The Self-Awareness Guy

How to Be a Happy Leader

When I train leaders they often tell me they have difficulty experiencing happiness at work.  Happiness is a wonderful concept which I define as experiencing bliss and contentment.  Happiness is also complex in that you could not experience it if you didn’t also experience pain.  A life of perpetual happiness would soon feel uneventful, so you need the ups and downs that come with everyday experience.

How do you define happiness at work?  Happiness can be that moment at which you feel complete satisfaction and fulfillment.  It can be using your talents and abilities at work to grow and feel worthwhile.  Happiness is what you experience when you work through challenges and let go of the things that hold you back.  Here’s what some smart people have to say about the matter:

Helen Keller:

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves

Pearl S. Buck:

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Audre Lorde:

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Kahlil Gibran:

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

Finding happiness at work means looking deep inside yourself and using your talents and abilities to benefit yourself and your workplace.  How will you find happiness at work?


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