happiness matters or does it?

The essentials to happiness are something to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

William Blake

Happy?

Happy?

Recent articles point out that happy people do better work, that was the thought. A recent Harvard Business Review article suggests that maybe happiness is overrated and even suggests that happiness may be a hindrance to productivity.

Perhaps happiness sounds good at work it might be more important to have meaningful work to do that stretches the capabilities of the individual.  Work that is easy, repetitious, and seems meaningless isn’t going to drive the best performance and results from anyone.

What do you feel about your work?  Is the work meaningful, purposeful, and useful?   What is your level of engagement?   Are you able to do your work within an eight-hour work period?   What is the relationship you have with others in the organization?

Happiness at work, what does that really mean?   What is happiness?  It starts with a definition and you have to determine what that definition is.  Is happiness something that is pursued at work or does it just happen in the moment when the work you are doing has meaning and is inspiring.   Happiness is often found at the boundaries of intellectual and psychological challenge.   That is the work is challenging, the problems are difficult but solvable and there is time for a rhythm and flow to the work.   Work that is too easy can become boring and that will lead to less productivity and more procrastination.  On the other hand work that is too hard and difficult may also create procrastination.

Where do you find happiness in your work or do you?

 

 

 

 

add service to your routine

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr

Female executive drawing business concept on a whiteboard.

Serve others better

People often ask how they can improve their chances of getting promoted at work.   The answer is rather simple, serve others better, serve others with excellence.   The service formula is rather simple and it is one that people quickly ignore.   If there was a secret to getting ahead it would be service.  Now, the problem is that it is so easy to do that most people don’t even want to do it.

What job doesn’t involve some sort of service?   Your job likely involves interacting with other people at some level.  How are you serving them?

Serving is about caring and caring is easy to do in principal and much more challenging when your own life is need filled.   Take some time and consider some ways you can increase your service to others in your place of work.  What can you do to show that you care?

In your place of work do you believe you have a purpose?

Do people acknowledge who you are?

Does your work matter to others?

What does service mean to you?   How can you serve better in the workplace?

When you are cared for in your place of work that behavior is shared with others and you begin to care about the work you do and the people you serve.  With employee engagement hovering in the 30% area it would make sense for the organization to care about you so that you could care about your work.  Often the belief is the other way around, we pay you to do your work and because of that you should care about the place you work.  It doesn’t work that way.

What would allow you to serve better?

 

When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” ― Shannon L. Alder

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Does your soul have a voice?

 

The disengaged workforce is a topic that is often presented in a variety of media outlets. 35% of workers are happy about the work they do and that isn’t a very big number. That is most people are willing to accept a paycheck from the business that they work for but aren’t willing to do much more that show up every day. What is really going on?

People are hired to make a contribution, to add value, to increase profits and it would seem that something is inhibiting them from making a contribution, a full contribution that really matters. Is it the people they work for? Is it a manager that can’t or isn’t willing to let people think and use their abilities fully? Are people given permission to succeed or are they required to ask for permission to succeed?

If you need to ask for permission to do your job then something is wrong. How many times would you be willing to for permission to accomplish something that you could just do? Do you need permission to spend money? Do you need permission to talk to someone? Do you need permission to have a meeting? Do you need permission to come up with a new way of doing things? Do you need permission from your manager to _____________?

If you work in a culture that requires permission each step of the way to do your job what results will you be producing?

There are reasons to ask for permission to do things and those things should be known in advance.   There may be political concerns that require permission before taking action.   Sometimes permission is needed and often it is just a way to control the imagination and contribution people could make.

What do you need permission to do?  How do you feel when you need to ask for permission?

trapped in digital distractions

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.”
― Henry Miller

Android Dream series. Background design of human model, numbers and design elements on the subject of science, information and modern technology

Digital noise

Have you ever been asked to change something about you?   Have you tried to change a behavior you didn’t like much?  How much success did you have?

Digital distractions are consuming more and more of people’s time and reducing their ability to be highly productive.   Digital games can become addictive.  Phones are an always-on, always available ready to answers any call or text, personal leash.   Phones or text messages are expected to be answered in an instant no matter where you are.   It becomes a part of your life. The always-on nature of digital devices become distractions when they inhibit or reduce your ability to deal with the important things in life.

Digital devices invade nearly every aspect of life, the drive to work, the meeting, the lunch with friends, the vacation, the important conversation, and just about everything else. How much times does your digital device require from you?

