries yesterday, how can you do 150 entries today and maintain the same quality.

Job seekers and job holders alike can find more interest and passion in their job by looking for the connections. Do they connect with the vision and values of the company? Does the company purpose give them something bigger than themselves to pursue, for example, an alarm company making the world safer?   Do they connect with their friends and teammates at work? Can they be passionate about helping their co-workers succeed or help their team complete a big project? Can they connect with all the things they can learn on the job or the opportunity for travel and/or career advancement? Can they get excited about the opportunities for them to take on and accomplish huge projects with seemingly insurmountable challenges?

It is not about the job, it is about how they look at the job and how they choose to create the connection between their jobs and their lives.

If you want to love your work start by trying to find a job you will love. If that doesn’t work then find out how your work enables your passions. Focus on how your work can make a difference in someone else’s life. Find or create connections between your work and your passions.

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

15 minutes prioritized me time

Happiness Hack #3 Schedule 15 minutes every morning for prioritized “Me” time

We are busy with the craziness of life moving from one urgent matter to the next. School, work, kids, bills, and fifty other commitments absorb our time and willpower. Instead of getting lost in the busyness of your life, schedule 15 minutes every morning where you are the priority. We can all find 15 minutes somewhere in our day. For 15 minutes work on something that makes your life better.   If you want to go on a diet, then spend that 15 minutes creating a menu for the day or preparing your meals.   If you want to exercise more, spend that 15 minutes putting on some tennis shoes and walking down the block. If you have a hobby you want to try, spend 15 minutes on the Internet buying supplies or finding a quiet place to work each morning.

 

The key is to recognize that you and your goals are a priority. You deserve time to improve your life. It is best to start early before your energy and willpower gets sucked up by all of your other commitments. Once you have successfully found 15 minutes every day for a month or more, you can extend it to 30 minutes or an hour.

 

You are important. Prioritize time for yourself so you can connect happiness and success.

Happiness Hack #1  – Find 3 Things to be Happy for Everyday

Happiness Hack #2  – End the Day on a Good Note

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Happiness Hack #9 Start Small

Happiness Hack #10 Cross it Off Everyday

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

 

Happiness Hack #2 End the Day on a Good Note

We can’t remember every moment of every experience, so we selectively remember the highlights and the last part.   Then we categorize our memories based on the highlight and last part of the experience.   A really good experience that ends poorly will be categorized as bad while a bad experience that ends well will be categorized as good. One year from now we will remember that in general the experience was good or bad based on the highlight and our last memory. This is mostly an unconscious process, but we can influence it, by purposely reviewing the good parts at the end of every experience.

 

Every night as you sit down on your bed, think through the day and remember the good things that happened that day.   A month from now you will remember mostly good days and at the end of the year, you will believe you had a good year. Much of your happiness is based on your memories, and you can choose to focus on the bad memories and have a crummy life or focus on the good memories and have a great life.

 

Happiness Hack #1  – Find 3 Things to be Happy for Everyday

Happiness Hack #3 – Schedule 15 minutes every morning for prioritized “Me” time

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Happiness Hack #9 Start Small

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #1 Find 3 Things to Be Grateful for Everyday

Happiness Hack #1 Find 3 Things to Be Grateful for Everyday

Research shows that people who express gratitude regularly are healthier, less stressed, and more successful. Gratitude gives you something positive to focus on as you tackle the challenges life throws at you.

Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that you are grateful for. They could be as simple as having running water (something 1/3 of the world doesn’t have) or a family, or a place to live, or a job. Remind yourself everyday about the good things in your life.

 

Happiness Hack #2  – End the Day on a Good Note

Happiness Hack #3 – Schedule 15 minutes every morning for prioritized “Me” time

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Happiness Hack #9 Start Small

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #10 Cross it Off Everyday

Use a Paper Calendar to Build Habits

 

92% of people are not successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. That is because most people depend on will power which is a limited resource rather than building new habits.   Once something becomes a habit, you don’t have to drain your will power remembering and making yourself do it. Pick something you want to change in order to be happier, like being on a diet, getting more organized, spending less money, or just finding ways to enjoy life. Schedule 15 minutes every day, preferably in the morning when your will power is full, and spend that time working on your new habit. Plan your meals, make a list of two things you want to accomplish that day, work on your budget, or write down something fun you will make happen that day.   Print out a paper calendar with 30 days on it. Every morning when you complete your new habit forming task, put an X on the calendar.   Keep the calendar in a prominent place where you can see it. Try to put an X on each day and not miss a day. If you miss a day, don’t get discouraged, just start over. Keep working on your habit until you have 30 X’s in a row. By that time, it should be habit, something you almost automatically do every day.   Now you can start working on your next habit. It is important not to get discouraged if you go through 2 or 3 calendars before you get 30 in a row. Just keep trying. Once you get the first habit, the others will come easier.

