For those that had their holiday during the summer it will soon be time to go back to work. I hope that the vacation has been enjoyable and that you now feel that it is good to be going back to work.
The fact is that if you feel happy about yourself and your work, then you are going to do a better job. Many studies show that happy people are more creative, feel more engaged, have better health, and produce better results. As I myself have experienced many times, happiness is contagious. If you enter a room with happy people you feel better about yourself. If you smile at someone they feel better and become happier.
To talk about happiness, you might first need to know what being ‘happy’ is. I read an article in the Harvard Business Review where the author described the psychological view of happiness. There are three distinct pathways.
The first is The pleasant life, which involves positive experiences including contentment, hope, and sensory enjoyment. This kind of well-being is often referred to as hedonia, based on the Greek term for pleasure.
The second is The engaged life, or eudaimonia. The ancient Greeks believed in a “daemon”, or guardian spirit, that would guide you towards your destiny; the word also means genius. The engaged life thus refers to a person’s ability to deploy his own personal genius – to use his unique strengths and talents in a way that engages and absorbs him.
The third pathway is The meaningful life, which relates to the desire to be part of something bigger than oneself – to belong and contribute to an institution that has a purpose. You feel enthusiasm and want to be a part of the purpose – entheos means to be filled with God.
It further states that all three of these pathways – pleasure, engagement, and meaning – are equally important.
What can we learn from this? With this knowledge to hand we may start to evaluate our own organizations and to find out if we as co-workers or as business leaders do enough to create a happy organization where we perform better because we are happier. Questions that may arise are:
- What do I do to help my workplace become a fun place to work?
- Do we have the right skills for our work, meaning that we feel that we have the prerequisites?
- Do we feel fulfilled by doing what we are doing?
- Am I, and my staff, enjoying our environment at work and our working relationships?
- Do we understand the vision, strategies and goals of the organization?
- Do we feel that we are a part of something greater that ourselves, something that really matters for the customers and maybe even greater than that, for the mankind?
- Do we laugh and have fun when we are at work, and is the customer smiling when we serve them?
Take a moment to take stock of your “happy supply” within your work place. If you discover that you and your colleagues are truly happy at work, then you will also will find that you perform very well too, as it is a two fold; you feel happy and that is good, and the organization will give a good value to your customers. It is therefore a total win-win situation. It will raise you even higher as one gives to the other and that in turn feeds back into the first. It is a positive spiral.