Happiness at Work, Do the Two Really Co-Exist?


The happiness revolution isn’t just infiltrating our personal lives, but our professional lives as well.  The question is, can the two really co-exist, or is it just another unattainable lifestyle that we’re striving for?   Well, whether you like it or not, the answer is entirely up to you.  

But first, let’s look at what happiness really is.  The dictionary defines happiness as ‘the art of being happy’, whereas psychology’s definition is much more insightful, advising that ‘happiness is a mental or emotional state of wellbeing which can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy’.  To provide a little more insight into this definition, the Dalai Lama advises in his book, the Art of Happiness, that happiness comes down to cultivating a disciplined mind, compassion, and making the most of our time.

So, let us reflect on what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier’.

So now that we know what defines happiness, the question is, are you ready to find and cultivate this within your everyday work life?   If you’re ready to give it a go, here’s three ways to start:

1. Find clarity

  • Write (physically or mentally) a list of what makes you happy, unhappy and indifferent at work

  • On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being low, 10 being high), rate each item on your list in regards to the impact they have on your happiness

  • Using the same scale, rate each item in regards to the influence you have over each item

Taking the time to find clarity in your current working life will assist you in identifying the areas to focus your energy on, in addition to those that are best to let go of.

2. Cultivate mindfulness

  • Try guided meditations – 1GiantMind has a fantastic free app (that allows you to set the time), or you may like to check out our complimentary meditation channel

  • Sign up to mindfulness training and/or leadership programs – to dive a little deeper into this space, you may like to check out our mindfulness training and leadership programs, which have been designed to address the items on your list that make you unhappy, ignite wellness and support your peak performance

  • Hit the floor with some yoga – whether via YouTube or in person, yoga connects breath with movement and continues to be praised by many as a way to cultivate mindfulness, enhance happiness and overall wellbeing.  However, with so many types of yoga out there, if you’ve never done yoga before, you may like to start with a beginners vinyasa or yin session.

3. Find an independent ally

Having an independent and experienced ally is an invaluable support to have as you as you start to make changes in your working life.  Whether this means you seek out a mentor you personally admire, get recommendations from friends or colleagues, consider our mentoring, executive coaching and career development services, or look into different life coaches, there’s a wide range of support options available, just ensure you find the one that’s feels like the best fit for you.