Jeez! Baby Steps! BABY STEPS!

baby-steps-croppedSometimes I feel like I need to scream at myself. I’ve always been tough on myself and it’s a big reason I started Work Happy Now back in 2008. I wanted to research and test out ideas that helped me become happier and more productive.

I know getting mad at myself doesn’t solve anything. It’s just such an ingrained habit that’s hard to break.Every now and again it sneaks back in. Then I take a deep breath and tell myself it’s up to me to create more positive habits.

So I’ve been taking more time to apply Active Relaxation to my workday. I also tell my clients don’t compare yourself to others, take baby steps and enjoy the process. I haven’t been doing any of these things. I’ve been beating myself up by letting my arch nemesis dictate my happiness.

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The One Secret Guys Don’t Use in an Interview

big-smile-girlYou’ve probably walked into an interview ready to answer any question that they can throw at you. You are focused and ready to land the job.

This post is geared to guys because women are usually much better at doing this one thing in an interview. Although a lot of them do make the same mistake.

As the interview is moving right along you realize that you are doing a great job. They seem to like your answers.

After the interview is over they shake your hand. You just know you are going to get that call back.

As you replay the interview over in your head you are happy with the results.

Then a few days go by, a week and nothing.

What did you do wrong?

You didn’t…
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How to Turn Rejections into Inspiration

fire-works-castleEditor’s note: This is a guest post from Jess of Hack My Modern Lifestyle.

Have you ever had times in your life when you found it hard to get up after being rejected?

Being rejected is difficult to handle in any capacity in life. Whether it is in your love life, social life, or work life, rejection often hits hard, and can sometimes knocks the wind out of your sails. Rejection in the work place has a special kind of sting to it, while rejections in relationships or social life are full of emotion.

Finding a way through rejection is not always easy because the reason for the rejection can sometimes be biting. Even comprehending “feeling better” immediately following a rejection can be difficult. This inability to feel better immediately is a normal reaction, and it can actually be a great moment of clarity for the individual.
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Freedom at Work is Relative

feeling-freeSo many of my friends complain about the restrictions that work puts on them. They have to come in at a certain time, they don’t have the resources to make their projects successful or their co-workers are difficult. They don’t see how these obstacles are windows into their ability to feel happy.

I do the same thing.

When you work for someone else or yourself there will be restrictions within your day. Your co-worker might ask for your help right in the middle of working on your own project or you might get a phone call.

It’s how you handle your restrictions, distractions and difficulties that will really support your happiness.
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Top 10 Greatest Career Development Quotes

quote-of-week-500Quotes have been a constant inspiration to my life. It’s one of the reasons I started Work Happy Now. At first I was afraid to start a blog. Would anyone even care what I have to say? It turns out that they do. If I never read the #2 quote on this list who knows if this blog would even be alive today.

Quotes help steer my thoughts into a positive direction when I’m letting my arch nemesis dictate my happiness.

I compiled some of my favorite business quotes to help inspire you. There are a lot of entrepreneurs that give up on being happy at work. They think if they just work really hard and ignore everything else, it will be ok. They are missing the point. We are put on this earth to do great things, but we can’t sacrifice our health and happiness in the process.

I don’t care if you work for yourself or for someone else, work dictates a huge portion of our happiness. It’s up to each of us to make our working lives happy so that we can make the biggest impact possible for as long as possible.

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Stop Ordering Yourself Around

relaxed-at-work-coach-250Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Mike Bundrant of iNLP.

“Do it, Mike! Just do it! Stop your whining and get off your butt!”

This is how I used to motivate myself. I carried around an inner high school football coach to bark at me whenever he thought I was slacking. The problem was, I constantly stressed myself out. Worse, half the time I “rebelled” against this inner dictator and became passive aggressive toward my own goals. How’s that for nutty?

Patterns

Actually, this is a common pattern. A “dictator” style of motivation has an undermining effect in the long run. Most people don’t like to be ordered around. In the workplace it leads to low morale and a low productivity, high-turnover workforce. Dictator-style parents tend to divide families and create harsh rivalries in the home. Ordering yourself around leads to the number one killer of personal development goals: self-sabotage.

Think about it. To your mind and body, a harsh, loud voice ordering you around is jarring, regardless of the source. You respond with stress and resistance whether from an outsider imposing his will or you imposing your will upon yourself. In the end, your brain experiences the commands in a similar fashion. Your mind places a lot less emphasis on the origin of an experience than you may think. All of us can make our mouths water just by imagining a delectable dessert. We’ve all reacted with fear to inner thoughts that had no basis in external reality. Ordering yourself around is being ordered around, period. Chances are, you don’t like it and will shut down, refusing to take any action at all.

