Happiness Principles To Live By – 2 of 7

The second principle, the second week. Assuming you’ve given The Happiness Advantage principle a try. Time to take the next step in the quest for happiness.

We view our work as a Job, a Career, or a Calling. The interesting thing is that we can map these views to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People with a “job” see work as a place to receive their paycheck from, fulfilling physiological needs. Next, people who view their work as a career, work not only out of necessity, but also to advance and succeed. These people, their careers, are meant to move from safety up to belonging and esteem. Finally, people with a calling view work as an end in itself; their work is fulfilling not because of external rewards but because they feel it contributes to the greater good, draws on heir personal strengths, and gives them meaning and purpose. This group of people’s work is at the self-actualization level. The good news is you can tweak your mindset of your job into a calling focus.


Changing Your Performance by Changing Your Mindset

Imagine two janitors at the local elementary school. One focuses only on the mess he must clean up each night, while the other believes that he is contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment for the students. They both undertake the same tasks every day, but their different mindsets dictate their work satisfaction, their sense of fulfillment, and ultimately how well they do their job.

Try this exercise. Tell your team to “Forget about your current job title. What would our customers call your job title if they described it by the impact you have on their lives?” When you make these larger connections, your boring tasks not only become more pleasant, but you perform them with far greater dedication, and see greater returns in performance as a result.

So if you are a leader, whether of 3 people or 300, remember that the power to affect results rests not just in who’s on your team, but how you leverage your team. Every Monday, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I believe that the intelligence and skills of my employees are not fixed, but can be improved with effort?;
  2. Do I believe that my employees want to make that effort, just as they want to find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs?; and
  3. How am I conveying these beliefs in my daily words and actions?

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