how to find the good at work

Find-the-Good-at-Work


Today's post is part of Find the Good February, a month dedicated to finding the good in your life (and in yourself!). Each week features a unique theme, and this week's theme is WORK. 

 

Next week marks Positively Present's SEVENTH year anniversary! It's crazy to me that so much time has passed since I first launched the site, and even crazier that it went from a hobby (that I didn't even talk about...) to a full-time career! I love what I do, and I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue work that feels meaningful to me. That being said, it's still work. There are amazing, exciting days (like this one) and there are days I'd rather just stay in bed rather than tackle the less-than-fun tasks (taxes, I'm looking at you!). 

Whether you love what you do or you dread going to work each weekday, for most of us, work is a part of life -- and a part where we spend the majority of our time. (Especially if you work for yourself -- the line between work and life is always blending.) If work is where we spend the most time, shouldn't we make an effort to make the most of it? 

I know, I know -- it's so much easier said than done, especially if you don't love what you do. But, since it's Find the Good February, I think it's only right that we make an effort to find the good at work and make the most of the 9-to-5 grind. Here are some ideas for finding (or creating!) good things at work. 

 

SMILE AT PEOPLE. 

This might sound like a small thing, but smiling can make a big difference in your workday. Even if you don't feel smile-y, give it a try anyway. Smiling makes others happier, and it's even been shown to make you feel happier too! 

DISCUSS NON-WORK TOPICS. 

If you don't love your coworkers, you might not be thrilled at the idea of chatting with them any longer than necessary, but a little light-hearted conversation can make your day (and theirs) more enjoyable and interesting. 

GO OUTSIDE. 

Most of us are stuck inside for most of the day at our jobs, which can make them a bit draining. Make an effort to go outside for at least a short while every day and appreciate whatever nature you can find. 

WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU DO. 

I've started writing down everything I accomplish in a day and it makes me feel so much more fulfilled. You'd be really surprised by all you get done every day, and a "done" list is much more satisfying than a "to-do" list. 

This is seriously one of the BEST ways to find the good in your workday so I've created some PDFs that you can download and print to keep track of all you're getting done. 

Things-I-Did-Colordownload the COLOR version here

 

Things-I-Did
download the BLACK & WHITE version here


TAKE DEEP BREATHS. 

Work can be super stressful (even when you love your job), but no matter where you are or what you're doing, you have the power to control your mind and how you view a situation. Stay centered by taking deep breaths when you feel stressed. 


REFLECT ON YOUR SKILLS. 

Someone is paying you to do what you do, which is pretty awesome. A great way to find the good at work is to remind yourself of your skills. No matter how great or small, you're skilled at what you do. Be proud of that! 


MAKE WORK A HAPPIER PLACE.

If you feel happier at work, it'll be much easier to find the good around you. I recently wrote an article for LiveHappy, "5 Tips to Make Work Your Happy Place," and it's filled with ideas for creating a more positive work environment.  

 

Regardless of how you feel about your job, you have the power to cultivate positive, empowered thoughts about your work. Having worked at quite a few jobs I hated, I know how hard this can be sometimes, but the more you seek out the good and focus on that, the more you'll see of it. As the old saying goes, "You'll find what you look for." If you keep looking for ways that work sucks, you'll find all of the negatives. But if you focus on the good things about work -- i.e., you get paid to do it, there are some aspects you enjoy, you have a few nice coworkers, etc. -- you'll find more and more good things. And if you really can't find anything good about where you are, now is the time to make a change and find a job that you enjoy! 

  

 

Loving-Your-Self

Finding the good in the world around you is a form of self-love. Want to empower yourself with some more serious self-love and acceptance? Start loving yourself (or increase the love you already have for yourself!) with the inspiration and motivation found in Loving Your Self: An Empowering Workbook for Increasing Self-LoveFilled with uplifting encouragement, thought-provoking questions, and engaging exercises, Loving Your Self is an essential tool for mastering the art of self-love. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own copy here.


6 tips for tackling tough conversations

Speak-Now-Taylor-Swift
Image via Big Machine Records

 

Have you ever been in a position where you really wanted to talk to someone about something but the topic of conversation was really awkward / emotional / sensitive and so you put it off for ages hoping that it would somehow be resolved or disappear but, without talking about it, there was obviously going to be no miraculous solution so you had to actually get the courage to bring it up and you were so scared to do it and it had been on your mind for so long that you didn't even know where to begin? 

If you answered yes, I feel you. That was me a couple of weeks ago. There was a big scary conversation I wanted to have, and I'd been wanting to have it for months and months and months but every time I was about to bring it up, I got way too scared and chickened out. This happened over and over and over again. 

Until, one day, I realized that, if I didn't say what I needed to say, I'd always be wondering what would have happened if I had. When the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, it hit me over the head like a ton of bricks: if I wanted to talk about something (and I wanted change in the New Year), I was going to have to open my mouth and speak. No one was going to do it for me. I had to stop second guessing myself, worrying about the conversation not going the way I wanted it to go, and just do it

Also, on NYE, I was deeply inspired by this. It might sound silly for a grown woman to be motivated by a music video, but for years I'd been feeling so much anxiety and uncertainty. And, scared as I was to let go of those feelings, I desperately wanted to be "out of the woods," to be in a place of stability and clarity. After watching the video (over and over again!), I knew the only way I'd ever be the version of the girl at the end of the video would be to open my mouth and speak the words constantly circling in my mind. 