The stress and resistance of dictatorial self-motivation is an expressway to self-sabotage. “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do!” is the common response to inappropriate commands, even when those commands are self-generated. It’s a perfect set up.

A New Way

Zen Motivation changes all this. The need to bark orders and force yourself to do things doesn’t even arise in a Zen motivation state. Motivating yourself to do things, even unpleasant things, is a normal part of living and comes quite naturally when in a more Zen-like state, connected to the present moment. Do this exercise and see what I mean.

1. Consider one thing that you need to motivate yourself to do, such as exercise, pull weeds, meet with a difficult colleague, and so forth. If you can, write down the name of the task in the middle of a piece of paper (if you have a pen and paper).

2. Become aware how you would typically motivate yourself to do this and write down (if you can) the thoughts and feelings that come next. For example, “Get it done!” or “Let’s move!” or “I just have to get this done!” or “Come on, Mike!” or (feelings, too) “Tension in chest and shoulders.” Write freely for a minute or so and don’t censor yourself.

3. Just clear your mind for a few moments. Shake it off.

4. Forget everything and enter a more present, grounded state by tuning into a mundane sound, such as the sound of distant traffic, the hum of your computer (or the white noise of a fan, refrigerator, running water, etc…). Don’t do anything else or try to relax – just tune into the sound. Keep listening for a minute or more, until you feel settled.

5. When you feel more settled, reconsider the task you need to get done. Write it down on a clean sheet of paper and notice the thoughts and feelings that come to your mind and body. Do you notice the difference? In this more calm state, what words can you choose to gently motivate yourself? How much easier is it to avoid ordering yourself around while you are feeling more settled and connected to the outside world?

For managers, the key to motivating employees rests with the quality of the relationship – how well do they treat their employees? Likewise, the key to motivating yourself is correlated with how well you treat yourself. Zen motivation allows you to motivate yourself from a more grounded, connected state. When you do, your tendency to order yourself around will vanish and your productivity will increase. Best of all, you’ll be respecting yourself more.

Mike Bundrant is an NLP trainer with the iNLP Center. Visit iNLP for a free personal development mini course and learn more about the Zen Motivation Twitter Party.

Image courtesy of phoeric.

Be the Rabbit with Focus

tortoise-hareAlmost everyone loves the story of the tortoise and the hare. It’s a classic.

I hate it!

It’s too limiting.

If everyone thinks of themselves at the tortoise, nothing would get done. Yes, I understand the story’s concept. If you stick with something you’ll win the marathon in the end.

The rabbit has the superpower of speed and that’s great, but like any great strength he lacks passion and focus. This is where I actually love the book.

Yes, I admit. I love the book too!
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How to Focus Your Thoughts and Accomplish Great Work

focused-stareYou may notice that it’s easier to enjoy a certain situation when in a good mood. You aren’t affected by problems as easily. This occurs because your focus is on something that keeps you happy.

Standing in line behind two young women, probably in their early twenties, at the grocery store and they were complaining about their boyfriends. Their groceries were on the conveyer belt waiting to be wrung up. They had bananas, a mango, strawberries, two types of cheeses and crackers. It looked like they were going to eat an amazing snack. They weren’t excited about this wonderful meal they were soon to make, but only worried about their awful boyfriends.
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5 Ways to Improve Your Attitude and Productivity

positive-attitudeEditor’s note: This is a guest post from Michelle of Wicked Whimsy.

At any give time, there are a great amount of people who are working their current job as a “day” job or a “right now” job, while they work on their dream job or passion projects on the side. I know I’ve done my share of this, and sometimes, it’s not easy! If you feel forced into your work arrangement, it can make you resentful, angry, and unproductive at work – which doesn’t do anyone any favors, since you’re spending most of your waking hours there! If this happens to you, try using the following tips to improve your attitude & productivity at your day job.
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How to Feel Good about Your Job

smiling-at-work-2Editor’s Note: Lisa H. (aka RunningBear) is the founder of Getting to Zen

I can’t count the number of times that I have heard someone say “I hate my job”– Day after day, begrudgingly going to work repeating this mantra. But, if this thing called a “job” was taken away from them they wouldn’t have the means to pay for the things that they needed on a day-to-day basis (food, shelter, clothing). So isn’t it ironic that something like a “job” would be hated by so many people when it can bring them so many benefits.
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