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The Search for Happiness at Work

Last weekend my wife and I watched the charming comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness. Hector is a not terribly happy psychiatrist who undertakes a global search to uncover what truly makes people happy. Here are a few of the things he discovers along the way, all of which echo findings in numerous studies on happiness. And all of them apply as much to work as they do to life!

  • Comparisons spoil your happiness. (People who focus on their own personal growth without comparing their accomplishments to others always report being happierbigstock-Happy-Woman-Jumping-3660021.)
  • Many people only see happiness in their future. (This is the old, “I’ll be happy once…” mentality that prevents people from living in the moment and being happy with what they’ve got now.)
  • A lot of people think being happy means being richer or more important. (Numerous studies suggest these people are completely wrong.)
  • Happiness is answering your calling. (People who view their work as not just a “job” but as a calling always report being considerably happier with their lives.)
  • Happiness is being loved for who you are. (High performing cultures happen when you create an environment where people feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work and where people are appreciated for who they are and where individual differences are celebrated, not feared.)
  • Happiness is knowing how to celebrate. (Which is why high performing companies celebrate all the time.)

Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame business speaker who speaks on workplace happiness, humor at work and inspiring workplace cultures. His latest book is called The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank.

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