“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle
I think a lot of us in L&D spend time helping others find their joy at work, usually referred to as something along the lines of improving engagement and motivation. How often do we think about our joy? Our motivation? It is about time we practice what we preach!
Imagine, if you will, that you were having a conversation with your boss (be it manager, partner (!) etc.) – what small changes could you make (if you were allowed) to your day to enhance your workplace experience? Could it be something like:
- Allocated time to work on certain projects.
- Introvert time where you can work in a quiet space on tasks that need concentration.
- Hot-desking, going to work around the building in different departments, enjoying the different dynamics and conversations.
- Working from home a certain amount of time per week or to work on specific topics.
- Flexible working to allow you to pick up the kids or play a sport.
- Giving back; being able to, in some way, pursue philanthropic endeavours either through work or with work’s support. A sense of a greater purpose matters.
None of the above are radical ideas. We know happiness in the workplace matters.
I had a conversation with my manager recently about the types of work I prefer, and how I can do more of what I love (being out and about talking to clients and prospects, attending and exhibiting at conferences) and less of what completely drains me (being in the office on my own doing paperwork). I appreciate that there are days I need to be in the office, writing contracts, submitting travel forms but on those days maybe I can also schedule some time to work on projects that motivate me (like keeping up-to-date on the latest critical theory surrounding relevant L&D topics, or looking after our SoMe) – that would help. So simple and yet I would be so much happier.
So what simple changes could you make to your workday to find your joy?
Stop and take the time to be self-reflexive and really think about where you’re most energised, where you find your flow and then take positive steps towards doing more of that. If you’re able to help someone find their joy – do it!
Action for Happiness tells us that:
Happiness doesn’t just feel good. A review of hundreds of studies has found compelling evidence that happier people have better overall health and live longer than their less happy peers. Anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities have all been found to be associated with higher rates of disease and shorter lifespans
Why wouldn’t you try to find your joy?
I would love to hear from you about where at work you’ve found your joy.