The Hard, The Fun, and The Beautiful – Puffy Smile Edition

(Can’t see the video? Then try watching it at Work Happy Now – The Hard, The Fun and The Beautiful – Puffy Smile Edition)

Where we are free to talk about the hard, the fun, and the beautiful of our work week.

Connecting with like minded people has been the theme of this week. So many people tell me to connect with others who are different than me. I know that it’s good to have different people in my network, but having like minded people has been more important.

I was on a teleconference this past week for a membership site. I talked about the importance of building your core foundation in order to be able to feel happiness more easily. The energy was high and I enjoyed the heck out of talking to new people.

It’s these connections help me feel at home wherever I go. Some people just make me feel loved. I love helping out people who make me feel that way.

Let’s begin…
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Feeling Comfortable in Your Skin

(Can’t see the video? Then try watching it at Work Happy Now)

I’ve repeatedly made the mistake of letting one problem bring me down. There are always 1,000 other things we can focus on.

Enjoying a difficult relationship at work is not easy, but when you are able to break down your happiness into smaller pieces, you will realize that one relationship shouldn’t dictate your happiness. You may have five other friends who treat you with respect, and these are the people who you should enjoy.
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Work in the Now

 

(If you can’t see this video click here and it will take you to Work Happy Now so you can view it.)

Working in the now is having the ability to see a look as just a look without putting some big emotional story behind it. We tend to want to create emotional attachment to experiences. What we need to do is pay attention to the way a look or comment makes us feel and adjust our emotional reaction.
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30 Days of No Complaining – Wisdom Multiplied

I’ve learned more about my habits of thought during my thirty day “No Complaining” challenge than I have in the last six months – such an intense microscope on one area of my life. “No Complaining” forced positive change. The deeper I looked at how complaining affected my life, the easier it was to use this wisdom to my advantage.

I posted 7 articles about my No Complaining journey, each one giving a little different insight than the last:

30 days of no complaining was so intensely interesting that I’m going to do more of these 30 day challenges. I haven’t cured myself of complaining. Far from it. I’ve actually become more convinced of the importance of complaining. We all know the basic methods of complaining.

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Mind Training Matters

I found an excellent talk from the website TED. Matthieu Ricard is a monk who emphasizes the importance of developing emotional intelligence. He presents the idea that we can train the mind so it handles situations in the way that we want to. Some of these monks have such intense control that when a bomb goes off they are able to process their thoughts so quickly that they don’t react.

We can also train our minds to do a better job of dealing with frustration, low motivation, and other emotional barriers.
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Digging a Little Deeper to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Over the summer I was listening to a book on CD about Frank Sinatra during my daily commute. He used to stand outside nightclubs begging the owners for a chance to sing for free, pushing his talents on to anyone willing to listen to his story. This was a recurrent theme throughout his early career. He would get a break then blow it because he let his temper get the best of him. He was forced to recreate himself until he discovered his emotional stability. Yes, he always had a temper, but he used that anger to spur his actions. His actions as one of the greatest singers of his era and his fearlessness when fighting for racial equality speak volumes of his ability to harness his emotions.

J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly forced me to take a hard look at my own writing. [Read more…]

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Everything that you enjoy stems from your Emotional Quotient (EQ). When you can develop emotional stability, the creative side of your brain and good decision making habits flourish. It gives you a better chance at success. If you keep falling back on the same responses that you used last year or last month you are losing out on opportunities to make your career more enjoyable.

 

Improve Your EQ

 

Many of us look toward our working lives as a way to receive more than we give. When we don’t feel like we are being properly rewarded we take longer breaks or sneak some office supplies home.

 

We are doing ourselves more harm than good. Yes, we may be receiving more things for our time, but it’s not supporting our need for the two most important things that we all need at work.

 

Appreciation and Productivity

 

There was a study conducted between two groups of people and how they valued their job. One group was given tasks to do with no pay at all. The second group was given no tasks and they were paid for their time. At the end of the study the first group was more satisfied with their experience because they were accomplishing instead of just waiting around for something to happen.

 

Appreciation works the same way. There is a reason charity organizations can pay their employees less money. People are more satisfied with the work that they do for a charity than for a corporation whose mission statement is “Make as much money as we can.”

 

Give Way More Than You Get

 

The best way to improve your EQ is to learn to give more than you get.

 

  • Give more appreciation than you get

  • Give more laughter than you get

  • Give more love than you get

 

When you give more than you get you are creating positive Karma. All societies are based on helping each other, even in a free market economy. So by giving more you’ll be receiving more emotionally and physically from people who want to return the favor.

 

When you are productive and you show appreciation for the people in your working life, eventually you’ll be rewarded because you are building a strong network that will help you find a new job, make an extra sale, or go that extra mile when you need help.

 

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Image courtesy of Tico Bassie

Personal Development for Smart People

Personal Development for Smart PeopleSteve Pavlina was the first blogger that I began seriously reading. He was recommended to me by the reverend who performed my wedding. I’ve been reading Steve’s personal development blog for over two years. His depth and unique framing has helped improve my life in many ways.

