Hire Happy People and Teach Them the Rest

happy-employeesWhen I first started this blog in 2008, I was  prone to depression. I literally felt like I had those huge ankle weights holding me down. Those days don’t happen very much any more. Over the years of studying work happiness, I’ve learned about life happiness, too.

I still feel sad like everyone else. No one can avoid sadness, but my sadness doesn’t last as long as it used to.

Core Happiness

The more work I’ve put into my core happiness, the more resilient I feel. When I fail, I don’t take it as hard as I used to. I shake it off and try something else. It’s this trait that all happy people seem to possess. They never let things bring them so far down that they just give up.

Just so we are clear, I’m not talking about hiring people who aren’t phased by failure. I’m talking about hiring the resilient people who can get knocked down and find a way to see a positive and build on it.
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Yes, YOU have Superpowers Now Let’s Use Them

Unlock Your Marketing Superpowers

I’m getting very tired of people not believing in their superpowers. It’s why I hate the word strengths. It’s the most overused word in business today.

We focus on things we are good at instead of doing work that we care about.

You may crunch numbers because you are good at it. You may sell toner because it’s what you know. You manage projects because people keep asking you to do it again and again.

This is so wrong on many levels. You shouldn’t be doing work based on your strengths. Yes, this should be a factor, but not the whole basis of your work. It’s also why I hate strengths test. They don’t make you think about the work that excites you. They force you to fit your work into square holes.

You have powers to change people’s lives.
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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?


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.

Work Happiness In All the Wrong Places

I’m afraid of failure. I’m not so afraid of failure that my creativity locks up. I have a popular blog, social media accounts, and I’ve interviewed superheroes in the business world. I’m putting stuff out into the world to help people, but I’m still holding back.

I recently hopped on Twitter tried to think of something cool and insightful, gave up and went to watch an old episode of The Office. Then as I watched the episode my arch nemesis was whispering at me for being so lame and worthless. I hate when that little voice inside me whispers to me instead of screams. It’s so much harder to ignore him. Why is that?
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Where Do You Hide Your Happiness?

hide-behind-handsAs my 1 Sentence Journal fills up I’m beginning to see my happiness patterns. For example when I start writing early in the day I can get my thoughts on this track that allows me to write in large quantities. I plant the seed early and I can’t let go. I almost always end up surprising myself with my productivity levels.

I never would have discovered this if I hadn’t taken the time to contemplate my workday. You don’t need to meditate in the typical sense to enjoy the benefits of contemplation. The idea is to find a way to relax your thoughts and be in the now, so you can improve just a little bit each day.
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Fire Cracker, A Lousy Day and Multiply It By 7

firecrackerI’ve had some real “fire cracker explodes in your hand” kind of days. You know those days when you take a chance and it back fires in your face.

The old Karl (before Work Happy Now) usually got all depressed and sulked for days on end when I had a lousy day. I now practice being happy at work. I don’t put up with a lousy day any longer.

I’ve learned how to let the pain go and move on.
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Your Attitude and How it Affects Your Career

positive-negativeHave you ever noticed how positive people are more resilient?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of attitude. Back in 2009, I put myself on a no complaining diet for 30 days. It was a tough and enlightening experience. I realized how much I complained and that I needed to do something to change.

After looking back on my career, I realized how much my complaining has affected my productivity. Whenever I complained, I would wreck my confidence. I used to get so down on myself that I couldn’t do any meaningful work. I thought it was just the way I worked.  I did busy work that didn’t challenge me or demand me to be creative.

At one point my complaining was so bad that I caught myself complaining about gifts that I received from generous friends and family. It was a splash of cold water down my back. I was sabotaging my own happiness.

I knew it wasn’t helping my career or my personal life, so I vowed to make some changes.

That’s when I put myself on the no complaining diet. It was one of the best 30 day trials I’ve ever experimented with.
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The Law of Attraction and Your Career

The Law of Attraction (LoA) gets a bad rep because of cheesy YouTube Videos and terrible books. They want to make the concept simple and enticing, but in doing so they lose much of the life changing impact that the practice can have. I didn’t believe until I started believing. Imagine that. 😉

We are who we think we are and that’s how we accomplish our goals. If we don’t believe we can write a great book, hike the Appalachian trail, or create a career that will make us so happy that we can’t believe our luck then it won’t happen.

Let’s break the LoA down. First, we have to understand confidence.

What is confidence?

Confidence is our belief in our abilities. When we believe we can accomplish a goal, our minds set to work to make our goals a reality.

I’m working with a client who is afraid to reach out to old customers. He has enough steady work right now, but he knows his slow time is coming soon. He is afraid of the responses that he will receive. There is a reason why they are no longer customers. Right?

My client doesn’t want to face this reality. So he continues to do the same things he always does – wait for business to come to him.

He may have confidence in many areas, but in his business he lacks the confidence to learn from past mistakes.
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How to Discover Your Career Bliss

If you can’t connect to the work that you are doing, either it doesn’t fit with your needs or you aren’t trying. Some people have an aptitude for math, writing, history, science, computers, etc. They gravitate toward these things because they vibrate their soul.

I know I may be losing some of you here because of this “new age” vibrational talk, but that’s ok. I know I can’t win all of you over with each post. A lot of you really need this information, so I’ll continue.

You have deep needs that need to be recognized or you will never be happy at work. This is why I talk about the importance of reflection. It’s important to sit back and let the mind go to see how your career is humming along. I’ve known a lot of people who didn’t take the time in their twenties and thirties to really listen to how they felt and adjust their careers accordingly, and now they are paying for it in their careers.
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19 Reasons to Buy Zappos’ Delivering Happiness Book

delivering-happiness-whnZappos has been honored with many accolades these past few years, including Business Week Customer Service Champ of 2009. Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ CEO, has been asked to speak all over the world. Zappos was named one of Fortune’s top 100 companies to work for in 2009.

Many people love to talk about the wonderful success story of Zappos, but some people don’t realize how much work was put into the development of the company. We know that they get raving reviews from customers, but we don’t know what it took to develop the business model that has been so successful.
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