Salma Bernard

7 Minutes Read


Posing the intriguing question, “What is happiness?”, probably leads to a pause before one answers. The concept of happiness can seem pretty vague and complicated.

What is happiness? 

Psychologists say, it is a positive, mental or emotional state of well-being, which can range from contentment to intense joy. 

Posing the intriguing question, “What is happiness?”, probably leads to a pause before one answers. The concept of happiness can seem pretty vague and complicated. However, contrary to general perception, that one is happy at the prime of their age, with tons of money tucked away in the bank, happiness is, neither age nor money dependent. What else could explain, an infant completely dependent on a caregiver, being called a happy child? Likewise, why are several wealthy people, grappling with insomnia and a lingering feeling of emptiness? 

Talking of workplace happiness; do constant promotions and a rising pay scale, guarantee happiness? A stable sense of well-being, is actually based on, what we choose as the source of our happiness. Depending on certain extrinsic factors, such as an unquenchable thirst for money and an insatiable desire for constant recognition from people, is only going to make us a bunch of unhappy people. 

While there could be several ways, to “UP” our happiness quotient at the work place, identifying a few essential ones to start with, is great progress. 

Three Keys to Workplace Bliss:

1) Love your work or at least “like it”

Confucious said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work another day in your life” 

Well, this may not be as simple as it sounds because we may not get the ideal job that we desire. Circumstances in life and the opportunities we end up getting, do require for adjustments to be made. However, if the work you do, fits within the purview of your personal values and beliefs, then that job certainly is worth liking. If the salary is reasonable and you want to wake up and go to work in spite of the negative environment or a nitpicky boss, because the job is stimulating you, then let’s guard that joy. And, if not even one of these factors exist, then perhaps you need to leave the soonest you can. However, if there is a tick against this basic checklist, then a good plan is, to start to appreciate the job more and make the best of it. A new opportunity will surely knock at your door, in the meantime, why not train your mind to be happy?

2) Stop Seeking Constant Validation

Mandy Hale said, “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.”

If one is true to oneself and the task at hand, then let the realization of the value of your contribution, come from within. A validation and recognition from seniors or team mates, surely boosts one’s pride and is needed. However, the absence of it, should not rob our sense of accomplishment and joy, of achieving the task. The constant need for validation and approval of others, will erode your sense of self-worth and could affect productivity. Believe in yourself and let the joy and pride of doing any task well, come from within you. Give yourself a pat and say, “Well done, boss!”, to reaffirm that you are good at what you do. 

3) Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude  

A powerful antidote to unhappiness is gratitude. In order to be happy, it is imperative that we learn to train our mind to see the good in everything, or at least, some good in something. A grateful heart is a merry heart and happiness is a matter of the heart!

Zig Ziglar, an American Author & Motivational Speaker, shared a real life incident at one of his training seminars. An elderly lady, who worked as a secretary in an organization, came to him, complaining about everything at her workplace. After hearing her out he said, “Ma’am, I understand, but I need you to do something for me, before I give you a solution.” She asked impatiently, “And, what is that?” He said to her, “I want you to make a list of three things you like about your job.” 

She answered, “Oh! That’s impossible, everyone there is mean, the work is hard and I am just not happy.” He asked her, “Do you get a salary for what you do?” She said, “Yes, I do”, and he said, “Surely that’s a positive, as it helps to pay your bills. Likewise, think of two or more things and come back to me after thirty days, for a solution.”

The lady returned to him after a month, beaming with joy and said, “Mr. Ziglar, I cannot tell you how happy I am. Everybody, in the office has changed and become nicer and I am now enjoying my job”. He smiled at the old lady and knew he had achieved what he had set out to. Well, nothing had really changed in her organization. But in order to complete the assignment given to her, she had begun to consciously “look out” for the “good” around her. As a result of which, it was her perspective that had changed. A sure key to up our happiness quotient at the workplace, is a periodic assessment of the positive factors in the job. 

A Finnish proverb says, “Happiness is a place between too much and too little.” And, if only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. So, let that catchy tune of the famous song, “Don’t worry, be happy!”, play in your head, as you sing your way to work tomorrow, taking back the reigns of your happiness into your own hands. 

Cheers to Life!

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