In honour of this year’s International Day of Happiness (20 March 2019), Royston Guest offers some advice to ensure your working days are happy ones
Happiness is such an emotive word – it has many different definitions for each and every one of us. Whatever your definition, here are five tips for achieving happiness at work.
1. Ask the question, ‘What does success mean to me, personally and professionally?’
One of the keys to unlocking a motivational environment is to clearly understand your personal goals and how being successful at work can be one of the vehicles and enablers in helping you realise your goals. The moment we create the bridge in our mind – the link between our personal goals, business goals and what we do daily during work – self-motivation kicks in. This is the defining moment we change from someone with a job to someone with a purpose.
2. Be clear about your tensions and trade-offs
When you are really clear about what success means to you, both personally and professionally, you can design your life, fully aware of the tensions and trade-offs you’re making. For example, if you’re seeking a promotion, you may accept the extra hours you have to work to prove you’ve got ‘skin in the game’, or you may not. You remove the pressure to be someone that you’re not, or don’t want to be. You remove any potential conflicts weighing you down, and the unhappiness that goes with this.
3. Treat your emotional wellbeing the same as you would your physical wellbeing
Your emotional wellbeing is not a luxury and it should be viewed on an equal footing to your physical wellbeing. By understanding that it’s the energy source powering your performance – when it’s low, your performance is low – you recognise the short and long-term impact on you, your role and the business you work for.
4. In order to give your best, you have to be at your best
It’s good to be focused and driven and to push yourself to excel – but it’s also good to just do nothing. Being busy all the time is not sustainable – in fact, it’s a perfect recipe for burnout, and burnout isn’t just a metaphorical thing. Take time to rest and relax after work. Rest refreshes your mind and repairs your body. Relaxation, on the other hand, releases tension and endorphins which help bring about feelings of euphoria and wellbeing.
5. Set yourself up for success
If you haven’t got absolute clarity about what the expectations are for your role, or what ‘great’ looks like, it’s almost predictable that you and your manager will be working to different models and interpretations of what ‘good’ looks like. This is not good for productivity – and it certainly isn’t good for your wellbeing and happiness.
Get clarity of purpose for your role and get enabled with the mindset (attitude, determination, will), the skillset (technical or soft skills) and the toolset (tools to do the job) to truly unlock your potential and deliver excellence. In doing so you will fuel your inner self-worth, ignite your self-motivation and build your confidence – and your happiness at work will be inevitable.