How many do you know who love what they do? If it’s more than a handful, you’re in the minority. Studies show that up to 2/3 of all people are unhappy in their work. The other 1/3 cultivate the following types of attitudes and behaviors to make sure that they do stay happy.
When it comes to the research results on happiness in the American workforce, the statistics are not flattering.
A recent survey by the staffing firm Manpower Group discovered that nearly two-thirds of American and Canadian workers were not happy in their job. A recent Gallup survey found that close to 60% of American workers were unhappy enough in their jobs to want a new career. Most of us have found ourselves in a job that was not fulfilling at some point.
While psychologists and social scientists believe some of our happiness is predetermined by our genes, at least a major portion of it is within our control.
Regardless of your situation at work, here are seven habits that people who have found happiness at their jobs have mastered.
1. They have committed to continuously improving as a lifetime goal.
Happier people believe in doing the best they can whether or not they are given credit for the work they do. Giving their best makes them feel better about themselves. It creates character, builds self-regard, and forms good work habits that will benefit them in the future regardless if anyone in their present position notices or cares.
2. They have goals worth striving for.
People with clear goals they are working toward are able to look beyond everyday workplace irritants and problems. They know they will be temporary, and are able to see beyond them. When things are not going well, they focus on their goals instead of the negative situation that surrounds them at work.
3. They don’t get caught up in issues beyond their control.
Happier people don’t let themselves get emotionally caught up in negative vibes or gossip that is toxic in the workplace. They focus on the work at hand and on what they are able to do. They avoid getting involved in issues and conflicts that do not involve them and are beyond their area of involvement. They always focus their attention and energies on areas they have control over, which gives them a sense of satisfaction,
4. They are willing to help others.
Happy people are always looking for ways they can help others. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that people who helped others at work were happier than those who didn’t. While helping others can lead to promotion, there are also warm feelings of satisfaction that come from helping out our fellow human beings.
5. They avoid negative people as much as possible.
When coming across a negative person or chronic complainer at work, happy people find ways to try to refocus on coming up with solutions or looking at the situation from another angle.
Their positive energy often causes complainers and whiners to avoid them since they know they will not receive a sympathetic ear. Happy people are aware that negative people are an energy drain, and find ways to limit the amount of time that they have to spend with them.
6. They make gratitude an integral part of their life.
While they strive for more in life, happy people are constantly aware of all the reasons they have to be grateful. They express their gratitude freely and openly, and are quick to offer thanks to those who help them or do a kind deed. This attitude of gratitude attracts people to the positive energy that they give off. Colleagues want to be around them and work with them. When things are not going well, they choose to focus on all of the things that have gone well in their lives.
7. They manage their emotions and have a sense of humor.
Happy people automatically try to make the most of every situation, whether at work, home, or play. They have discovered they can change their emotions by smiling or thinking of humorous situations. They are also able to distract themselves by thinking of pleasant, happy, fun times and places.
Whenever a situation comes up that threatens to engulf them in negative energy, they rely on their ability to rise above it and remain in a positive mental space.
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