According to an article by Fast Company, the most successful people at work are often also the happiest. This certainly challenges how we might view success and the ways to get there, as often—happiness sounds like it is a byproduct of success, rather than the other way around. It also raises questions around the old motto, ‘to be successful you need to study and work hard’—an idea that has been engrained in many minds from a young age, by parents and teachers alike. No doubt it may be better replaced by: ‘be happy and you’ll be successful’. Challenge yourself and see if you share (or can adopt) any of the top six traits that happy, successful people do at work—according to Jim Donovan, author of ‘Happy @ Work':
They shun ‘problems’ and embrace ‘challenges’. Apparently even changes in our vocabulary as slight as this can have astounding effects on our brain. ‘Problems’ is a word that has negative connotations and as such people tend to avoid them. ‘Challenges’ however, seem much more positive. Try replacing ‘problems’ with ‘challenges’ and see if you notice any difference.
They don’t get stuck in a rut. Mix things up a bit, walk to walk instead or getting the bus, drive a different route, go somewhere different on your lunch break. Exposing yourself to different stimuli actually creates new neural connections in your brain. Did you know Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg were known to go for a long walk to work on ideas?
They arrive at work early. Are you someone who likes to have some time to settle-in in the morning? There’s nothing worse and more stressful than arriving to work late. Getting there even just a few minutes early allows you to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead (as well as grab a coffee before there’s a queue!).
They ask themselves big sounding philosophical questions. Just asking yourself a question like ‘what am I looking forward to today’ can really help to get your brain working in a positive way. Give it a try!
They listen to feel good music at work. Now I know this might not always be possible so I’ve come up with some alternatives. You could listen to music on the way to work and at lunchtime. Whilst you’re in the office try singing to yourself, in your head preferably! Seriously. This one really works (well, at least for me). I do suggest you learn all the words to a song though as just repeating the chorus can get mighty annoying all day.
They avoid the ‘energy zappers’. We all know who they are. Every office has at least one person that never seems to stop going on about their problems. And according to Jim Donovan the best strategy is to avoid them altogether.
Written by Alex Ashton-Cobb