Happiness

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Where in my day did I feel a sense of connection or closeness?

Back in July I added a new prompt to my daily journaling routine, and it’s had such a profound impact on me that I’ve addressed it every single day since.

What’s interesting about this specific prompt is that it helped me see that I was missing something in my life that I didn’t even know I was missing!

**The prompt**: Where in my day did I feel a sense of connection or closeness?

If you had asked me before July if I was feeling disconnected from people I would have said that I wasn’t. I was perfectly fine not seeing people all that much and working alone in my home office, just like I had been for the past 18 months or so. Telling myself that having strong introverted tendencies means that I don’t need to feel close to other people to be happy.

As it turns out, this is not true at all. A major factor that influences my happiness is having a sense of closeness with people. I do need to feel connected to people.

Taking the time at the end of each day to reflect on this forces me to think about the people I’ve spent time with, and has helped me understand the importance of interacting with people on a daily basis.

One of the major outcomes is that I now go out of my way to make sure I spend time with people. In the past I may have seen this as an interruption, but now I welcome it and see it as a priority.

Perhaps that by reading this today you might see that you are also missing something that you thought you didn’t need to feel happier.

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Are you too busy looking for ‘the right job’ instead of working on becoming a better team player?

Is it possible that there are too many people searching for ‘the right job’ rather than working harder on becoming a better team player…?

I know this discussion is not for everyone – some people are working in toxic cultures and should get the f*ck out of there. Sharpish.

What I’m talking about here is the middle. The grey. The nuance. The area between feeling truly happy and fulfilled at work, and working in a toxic culture.

Often times when we’re unhappy at work, the most common and conventional advice is to “go and get a new job.”

A few years ago, as I struggled with the transition from entrepreneur to employee this was the advice I heard time and time again.

Sure…getting a new job could be a solution. But it seemed just a little too straightforward to me. A little too simple. A distraction from more important work.

I knew deep down that it wasn’t the work that was making me unhappy, but that I was unhappy, and I took that unhappiness to my work with me. And there’s a big difference.

Worst case scenario – I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get a new job, and in the end I end up taking my unhappy self with me. Nothing really changes. In fact, I could end up seriously worse off.

So, instead of even looking for a new job, I challenged myself – is it possible that I could be happier at work? What can I change to help me be happier at work? What conditions do I need to create to do my best work?

Knowing that I truly own my happiness, I need to take full responsibility for it. It’s up to me to do something about it. To focus on what I have complete control over.

So…getting a new job might seem like good advice, but there are times when it really is the easier option. The more difficult, and arguably more important work, is staying where you are and working on finding joy and happiness in your own relationship with your work.

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You can be grateful and unhappy…

After many, many years of building and practicing a habit of gratitude I figured out that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.

Who knew 🤷‍♂️

You might be asking yourself – “I’m truly grateful for all I have, but why do I still feel unhappy?” or “Why do I still have a deep level of dissatisfaction?”

I will, of course, continue with my habit, but…

  1. I won’t let gratitude shrink me.
  2. I won’t let gratitude diminish my ambition.
  3. I won’t let gratitude make me feel guilty for wanting more or better.

By sharing this, I hope it helps someone recognise that they are experiencing the same conflict, and perhaps get through it a little faster than I did.

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