What is the proper digital etiquette?   How long can an email sit in the inbox before it must be answered?  When do you have to answer or acknowledge a text message?

For some people answering a text or the phone must be done immediately, in the car, in the restaurant, with friends, in the bathroom or just about anywhere there is a digital signal.  Always-on means always available.

The addiction to digital devices and their siren call isn’t easy to break.  It requires a change in a behavior, a change of the rules, and a new way of responding to the demands of digital devices.    People who are being pressed to get more done find that digital leashes are pulling them further and further away from getting work done.   How about you?   Are your digital devices hindering your productivity?  How do you know?

What does it take to turn email off?

What does it take to turn the smart phone off?

What does it take to disconnect from Twitter and Facebook?

Can you do it?   What would happen if you did?

Digital devices are creating in many people symptoms of ADHD,  lack of focus, poor time management, procrastination and ineffective decision making all can be tied to digital distractions.

Steps to reducing the digital distractions.

1. Turn the phone off and wait at least 15 minutes before turning it on.  Keep extending the period when the phone is turned off.

2. Answer email 3 times a day and no more.  The continuous checking of email reduces effectiveness.

3. Create digital free zones (the dinner table, meetings with friends, etc.)

4. Keep digital devices out of the bedroom.

Start getting your life back and start getting more done.  When will you start?

Life style

“Relaxation is… a state between waking and sleeping, where the body is completely still and the mind is allowed to flow freely from one thought to another, or alternately, a state in which the mind becomes inadvertently calm.”
― Gudjon Bergmann

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Green River, Utah

When was the last time you took a sustained break from your daily routines? When did you take time to relax and step back from the normal pattern of life?

With employee engagement hovering around 37% companies are losing a majority of their productivity to time wasting events. People are stressed and stress doesn’t necessarily improve output. Vacations are being taken by fewer people as the feeling is that vacations only serve to increase the amount of stress in their lives rather than reducing stress.

What are you doing to restore engagement in work and life?

What is your level of stress? How are you dealing with it?

Stress reduction can begin with:
1. Breathing and relaxation
2. Practicing gratitude – journaling what you are grateful for.
3. Being mindful – paying attention to the day and not letting it just go by.
4. Disconnecting from TV, computer and electronic devices.
5. Taking a real vacation.

Stress is often related to a lifestyle that is demanding more from you than you can provide.  Sustained stress leads to burnout and less satisfaction with life.  Choose to change your lifestyle so that you can experience greater happiness.

a summer challenge

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
José Ortega y Gasset

Stress.  It is an issue.

Stress is a result of a conflict with your values.   When you live a life that is inconsistent with what you value your emotional triggers are stirred.  At some point some issues presses you just hard enough.  You’ve had enough.

What do you value?

What are your values?

How would you write your value statements?

Are you honoring your values?   If not, why not?

When you experience more of what you want out of life then you’re likely living in a way that is consistent with what you value.   If there is something you value highly and you’re unable to satisfy that value then life isn’t going to be as good as you’d like it to be.

What is your level of stress?

What are you doing about it?

Master Your Stress

distracted – disturbed – dismayed

“Ten thousand flowers in the spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.”
Wu Men

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More and more people are feeling that they have extended their physical and mental resources beyond what they can sustain and it is resulting in greater stress, burnout and distress.   The demands for using every minute of time in some endeavor has robbed people from taking a moment to just step back and relax and recover.

Electronic distractions are so common place that it has become fashionable to always be connected to some type of media and that is disconnecting people from reality.   The window to the soul is clouded by the window of the always-on lure of technology.

Burnout, stress and malaise is increasing and more and more people are looking for ways to restore their vitality as the increased pace and demand for more being done is impacting physical and mental health.

How do you break free of the pattern of life and work that is creating more distractions and resulting in a more disturbed way of living?

1. Pause and breathe
2. Exercise, talk a short walk every hour, move.
3. Meditate, even for 5 minutes, breathe in and exhale slowly.
4. Sleep, getting enough sleep so that you can think and work effectively.
5. Take time out to do nothing.  Just observe, watch and reflect on something of beauty.
6. Slow down.  Eat slowly, drink slowly and experience eating.

Observe what your life is like.  Is it getting filled with more and more stuff?  Are you feeling strained to meet all the requirements of work and life?   Are you spending more time just watching TV and numbing the brain?

Turn off the electronic devices.  Create an electronic device free zone and time and start getting your life back.

Find a way to get more harmony and peace into your life so that you have a life.