“When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon, Founder Beatles
Ironically, the above quote by John Lennon is a reflection of our social milieus, where being happy cannot be the ultimate goal of life. We are groomed to find, dig, search and research happiness in all spheres of life, as it doesn’t flow within us. Sometimes entire life goes in search of happiness when we entangle ourselves in a rigmarole of happiness & unhappiness: like this will make me happy, that will make me unhappy. We select our thoughts and actions accordingly, still remain unhappy about it…
Life should be lived in pursuit of happiness, in whatever situation and whichever place you are in – Happy, sad, angry, annoyed, home, school, college, colony, office…ah! What am I saying? Can the office be a happy place? Most of the people would agree…in rarest of rare cases, yes!
Office or Workplace, in modern parlance, where we spent the longest hours and years of our lives, can we afford to be unhappy there? We need to be happy inside to spread happiness outside, and what could be a better place than office, besides our own home?
As expressed by Sadhguru, “Nowadays, I see that the “Thank God it’s Friday” culture, which essentially comes from America, is growing in India too. That means they are dead five days a week and only live on weekends. That is not a good way to live. You must live all the seven days.”
So, you should be happy always, particularly at your workplace.
There is a professor in IIT Bombay who teaches Solar Energy. He has made a rule amidst his students, colleagues and staff that, whenever anyone asks you, “How are you” always say, “I am happy.” What a way to inculcate positivity since the start of the day till the end of the day. Once you start saying, you start believing!
Such small steps towards happiness ring in positivity, higher productivity, healthier employees, happier family life for employees and perked up the bottom line for the organisation, thus creating a win-win situation for all.
On the part of organisations, they need to create a portrait of such people who always feel good, make people feel good, recover fast from adversity, are socially amicable and broadly acceptable. Such people can play an effective role in the organisations, in fact, they can be called “Happiness Ambassadors.”
It would be great if organisations identify the problems of every employee and ask them what would make them happy, I am sure they will get most hilarious answers, as most of them would not know “What would make them happy.”
No doubt some tangible benefits like appraisals, promotions, increments, paid holidays, medical insurance, pick-up – drop facility would certainly make employees happy, but there is life beyond that. These are all momentary and monetary gains; how long would they last? There is a need to create an atmosphere where they can unwind themselves from the clutter of their life and enjoy their work. As aptly said by Maxim Gorky, “When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! – Maxim Gorky
Happy people are more energetic, committed and passionate towards work, they are happy about contributing beyond their job mandate, thus making their roles more meaningful. Making workplace happy should not be part of the strategy, it should be part of the inner – engineering! Happiness should be a way of life, not something which can be acquired after hard-work.
Mantras for a happy workplace
- Avoid Good & Bad labels
- Practise extreme resilience – ability to recover fast from adversity
- Let go of grudges
- Don’t waste time being jealous
- Find passion in you, not in your job
- Picture yourself now and 10 years from now
- Banish the if/ then model of happiness
- Invest in the process, not the outcome
- Think about other people
- Swap multitasking for mindfulness
There are four key pillars of happiness at work: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness (PERK) with which you can PERK up your happiness quotient at work, which is any company’s best PERK.
Happiness is an attitude, we either make ourselves miserable or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. – Carlos Castaneda, Author