Let It Go: Working Happy in 2015
Find a job that will bring you success and happiness will follow. Right?…Not necessarily.
Studies have shown that happiness itself leads to success, not the other way around. Individuals who are the happiest are also the most productive – a shocking fact to consider; shouldn’t the amount of work accomplished be unrelated to the emotional state of the employee?
Of course, my rhetoric has given the answer away already. Happier people are more energetic as they approach their daily workload and their relationships with their coworkers and peers, and tend to be more creative. Being more amicable in groups than their morose counterparts, they work well with others and feel more resilient, handling challenges with strength (such energy is necessary when tackling difficult issues, as setbacks tend to occur and can weigh someone down – happiness lends the fire to move past roadblocks).
The most successful people are the ones who genuinely enjoy their jobs – rejoicing in the ability to invest their efforts into something they find meaningful. It could be anything – coding, writing, website design, marketing; as long as the individual wakes up every morning refreshed and excited to start their work day, the happiness level has been achieved. This level propels employees to speed toward their goals with alacrity and enthusiasm.
Finding meaning in every career milestone (and project step) will assist in the sense of progress that accompanies each small accomplishment. Setting smart, measurable and attainable goals will allow individuals to realize success and see the end goal, making it more satisfying to engage in that process.
This innate enjoyment brings humans to the state identified as “flow” – the mental state of operation in which someone involved in a task becomes completely immersed in energized focus, involved fully and finding enjoyment through the entire process. This completely concentrated motivation is “harnessing emotions in the service of performing and learning” – essentially, taking the skills and passions that you already have, and using those talents to create the best career and performance of your life. This flow makes us so involved that we don’t even notice the time passing, simply reveling in the accomplishment and enjoyment that comes with fulfilling work.
The possible barriers to achieving this ideal state include: multitasking, taking on extensive (and possible unrealistic) workloads and not beginning your creative process with a focused mind. For obvious reasons, not approaching your day with an “I can do anything” attitude will hinder your progress, and multitasking will split your attention and disallow any productive project initiation. Taking on large workloads without heeding the need for attainable goals will breed frustration and can take you two steps back – keep it real!
Becoming an engaged and happy worker ultimately stems from the individual, and it is quite simple once the above steps are implemented. Looking toward the future with a sense of determination and purpose sharpens the view and creates great workplace relationships. Keep the end goal in mind (productivity and fulfillment) and the rest will fall into place. The results create valuable individuals who are pleasant and fun to work with, and impact a brand in a positive way.1