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How To Be Happy At Work

How to become a leader? That's a big question, but one place I think it is helpful to start is with a little self-enquiry. Perhaps by starting to ask about happiness.


When do you want to be happy?

It's not a silly question. It's a question we don't ask often enough.

Do you want to be happy when you are retired? Or when you get a new job? Or when you get a promotion? Or when your current project is finished? Maybe it is all of these and more.

When you stop to think about it, we're always waiting to be happy.

So, let's imagine that you do retire, get a new job or promotion and you complete that project. When will you be happy?

You'll be happy then, but then will be now.

Because we only can experience happiness in the current moment. In the only time that there ever was, which is now.

And so there is no reason to wait to be happy. We can (at least try to) go direct to happiness right now.

But sometimes we find that we get a little lost in our careers. Things change around us, or we outgrow our current role, before another becomes available. We experience this as frustration, feeling lost or simply as unhappiness.

When this happens we can take active steps to find happiness in the present, by looking back at our past. To do this, ask yourself these questions:

  • When were you most fulfilled at work?

  • How did what you were doing give your life meaning?

  • What other factors contributed to your fulfilment?

Give yourself some time to reflect on these questions. Maybe leave them a day or two to see what memories pop into your mind.

Once you have done that, ask yourself one final question:

  • How can you bring that fulfilment into your current situation?

What you'll find is that there are subtle things you can do to bring those feelings into the present. Or, if that seems impossible, you'll have a much better idea what you need to work towards next.

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