Category Archives: goals

“12 Things Happy People Do Differently”

A coworker just shared this article via Yammer “12 Things Happy People Do Differently

A few months ago I told my coworkers that while others place goals on tangible positions, items or benchmarks, I just want to find ways to be happy each day. I’m not sure that really resonated with many—it can seem as if I’m unguided but I’ve been very successful using this model (and trust me it’s not always easy but it’s ALWAYS beneficial.

I’m not going to post the entire article, but I highly recommend you read. I’ve added my personal thoughts to each step.

Express gratitude: I always try to let people know that I appreciate THEM. Not just the output, but the person actually behind the work or the action. Sometimes I just thank them for being them.

Cultivate optimism: I always say that stress won’t get anything done–much less done well. You are more likely to be innovative when you are positive—even under tight deadlines. You can be honest and still positive. It may be cliché but every problem IS an opportunity.

Avoid over-thinking and social comparison: Until I finished college, I was a huge over thinker—I am an only child after all. But I learned that what you see on the outside usually does not align with what is going on. To align this to pop culture, everyone is surprised that Heidi and Seal are divorcing because they seemed like a perfect match. But, you only see what people allow you to see. Rarely does anyone take pictures of themselves when they are sad, bored, broken or upset. We were all taught to smile in photographs.

Practice acts of kindness: I am working on this. I used to be the person that tried to make sure to close the elevator quickly as to enjoy the ride alone. But what’s the big deal of waiting 10 seconds to wait for someone to catch up? Call the customer service operator by the name they introduced you to. Just be plain ol’ nice! You never know who needs it

Nurture social relationships: I’m an only child an enjoy solitude, maybe because I work in such a social atmosphere. But I will say that creating good relationships at work increases. At work, we talk about so many things outside of the realm at work. This way I know a little more about people and its easier to work in teams, get help and give help because I know people’s strengths, they know mine and you are more likely to want to help someone you genuinely like.

Develop strategies for coping: When something ‘craptastic’ happens I just continue moving forward. Complaining has never efficiently fixed a problem—maybe a band aid. But the more open minded I am about a “problem” the better the outcome. Again, I don’t believe in stress—I believe in getting things done (because what other choice is there?!). And, if you can’t find a reason to smile then give someone else a reason to!

Learn to forgive: If you forgive, but haven’t forgotten they you truly haven’t forgave. Being upset usually expends your own energy and if you have to have a relationship with that other person it ruins that energy as well. Talk about it, put in place actionable ideas to move forward. Wasting time thinking about what someone did wrong will usually always defeat you more than it will ever do to the other person. Hate takes so much more emotion than love.

Increase flow experiences: Get focused! Multitasking DOES NOT exist. Multitasking is when you do things for short bursts of time and you have to keep realigning your focus. It is hard to be 100% or increasingly innovated in this mind frame.

Savor life’s joys: I live in the moment and hope for the best in the future. Again, my goal is to be happy because I can do that at any given moment—through a memory or an action. I’m not against people with different goals but when so narrowly focused on something, if it doesn’t happen (and sometimes even if it does) you fail to realize everything else going great around you—and trust me, there’s a lot of great things going on around you.

Commit to your goals: I don’t always agree with this. Commit to your goals but if you see a better opportunity, whether it is a spinoff of the original goal or something totally new, give it a chance! Remember the goal is sometimes bigger than what you think—You may want to be a doctor but if you dig deep you realize what you truly want is to help people. Don’t miss out on diamonds because you are busy mining for gold.

Practice spirituality: Believe in something. You are never alone.

Take care of your body: And, I’m an epic fail at this. Been leaning on my wonderful metabolism too long. But you do only get one body so don’t be too reckless!


A Direct Route to Happiness

I recently read Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh for a (mandatory)* work book club. The book was an fast read that felt like an easy conversation with an intuitive business friend. There was no preaching or a one-size-fits all strategy. The author clearly makes it known that this is my story, there are my risks, these are some things I figured out along the way and that (along with a boatload of his own money) is how he was able to create a successful business while delivering happiness to himself, his friends, associates, clients and employees.

What I was able to get out of the book is that we put so much emphasis on goals to make them happy, or money, or someone else’s actions. We create this long route to happiness dependent on so many things. But what happens when you hit the goal? when you get to the top of that mountain and snap a picture from the top? or when you get that promotion? make your first million? Are you happy for the rest of your life now? No, most people just create new goals. And that’s not a bad thing but to associate making goals with happiness can be short sighted.  Once a goal is met, most feel that another goal must be made and met. Therefore your happiness is short term, because your nose is immediately back to the ground trying to strive for the next goal.

When people ask me what my goal is in life, or what I want to do–I tell them I want to continue to be happy. I want a job I enjoy going to, I want to do things I like and value. That is happiness for me. If I don’t make a million dollars, if I don’t get a certain career I know I will still be happy because I am focused on making myself the best person I can be and doing things I enjoy on a daily basis. Nothing can take my my happiness because it is inherent within myself.

Take the direct route to happiness–choose to be happy (it is a daily choice). Don’t do the things just because society says they will make you happy. Choose your own self-satisfying path to happiness.


Sometimes the Answer is Opportunity

At times I will watch individuals that I consider poised and well-spoken, and I wish to myself that I could be like that, but how can that happen if I don’t approach every situation as an opportunity?

Not too long ago I saw this posted on someone’s twitter feed:

“If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”

Often, I ask myself and others if the right question is being asked, but sometimes regardless of the question we have to look for the correct answer.

Sometimes the “right” answer is in continued opportunity to reflect, reframe and grow.

In the future I won’t wish I was like someone else, I will take the aspects that I admire and write them down. I will read the (ever growing) list daily and create opportunities to develop those areas whether it is asking others to hold me accountable to certain new behaviors and/or just taking the time to sit and reflect on the day and finding missed opportunities in which the new behaviors would have been beneficial–and noting them for next time.