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How To Be Happy At Work

04/26/2013 06:00 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

'It's easy for you to be happy at work -- you have a great job!''  Jerry meant what he said. Somehow happiness was out of his reach, he believed.  And, he seemed to think, the kind of job you have is related to your happiness potential.

A month ago, I started really focusing on people who are happy at work.  Everywhere I go, I pay attention to who is around me.  And, I am documenting those who appear to be happy in their workplace.  Here you can see the shining face of Suk-Kea Lim from the Greenwood Inn in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  One look at her beautiful smile and you know that Suk-Kea is a happy person.  Well, guess what her 'job' is? Certainly not a glamorous one by most standards, but one Suk-Kea does extremely well, with great care, and with a fantastic attitude.

So, what's the difference between Suk-Kea and Jerry?  How can Jerry -- and any of us, for that matter -- achieve happiness at work?

We can begin by believing that it is possible.  In fact, we can begin by believing it IS (a fact, a truth, 'reality').  As long as Jerry believes that his reality is that he has the kind of job at which happiness is an illusion, he'll continue to create that experience for himself.  He'll be oblivious to the opportunity for happiness that is present around him every day.

Check out this video of Sugathapala, who lives in Sri Lanka.

 

Now that is what I'd call a happy dude!  Even though the job he is in now might not be the job he would have ideally chosen for himself, he is rockin' it!  And listen to him as he describes the choice he is making.

Interested in creating more happiness at work?  It starts by changing your thoughts.  It starts by moving out of your thinking ruts, and into a new thinking groove.  Here are some examples:

  • Instead of thinking' TGIF (thank god it's Friday)'; think 'TGIM (thank god it's Monday)'.
  • Instead of thinking 'Happy Hour begins at 5:00 p.m.'; think 'Happy Hour begins at 9:00 a.m.'.
  • Instead of thinking 'This job sucks'; think 'I can look at this job in a whole new way'.
  • Instead of thinking 'My boss does not appreciate me, he gives me no feedback'; think 'My boss trusts me to do a good job'.
  • Instead of thinking 'When I get a new job, then I will be happy'; think 'When I am happy, I will likely get a new job'.
  • Instead of thinking 'I cannot wait to retire'; think 'I am grateful for this day'.

Embrace today, be mindful, shake things up, and change your thoughts to change your results.  You do indeed get what you expect, and you grow that to which you attend.

According to Ellen Langer, a Harvard Psychology Professor, "Wherever you put the mind, the body will follow". "It is not our physical state that limits us," she explains--"it is our mindset about our own limits, our perceptions, that draws the lines in the sand."

Why can't workplaces be filled with positive, happy, productive, groovy people?

Why can't we, as Langer suggests, notice new things, relinquish preconceived mindsets (ruts), and then act on the new observations (grooves)?

I'd love you to join the Groove Community by sharing photos (of you, of your team at work) and stories of how you stay happy (and mindful) at work. Email me at deri@derilatimer.com and look for your story on the Groove Community page (coming soon).