Sunday, May 16th, 2010
* I was afraid to publish this post because it may seem too simple for some of my advanced readers, but even my advanced work happiness people had to start somewhere. And yes, even advanced people need refreshers. So here it is.
Work has hundreds of little annoyances that can kill your happiness if you don’t create a system to deal with your problems.
Co-workers, bosses, and tedious tasks can throw us off our emotional center. We must find creative ways to deal with these issues.
1. Understand the root problem.
You are the cause of your pain. It hurts to actually write that because I know some people will tune the rest of this article out, but it must be said.
You are the one who interprets people’s actions. You are the one who makes the experience positive or negative.
2. Listen to your favorite song.
Sometimes we just need to get away. Pull out your iPod and blast your favorite song. I have a few songs that help me gain perspective, but right now it’s Everybody’s Gotta Live by Love.
I can’t stay mad when I’m listening to this great tune.
3. Write 5 solutions to your most difficult problem.
Every problem has a solution. Sometimes we just need to take time to step back and find the solution that will meet our needs.
Make a list of 5 solutions. Pick the best one and try to apply it. If it doesn’t work then pick the next best one until you ease your pain.
4. Ask advice from a friend.
My friends are my rocks. I can lean on them and they never run away. They are always there to listen to my latest rant.
I’ve learned not to just complain though. You must ask for their opinion and be willing to listen. Come right out and ask them for a solution. You’ll love the creative responses.
5. Create a ritual.
Annoyances are never going away. It’s what being human is all about.
Create a ritual to help channel your feelings. I love doing a little drawing of the situation. The act of creating a drawing out of my annoyance helps me deal with my feelings.
6. Know it won’t last.
Nothing lasts forever. Why does it seem like a difficult situation will make us feel like crap forever? Because we get sucked into the intense feelings that won’t seem to let go.
When this happens, look back on a difficult situation and notice how it feels afterwards. Most of my past difficulties were my greatest learning experiences. Like dealing with a roommate who smeared dog shit on my bed because he was high on acid. That haunted me for weeks, but now I know not to take people’s freak-outs personally.
7. Celebrate the pain.
An annoyance isn’t an annoyance if you can turn it into a celebration. I recently dealt with a failed attempt to speak at a conference. I was upset because I thought I had a shot, but they decided to hire someone else.
I tried to turn it into an event. I bought a small cake, some candles and created a lame song during lunch. I lit three candles and sang my song. The absurd nature of the situation forced me to laugh at myself and move on. I decided to call a few other organizations that would want my enlightening presentation.
8. Reframe your perspective.
It’s up to you to reframe a situation to help you become smart, stronger and happier. You can do this by creating emotional space. List as many perspectives as you can in order to help you gain a grip on your emotions. If your boss is being a jerk, then think about personal issues he might be dealing with, the overbearing father who influenced his personality, or possible bosses who might have taught him his terrible people skills.
Keep listing until you create that emotional separation that allows you to see all the possible sides to a person or task.
9. Use your annoyances as a growth opportunity.
You can either use annoyances to make you happier or you can let them tear you down. Your choice.
What do you do to deal with your annoyances at work?
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* Many of you are bloggers and try to use social media to it’s full potential, but it hard. So very stink’n hard. Tess over at the Bold Life wrote about failing as social media. Check it out.
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Image courtesy of Shawn Econo