27 September 2023

Happy days: Why the secret of happiness at work is … happiness

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Bruce Kasanoff* urges us not to let our path to happiness be dictated by events which, in many cases, are outside our control.

Have you ever thought: “I’ll be happy when (insert event) happens?”

If so, you are probably guilty of pursuing the wrong path to happiness.

The path to happiness is to be happy.

Don’t make your happiness dependent on certain events.

“I’ll be happy when we pay off our mortgage” is a formula designed to keep you unhappy for 30 years.

Likewise: “I’ll be happy when I can go out to eat again” will keep you sullen day-after- day.

Happiness is a mindset, not an outcome and the Happiness Mindset works better than many other mindsets, including these.

Anxious Mindset, Frustrated Mindset, Suspicious Mindset, Envious Mindset and Angry Mindset.

In 2003, the Zen master and poet, Thich Nhat Hanh, spoke to members of the United States Congress.

He said: “We should be awakened to the fact that happiness cannot be found in the direction of power, fame, wealth and sex.

“If we look deeply around us, we see many people with plenty of these things, but they suffer very deeply.”

In other words happiness is not the result of things. It is not conditional. It is a state of mind.

I know some people who are nearly always happy, and others who are nearly always unhappy.

There does not seem to be many differences in the circumstances between these two types of people, other than with regards to how they feel.

One of the great lessons of my own life is that human beings have a much greater ability to change our reality than we realise.

If you want to be happy, be happy.

If you are not happy it is because, at some level, you have chosen unhappiness.

Yes, I know that horrible things can happen. (I read the headlines for up to 11 minutes a day.)

Yesterday, I was happy when I spoke to my son, who is voluntarily painting the bathroom in my ex-wife’s house.

I was happy when I read my other son’s very funny tweets and had thoughts about my daughter’s new puppy (who hasn’t been born yet).

I was happy when I worked with my clients, and especially when I helped a client who had been out of touch for four years.

I made progress on my 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, took a walk in the snow, ate my meals, thought of a potential new writing project and listened to music.

I was happy when I remembered I did laundry the day before and had plenty of clean clothes and heard that my county had zero new cases of COVID-19.

Be happy whenever humanly possible, not just when (insert event) happens.

*Bruce Kasanoff is an executive coach and social media ghostwriter for entrepreneurs. He can be contacted at kasanoff.com.

This article first appeared at kasanoff.com.

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