 

He has taught me:

 

  • The value of being completely honest with myself

  • How to dig a little deeper into my thought processes

  • The power of my feelings

  • Visualization techniques that I use on a weekly basis

  • Confidence to do what I love

 

This post is a favor to Steve. We’ve had brief contact through email and he’s always been very gracious in his responses. He has a book coming out in October, Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal. Steve deserves free exposure. Plus I know the book will be good. Almost all of his posts give me some new insight that has helped me improve my life. I’m looking forward to reading a whole book on his views. In his blog he describes the book’s three main principles.

 

  • Truth

  • Love

  • Power

 

From Steve’s post about pre-ordering his book, I can tell that he will knock our boots off with some amazing perspectives.

 

What does personal development have to do with working happy? I believe that work is based on a 50/50 system. 50% of our work happiness comes from within and the other 50% comes from outside influences. If we can maximize our personal happiness then we can at least be happy 50% of the time. When you can become secure within yourself it will start to affect other parts of your life. People will gravitate toward you and you’ll attract positive results. That’s a recipe for maximizing your career happiness.

 

If you want to pre-order his book due out on October 15, 2008 then click on one of these links to Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com. If you’re not sure then check out his website and check out his brilliant perspectives for yourself.

 

A Few Similar Links:

 

Cajole Yourself into a Good Mood Before Work

Smiling Man

Before your work day starts rolling, take a look around you and see if you notice a pattern. Do people have expressions that might convey that they just survived a bug bomb wake-up call? I know many of my past and present co-workers often have this look.

Do you feel like you might fall into the bug-bomb-facial category? Then try a little experiment for the next thirty days and see how it makes you feel.

 

Cajole Yourself Into a Good Mood

 

Don’t fall into your normal routine! That’s an order. You need to shake up your day right from the get go. If you like to take a shower in the morning and it brings you happiness, then by all means do it. However, if you turn on the news to wake up and there are nothing but depressing stories then it’s time to change the habits that have become routine but don’t bring you any joy.

I like to stand on one foot while I brush my teeth because it helps me focus my thoughts then I get in the shower. About ten years ago I thought that I would save time by taking a shower at night. It wrecked my whole next day. I felt dirty and could never get my energy going. So there’s no need to change the things that bring you joy because you may regret it. Instead, you should focus on those activities that bring you happiness and find a substitute for the ones that don’t.

Here’s an example of some of my favorite “good mood” activities. After my shower I prepare cereal for my wife and myself. It usually has fresh strawberries and bananas on top. It makes me happy just thinking about its glorious tastes. Then we exercise and get the blood pumping to wake ourselves up. I then take 20 minutes to do some Yoga. It relaxes me and allows me to continue the good mood cajoling. After 20 minutes of Yoga I have a hop in my step and then it’s off to work.

I get in my car and put on my cell phone headset and call the people that I love. It’s usually my mother, father, brother, cousin or a good friend. We catch up and make each other laugh. I sometimes fall into the trap of getting caught up in my worries. When this happens I take a deep breath and focus on all the splendor that I’m passing by – the trees, an old lady waiting to cross the street and the driver with a long red beard next to me at the red light.

 

Find Your Sweet Spot

 

We all have that sweet spot that can help our day start off on a happy foot. Sometimes it takes a little cajoling, but believe me, when you practice cajoling yourself into a good mood you’ll make your day so much more enjoyable.

What do you do to put yourself in a good mood before you start your day?

 

Other “Emotional Tools” Related Articles:

 

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    Image courtesy of Bukutgirl

    Enjoy Your Mistakes

    Enjoy Your Mistakes

    I’ve attended meetings where I’ve embarrassed myself. There was one meeting in particular that sticks with me to this day. I was fresh out of college and working at my first full-time job. My attention wasn’t on topic when we were talking about marketing a new valve. I tried to insert an idea into the conversation and suggested we advertise on a certain site. Everyone glared at me as if I had just grown a second nose. My boss told me that I had better pay attention because that was just mentioned. I looked down at my notes and internally yelled at myself for being stupid.

     

    My theory at the time was – the angrier I was at myself the less likely it was that I would make that same mistake. This technique wrecked my confidence. It took me over a month to recover from that incident. I couldn’t shake off the dread of opening my mouth in a meeting. I was terrified to make another mistake.

     

    Kindness – The Greatest Tool for Mistakes

     

    Since that first job I’ve learned to value being kind to myself when I make a mistake and have a lapse in judgment. I am now able to forgive my mistakes, which allows me to deal with the present. It’s a simple tool to add to your life, but one of the most difficult to implement. The best way to encourage kindness is to use your mistakes as an opportunity to improve. When you have enough awareness to acknowledge your mistake, you’ve accomplished the hardest part. All you have to do is find a few things that could make your mistake helpful.

     

    If you recognize that you have a short attention span during meetings then try to stay active by taking notes, sipping on a drink or asking questions. If you mess up a report because you didn’t double check your work then don’t get mad at yourself; use this mistake to make the next report better. Being kind to yourself allows you to keep moving forward.

     

    Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

    - Conrad Hilton

     

    There may be moments or days of weakness, but you should always come back to learning from your mistakes. At the end of each day, try forgiving yourself for any mistakes. Whether it be a silly comment or a major blunder, you’ll notice that when you cultivate kindness for your mistakes you can use them as support for a better life.

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