Zappos believes in delivering it. Coke wants you to open it. Countless books try to help you achieve it. Research demonstrates that you are more productive with it.
And yet the truth is that so few people feel it, especially at work.
Is it because leaders don’t create “happy” workplaces? Is it because work is inherently miserable? Is it because of our attitudes about work? Or perhaps it’s who we’re working for (more on that in a minute).
A negative boss, bad working conditions and a toxic culture can certainly make people unhappy.
I’ve also seen how leaders can create happier and more productive employees by creating the right culture and work environment.
However, I believe the biggest determinant of our happiness at work is… us.
Our happiness has less to do with forces outside of us and more to do with what’s inside of us.
Happiness is an inside job… and it begins in our minds.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.” – Philippians 4:8
I’ve met bus drivers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars.
Our happiness comes not from the work we do but from how we feel about the work we do, and that is based in part on WHO we are working for.
Here’s a question to ask yourself… are you working to please yourself, to please your boss or to please God? Are your daily interactions and activities mundane and routine or are you pursuing every opportunity, even at work, as if you are doing so on God’s behalf?
As I wrote in The Seed, happiness is a byproduct of passion and purpose, all of which God provides in unlimited supply… if we turn our sights onto Him as our source.
But Jon, “I don’t know what my passion and purpose is,” you might say.
That’s okay, you’re not alone. The first step is to simply be the SEED. Plant yourself where you are and begin to serve and make a difference.
Realize that God has a perfect plan and even though you might not like your job some days, He wants to use you right where you are to make an impact on those around you.
Your work matters and when you shift your perspective, you grow.
When you work with passion and purpose, as if you are working for God, you don’t have to seek happiness, rather it finds you.
So today, think about good things and how you can make a difference right where you are.
Scripture of the Day: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” – Colossians 3:23
By Jon Gordon