How to love your job
You hate your current job but need it nevertheless. Devashish Chakravarty tells you how to stay in your job and be happy about it too.
Do you feel like a reluctant school kid each morning as you head to work? Here is how to rework your situation, refresh your per spective and recover happiness.
The first step is to state “I want happiness“. Write it down and keep it in front of you or put it as a wall paper on your cell. Writing down and reminding yourself of what you want keeps alive your desire, triggers new ideas and pulls you back from activities and thoughts that lead you astray.As the statement takes hold in your mind, you become aware of events and situations that make you either happy or depressed.The next steps help you work around triggers and thoughts that depress you.
Who are you? How do you think about yourself? If your self-image and identity is grounded solely in your job description, then you have a huge problem. If you always introduce yourself as an accountant, a salesperson, a lawyer or a CEO then you are hostage to your professional circumstances. Choose an identity outside work that can make your self-image multi-dimensional. Are you a loving parent? A good cricketer? An aspiring musician? A connoisseur of good writing or great food? A traveller, a wanderer and adventurer? If not, create an identity and reinforce it with plans and activities on a weekly basis. Your new identity will lessen the burden of your work routine and you will be able to smile through your days to the amazement of unhappy colleagues.
Cover your ears:
In one scene of the movie Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith discourages his son from playing basketball because he is unlikely to excel at sports. When his son heeds his advice, Will admonishes him and tells him not to ever let someone else decide what he could or could not do. He tells his son, that if he wants something, he should simply go for it. Similarly, if your environment is filled with negativity, just cover your ears. Ignore and avoid conversations and people who smack of pointless criticism and failure. A substantial part of your unhappiness stems from your participation in disempowering communications. Avoiding these helps you focus on your dreams and more importantly lets you enjoy the journey.
Drop the negative conversations in your mind. Like all happy people, let not your past define you and your emotions.Think of your past as a fictional story. Each day thus is a fresh start where you begin with what you have in the morning and seek what you want by evening. As you choose to ignore your past, you start letting go of the grudges against your boss, your self-recrimination at not performing well, your personal labels of being unsuccessful because you missed a promotion, jealousy at your colleague's success--and all those thoughts which serve no purpose except to make you unhappy. It is not easy, but as you get better with practice, you will learn to discard each day's negativity by the time you reach home. Take what's yours: Make a list of activities and situations at work that you control.It could be your team's output, your sales route, sequence of tasks in a day, purchase of supplies, people you meet, mentors you learn from or even how you decorate your desk. These are the high points to be exploited. Take complete ownership of your span of control and list out the set of actions and outcomes that will give you most satisfaction. Exercise your autonomy and experiment to find the right mix of thinking, planning, people and activities that help you end each day with a smile.
Play a game:
We all love playing games.Observe one of the most addictive mobile games--Candy Crush. If you haven't been afflicted yet, you have seen people who are hooked on to it. The point of this game is to work through increasing levels of difficulty each of which simply signifies your current mastery while offering a greater challenge.Thus games engage us by letting us compete against others or against our own selves.Then why not convert your dull routine day job into a series of games? Create simple goals like number of calls a day, average time to respond to an email, time spent to complete a presentation etc. As you invent new levels in your games, not only are you engaged in your own world of fun but also you progress in mastering your chosen skills.
Search for meaning:
Viktor Frankl--a concentration camp survivor and psychiatrist--states in his book Man's search for meaning how identifying an energising purpose and continuously imagining that outcome helped Holocaust prisoners experience moments of bliss and survive their horrendous circumstances. Similarly find a life purpose or meaning in what you do at work, in what your firm does or even your own contribution to family or society. What value do you deliver? In whose life do you bring a ding to? Imagine that outcome in great detail as if you have already delivered it. The intensity with which you define and imagine this future will determine how happy you are.
One grateful step: Last but not the least, look at what's on your table right now. What do you need to work on this moment? How can you do so in a way that it takes you a step closer to your created purpose or mastery in what you have chosen? As you take that single step, express gratitude for the freedom and opportunity to control this moment and step. Like all happy people, you will discover that your mind is absolutely incapable of being unhappy while expressing gratitude.