Happiness at work should not be your goal

Happiness at work should not be your goal

Happy good, unhappy bad.  Not too many people will challenge that.

But being not happy doesn’t mean you’re unhappy.

There are other non-happy emotional states that reward and fulfil the spirit.

People who love their jobs are often focused, aggressive, challenged, curious, anxious, attentive, reflective, perturbed, inspired, stressed, thoughtful, vigilant and zealous.  Distinctly not happy.

Why is this important?

Because much of the happiness focus is potentially mis-leading.

It’s not about being happy AT work, but being happy FROM work.

Contrast HAPPINESS: a feeling or expression of pleasure and contentment,

with

WORK: the virtue by which we create desirable situations that do not exist; or maintain desirable situations that are in danger of going out of existence.

Who is the more dedicated, productive, inventive and engaged worker?  The worker who is happy with the way things are, or the worker who wants to change it for something he or she wants?

Passionate work implies some degree of unhappiness with something and a strong desire or responsibility to change it into something better.

Expecting happiness at work will limit your achievements

Having people expecting to be happy at work excludes them from doing work that matters.  Why? Because much great achievement comes from doing, shitty, tedious, unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous work; the work that only the ambitious is willing to do.

Do you do important work?

Do you do important work?

There was a scene in “The Imitation Game” when the protagonist  —as baddies started to destroy his work—exclaimed, “You will never understand the importance of what I am creating here.” And as they continued wreaking havoc around him it was clear they didn’t.   Poor sap. But it made me think of the main reasonContinue Reading

Why we must all be entrepreneurs

Why we must all be entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are the marines of business. Figuratively speaking, they take the beachhead, and incur the heaviest casualties. Entrepreneurs have the “no guts, no glory” swag necessary to risk their money, time and reputation on a dream, and because so many fail, we think that only the naturally gifted could do what it takes to reapContinue Reading

Ten signs of a bad boss

Ten signs of a bad boss

Many bad bosses are nice people, but they all create unnecessary cost in high staff turnover and inefficiency.  Motivation enough to get rid of them. But from a purely human perspective, bad bosses give work a bad name.  They fuel negative work conversations and provide ‘evidence’ that work cannot be enjoyable and productive. Bad bossesContinue Reading

A 2015 wish

A 2015 wish

As we leave 2014 wondering what the world will be like without Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Attenborough, and Maya Angelou; what would motivate young men to shoot a child or cut a man’s head off; how the technology exists to find my iPhone but not a 100 ton plane with hundreds of peopleContinue Reading

Should you or shouldn’t you follow your passion?

Should you or shouldn’t you follow your passion?

If you keep up with the literature you now ‘know’ that following your passion is not only bad advice, but the ‘worst advice you could give anyone.’ Why?  Because your passion, if you have one, may be a financial dead-end, against the law, socially reprehensible, or you may suck at it. Ask the average journalist,Continue Reading

What are you failing at?

What are you failing at?

Failure is nature’s way of preparing you for success.  And thank her for that, because life would be numbingly boring if you immediately succeeded at everything you tried. Unfortunately this isn’t widely taught and so millions of us grow up imprisoned by a few bad outcomes, or worse failing at something important and not knowingContinue Reading