In a way, the video is very much a metaphor for what it feels like when you're scared to have an important conversation -- you're overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, wondering what could be, scared of where you are but just as scared of what will happen when you eventually are brave enough to speak your mind. Whether you're having a relationship-based conversation, a salary negotiation, a serious talk with a boss or client, or a heart-to-heart with a friend, the point leading up to the actual speaking is a scary time indeed. 

But the only way to get out of the woods -- out of that place of anxiety and uncertainty -- is to use your words. As someone who put doing this off for months, I know just how hard this can be. I finally had the courage to say what I needed to, and I know you can too. Here are some of the best pieces of advice I can offer for anyone struggling to have a tough conversation: 

 

KNOW THE OUTCOME YOU WANT

Get specific about what you really want before you launch into a tough conversation. It's not enough to think "I want to make more money" or "I want her to be more affectionate." You need to have concrete desires in place, like "I want a 10% raise" or "I want her to hold my hand in public and spend more time cuddling with me." If you don't know (and say) specifically what you want, how is someone else supposed to give it to you? Imagine (in detail!) what it will be like to have the exact outcome you want. Also, ask yourself why you want this. Understanding the why will show you what you're really looking for. Do you want more money because you feel unappreciated at work? Will money make you feel more valued? Do you want a committed relationship because you truly love this specific person? Or do you just want a relationship in general? Getting to the heart of why you want what you do will help you have a much more productive conversation (or it show you that you don't need to have the conversation at all!). 

 

THINK ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON

When it comes to big scary conversations, it's important to consider not only your own needs and desires, but also those of the person (or people) you're communicating with. Before conversing, spend some time thinking about what outcomes they might be hoping for, how they might perceive what you have to say, and how they generally prefer to communicate. Try vividly imagining the conversation from the other person's point of view. How might your boss perceive your resignation? How might your partner take the news that you'd like to spend some time apart? What would it be like to be the friend with whom you've had a disagreement that you're trying resolve? Considering how the other person might feel and what s/he might experience is important for having a meaningful interaction. Just as important is considering how this person prefers to communicate. For the most part, big important conversations should happen in person, but that's not always possible, so consider the best method of communication -- not only for you, but for the other party as well. And, last but not least, take into account how this conversation will impact your relationship, not just from your perspective, but from theirs as well. 

 

PONDER THE POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES

Going into an important conversation, it's useful to ponder what would happen if the best possible outcome occurred. What is the absolute best-case, most amazing scenario? What other positive possibilities might you not be considering? (For example, what if you boss isn't able to give you a raise, but is able to offer you a different position that you know will be more enjoyable?) Before you talk, try thinking outside the box and imagine the craziest (best!) possible scenarios. For example, if you're asking for a raise, imagine being offered not only the amount you're asking for, but also a better title and a corner office. Consider how these best-case scenarios would play out. What are the upsides and the downsides of getting exactly what you ask for? What if, for example, you ask your boyfriend to spend more time with you and he suggests moving in together? How would you handle a scenario in which you're given way more than what you asked for? Pondering the positive possibilities will help you feel more prepared as you go into the conversation and may help you identify aspects of the situation you might not have considered. 

 

TAKE NOTE OF WORST-CASE SCENARIOS

On the flip side, it's also important to consider worst-case scenarios. Overthinking what could go wrong or worrying about the future isn't very useful when it comes to living a positively present life, but there's something to be said for considering a worst-case scenario and investigating how you might overcome it if it were to happen. When you imagine what could go wrong, you're likely to come up with solutions and you'll realize that, even if the worst thing were to happen, you'd be okay. If, for example, you were fired for asking for a raise (unlikely to happen, but just consider it), you'd most likely find another job and probably be thankful you were no longer working for a company that fires employees for asking for better compensation! It's important not to dwell on worst-case outcomes (or best-case either), but allowing yourself to consider them will help remove some of the fear you're feeling. Once you've considered what could go wrong (and how you'd cope), you'll feel braver when beginning your conversation. Also, keep in mind some of my favorite lyrics from "Out of the Woods": the monsters turned out to be just trees. Sometimes the worst thing is in your mind and the reality isn't all that scary. 

 

CHOOSE A GOOD TIME TO TALK

There's never a perfect time to have a challenging conversation, but there are some really bad times to have a tough talk. Some examples: when you've had no sleep the night before; when you're really hangry; when you're super stressed -- or when the other person is any of these. First, identify when an ideal time to talk would be for you. If you could choose any situation / time / place, what would it be? Are more articulate and alert in the mornings? Or do you define yourself as a night owl? Would you rather talk in private or in pubic? Do you communicate best right after you've eaten a good meal or had your first cup of coffee? You can't always conduct the conversation exactly when you want to, but you can try to do it at the best possible time and in the best possible conditions. After identifying what would be best for you, consider what would be the best time to talk with someone else. Is there a time when your boss seems more relaxed? Does your partner seem more at ease on the weekends? You're much more likely to get the results you'd like if you conduct the conversation when the other person is in a positive mindset. Not sure when the best time is for someone else? Ask!