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Happiness Hack #9 Start Small

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

mindfulness, focus on the now, don't worry about the past or fret about the future

How to be Happier by Practicing Mindfulness

Oppenheim said “the foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.”

Mindfulness is about looking at what is around us and under our feet rather than missing the “now” because we are worrying about the future.

One of our biggest challenges in life is focusing on what is right in front of us. We are either chasing the happiness that will come if all the stars align, or regretting the past where we made mistakes and didn’t do things we should have done.

Practicing Mindfulness is one way to experience the gift of the present. Observing and appreciating what we have and what is around us today helps us find peace. Having gratitude that we have made it where we are, sets us up for a better future by giving us hope and confidence.

Mindfulness has been shown to improve immune function as well as reduce muscle tension, headache, and other forms of chronic pain. It has longer-term impacts such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Mindfulness has also been shown to help with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Mindfulness can help with diet and weight management. Many of us are caught up in “mindless” eating. We are too busy to pay attention to what or how much we are putting into our mouths. Research by Liesal showed that women who are mindful about eating ate fewer calories, and men who consciously focused on chewing their food at least 40 times ate 12% less than those who didn’t.

Mindfulness is the ability to remove the distractions of what might happen and what did happen, and focus on what is happening right now, this second. It includes being curious and open to discovering new inspirations and information in the current setting. As a society, we tend to place a high regard on our ability to multitask. The challenge is that, according to an increasing amount of research, multitasking doesn’t really work. We tend to shift between multiple tasks quickly and for short periods of time. We are eliminating parts of the task in order to quickly shift in and out of it. The parts we are eliminating include focus, thoughtfulness, and appreciation. Instead of living in the moment, we are attempting to live in several moments. Think of one of the most common and rude forms of multitasking: we are having a conversation with a person and we receive, read, and answer a text while they are talking. We are physically in the same space as the person and we probably get the overall idea of what they are saying, but we miss the opportunity to connect with them, to stop and really think about and feel what they are communicating. Most importantly, we are not allowing time to stop and appreciate the here and now of our lives. We are focused on the message on our phone which is often trivial in comparison to our feelings about the person with whom we are actually visiting. The result is, we go from activity to activity throughout a day or a week and our memories are not of the great moments in our lives, they are about how busy we have been. We have missed our opportunities for happiness by attempting to do everything rather than choosing the few things that will make us happy and productive.

To be more mindful, wear a rubber band around your wrist and pop it or move it to your other wrist every time you catch yourself worrying about something you did in the past or what might happen in the future. Stop and appreciate your surroundings. Give people your full attention when you are with them. Slow down and enjoy your food. Think about the smell, taste, and texture of every bite. Schedule electronics free zones and times so you can absorb your surroundings or just think without distraction.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”
Alice Morse Earle

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

happiness, hacks, habits, change

Happiness Habit #9 Start Small

Change Old Habits into Happiness Habits One Tiny Change at a Time

If we want to increase our level of happiness, something has to change. Otherwise we are staying in the same place and not growing. The best way to change is to create new habits or make adjustments to our old habits.
Changing our habits is difficult even for the most disciplined people and changing lots of habits at once is almost impossible. The secret is to start small. Find one habit you can change a little bit and then focus on that until the change becomes part of your natural routine. For example if you want to exercise more, don’t start by training for a marathon. Your willpower is limited and can easily get used up making yourself run long distances 5 times a week. Instead, start your exercise by walking to your neighbor’s house or half way down your block each day. Just a little walking each day will only take a few minutes and will take a minimal amount of will power to complete. If you feel like walking farther you can, but only put pressure on yourself to walk to your neighbor’s house and back. Once that has become part of your routine for 30 days or more, then you can walk down a few more houses. Often you will find you have extended your walks without even thinking about it. Later you can add jogging for a few houses. The point is to start small and work up to it in small increments so it becomes a habit rather than something that drains your will power each day and you dread having to do.

If you change and grow you will be happier, especially if the change lasts and you can then move on to other small changes so you are always getting a little happier.

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

By understanding four basic concepts, anyone can learn to be happier.

The Happiness Formula

Happiness is within reach for everyone, no matter what their life circumstances. We are not talking about a life that is all cotton candy and rainbows with no problems. We are talking about feeling more good than bad and feeling content and fulfilled despite all of life’s challenges. By understanding four basic concepts, anyone can learn to be happier.

