REMEMBERING WHAT HAPPINESS LOOKS LIKE (PART 1)
About 15 years into my career I got a bit stuck. When people asked about my job I found myself saying things like “Well its alright, I guess no job is perfect” and “Everyone has issues at work, right?” Sure those statements are true, but the very fact that they were the first things that came to my mind was a pretty big clue that my job wasn't all it could be. Fortunately a wise mentor challenged me to remember those moments in life where things were better than “alright” and I truly felt most successful and happy. I took an afternoon and reflected all the way back to grade school. I asked myself what were those experiences that met three conditions:
- I enjoyed doing it
- I accomplished something
- I did it well
I thought about playing the leading role in my sixth grade play, winning a college business simulation contest, creating a successful fund-raiser and delivering a well received key-note. I remembered the pure joy that each of those experiences gave me. I remembered that I love making an impact, reaching goals and influencing others. I remembered that my best work comes when I am with a team of smart caring people and when I have lots of opportunities to learn and try out new skills. I remembered what happiness looks and feels like to me.
Finding a new job takes work and it can be hard to motivate yourself when you are not miserable but just “meh.” And it’s especially hard if you have convinced yourself that happiness at work isn’t really a realistic goal--if you have forgotten those moments when you really felt in your groove.
Too many people are settling for less than they can. Gallop reports that only 30% of Americans strongly agree that they have a chance to do what they do best everyday. We deserve better than that at work since we spend such a lot of time and energy there.
Take the time to reflect on when you felt the most satisfied with work, write some notes, record some themes. Remind yourself what your happiness looks like. Then act on those insights.
After my exploration I brushed up my resume, called some recruiters and landed the job of my dreams. Sure I had the occasional “meh” day, but 9 out of 10 times when someone asked about my work I immediately said, “I love it.”
How do you reconnect and remember what happiness looks like for you at work?
In Part 2 I’ll share some of the ways I have learned to keep those happy moments a little more front and center so that I access them more easily. Feeling energized and inspired by bringing my best self to the job makes my performance, my health, and my results better everyday.
Brand-Builder | Speaker | Author
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