More Tips For How To Be Happy At Work
WE’VE HAD A FEW columns that have explored the idea of happiness at work – which can some days feel like an oxymoron. But let’s consider three more tips for increasing satisfaction at work
- Strive for the Golden Mean. Aristotle is one of many philosophers who observed something interesting about human beings. We often tend to extremes – toward excess or deficiency, both of which are problematic. To the degree that you can control it, try to steer a middle course. Don’t work too much or too little, too intensely or too casually. Don’t take work too seriously, but don’t take it too lightly. Don’t love it too much – or too little. As with many things in life, balance is a key to happiness. Not easy to achieve, but always worth trying.
- Take pride in your work. As we hear the people say of Jesus in St. Mark’s Gospel “He has done all things well.” (7:37) Admittedly, this was in reference to his mighty miracles. But it certainly must have applied to his competency as a carpenter. The Son of Man would have produced quality products, on time, with skill and attentiveness. His tools and workshop would be kept in good order, his manner courteous even with demanding customers. He would have taken rightful pride in multiple jobs well executed. Doing our work well is personally rewarding and produces happiness – a rightful emotion for rightful performance. God has so structured our nature. “Whatever your task, work heartily.” (Col 3:23)
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. In the midst of the daily grind, it’s easy to get perturbed about small matters. “I can’t stand his smart aleck manner.” “Her perfume is overwhelming.” “What’s my boss thinking?” Myriad small irritations translate into one big temptation – making everything a big deal. There are few big deals. Control your thoughts and emotions. Reject small-mindedness and embrace a sense of humor. Sooner or later, small matters will pass, and if you strive for equanimity, you’ll be happier. And so will others.