 

  1. Define Happiness – Many people chase pleasure instead of happiness because they are not clear on the difference. Happiness is an inner state of contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction that survives over time while pleasure comes from outside stimuli and makes you feel good in the moment. Happiness comes from feeling confident about our choices and our effort, while pleasure comes from getting more money, playing xBox, or eating a good meal. Pleasure can add to our happiness but it has strings attached: too much pleasure can also take away from happiness rather than add to it. Think of a chocolate cake sitting on your table. You can have a small slice or you can eat the whole cake.   A small slice gives you pleasure which adds to your happiness. It also makes you happy because you exercised self-control and you will feel good about your decision tomorrow when you still fit into that new pair of pants.   If you ate the whole cake, you get a jolt of pleasure. But that will fade quickly after the sugar high and will result in you feeling bad about yourself, your decisions, and your potential for fitting into those new pants. What really makes you happy vs. what just brings you temporary pleasure? Define the actions that bring you contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment and focus on those. Define happiness so you can choose actions that will make you happier in the long term vs. just provide you a little pleasure in the short term.

 

  1. Choose Happiness – Take control of your life and own your happiness rather than being a victim of the people and circumstances around you. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, only 10% of happiness comes from our circumstances, who we married the size of our house and how much money we have in the bank. 50% comes from our genes or natural disposition and the last 40% of our happiness is based on our choices. We can choose to be upset with our spouse, our boss, or the guy who cuts us off in traffic or we can choose to accept them with all their challenges and find reasons to be happy anyway. Decide today that you are in control of your life and choose happiness.

 

  1. Nurture Relationships – Giving to positive relationships is one of the strongest indicators of happiness. It is not about what you get from those relationships, but what you give to them. Spending time with friends and family and appreciating what they bring into your life will make you happier.   The key is to focus on what you can bring to the relationship rather sitting back and waiting for someone else to make you happy. Trying giving 100% to your relationships and expecting nothing in return. More than likely they will return the favor, but even if they don’t, the feelings of satisfaction and contentment that come from giving authentically of yourself will provide lasting happiness.
  1. Find Your Higher Purpose – We all need something bigger than ourselves to focus on. If we focus internally we tend to become critical and think negatively about ourselves. When we find something bigger than ourselves it adds purpose and meaning to our lives. Your Higher Purpose could be your religion, contributing to your family, or helping your team members reach a difficult goal. It might include a charity, a social movement, or sharing your music or other talents with the world.   Find something other than yourself to focus your thoughts and efforts on and you will be happier and more content.

 

Happiness is not something that is just given to you. But it is something that you can learn and practice and improve over time.

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Make a difference #8

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Go Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

‘‘Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.’’ Frankl

One of the most common terms used in people’s definitions of Happiness is meaning. We are all looking for meaning in our lives. One of the best ways to find meaning is to make a difference in someone else’s life. Our challenge is we often measure the amount of meaning in our lives by the number of people who tell us we are making a difference. Unfortunately, in people’s busy lives they often don’t take time or don’t know how to stop and let someone know they made a difference. So we don’t hear how important we are often enough and sometimes get discouraged.
Don’t wait to hear that you matter from someone else. Don’t measure you ability to make a difference by the number of people who find a way to share their feelings of gratitude. Instead, just start helping people. Find people to smile at or give a hand to. Help someone who seems down feel better. Donate your time to a charity. Help a friend with a move or navigating through an emotional challenge. Find ways every day to make a difference for someone else, and you will be happier and live a more meaningful life.

“As humans, we actually require a sense of meaning to thrive.” Diener

 

Happiness Hack #6 – Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 – Keep a Happiness Jar

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

 

Jar of Happiness Memories

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Capturing Memories of a Great Year Helps Make It a Great Year

Keep a Happiness Jar full of happy memories that you can review and share from time to time. Use a mason jar so you can see inside. Add movie tickets, wine corks, receipts from great meals you have had, and post-it notes with short summaries of what you did fun today. Write notes on each of them about who you were with, what you did and why it made you happy. Be creative, you will find all kinds of little reminders you can add. Keep your Happiness Jar in a prominent place so you can look inside and relive many of your happy times and also so you can be reminded to keep adding more happy memories. Just seeing the jar creates inspiration to do something that makes you happy. Share the happiness by letting visitors and friends add to your jar. It is exciting to watch what makes them happy. Decorate your jar and put the year on it. You can create a jar each year so you have years and years of happy memories you can revisit.

Adapted from an idea in Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Happiness Hack #5 – Make Time to Exercise

Happiness Hack #6 – Find Flow

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.