 

BE BRAVE + GO FOR IT! 

This is, of course, the most important piece of advice: just do it. The longer you wait, the harder it gets (believe me, I know this first hand!) and the more it seems like a bigger and bigger deal in your mind. If you keep waiting to speak your mind, what once seemed like something you should bring up turns into a big, huge, scary conversation that you'll be dreading on a regular basis. Don't let this happen to you. Find a time that feels right (even if it's not perfect) and start talking. You don't even have to come to a conclusion right away -- just get the dialogue flowing and let the other person know where you're coming from. People can't read your mind and they might have no idea what you want if you don't tell them! I know it's hard and I know it's scary, but if you don't initiate it, it might never happen and you'll always be filled with the unpleasant "what if..." sensation. So go on -- set a date, schedule a meeting, make the call -- do whatever you have to do to start talking. 

 

BONUS! 
LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY. 

Here's an additional piece of advice: once you've bravely initiated the conversation (yay, you!), it's so important to listen closely. I cannot stress this enough: listen. If you've prepared a lot for the conversation, it's tempting to focus on what you have to say and what you want the outcome to be, but try your absolute hardest to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. The best way to have a productive conversation of any kind is to be a good listener and respond to what someone else is actually saying. As you probably know, it can be difficult sometimes to accurately interpret others' words, and nothing screws up an important conversation more than assumptions and miscommunications. These can be minimized if you listen fully to what others are saying -- not what you want them to say, not what you think they might say, not to how you read into the words they're saying. Listen to the actual words being spoken and, if you're not sure about the meaning, don't guess. Ask! 

 

 

 

Loving-Your-Self

Having the courage to have tough conversations is an act of self-love. Want to empower yourself with some more serious self-love and acceptance? Start loving yourself (or increase the love you already have for yourself!) with the inspiration and motivation found in Loving Your Self: An Empowering Workbook for Increasing Self-LoveFilled with uplifting encouragement, thought-provoking questions, and engaging exercises, Loving Your Self is an essential tool for mastering the art of self-love. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own copy here.


loving your self : a brand new self-love workbook

Loving-Yourself-Workbook

  

There’s only one relationship you’ll have every single day of your life for the rest of your life — the relationship you have with yourself. It’s one of the most important relationships you possess, but many of us don’t take the time and effort to make it a loving, empowering experience. Most of us fail to prioritize self-love because we don't know we should or we struggle so much with it that it feels easier to avoid the hard work. But loving yourself is essential for living a positive, present life, a life in which you can experience true happiness, acceptance, and peace.

Loving yourself means accepting mind, body, and heart. As important as the concept of self-love is, it’s not always something we strive for because, unfortunately, many things stand in the way of self-love. One major roadblock that blocks the path to loving ourselves is how we think about self-love. Many of us don’t love ourselves fully because we’ve been led to believe that self-love is selfish, greedy, or indulgent. Or we’ve been raised in an environment (or a society) that doesn’t promote self-love and, instead, encourages judgment, comparisons, and self-criticism. Or, in some cases, we’re afraid to love ourselves because achieving a deep sense of love for the self would lead to a greater sense of peace and happiness — two things that sound wonderful in theory, but that could potentially change the way we view ourselves and the world. Even the most positive of mindset shifts can be intimidating. 

But if you want to make the most of your life — if you want to have a deep and unconditional understanding and respect for who you are, who you've been, and who you will be in the future — you have to learn to love who you are, inside and out. Having struggled with self-love myself, I know how difficult it can be to achieve it. It's an on-going process and it requires dedication and determination, but, wow, is it worth it. 

Once you cultivate a strong love for yourself, anything is possible. I know how much learning to love myself has changed my life, and I wanted to share all of this self-love goodness with others so I created this absolutely comprehensive guide to loving yourself. The Loving Your Self workbook will take you on a journey of self-love filled with encouragement, inspiration, and exercises to spark true and lasting love for yourself. If you’re hesitant at all about embarking on this journey, keep in mind some of the most important reasons to love yourself:

  • Loving yourself improves your relationship with others
  • Loving yourself creates an overall more positive outlook
  • Loving yourself increases your self-respect (and respect for others)
  • Loving yourself opens you up to pursuing passions and meaningful work
  • Loving yourself makes it easier to find the goodness in others 

As you can see, there are many reasons self-love is essential for creating a more positive, more present life. In the workbook, you'll be challenged to uncover truths about yourself and about your life. You will be asked to look deeply at what matters most to you (and you can do more of that with the Finding Your Self workbook). If you take the time for self-love, you open yourself up to improving every single aspect of your life. 

Loving-Yourself-Now

ABOUT THE WORKBOOK

Loving Your Self is a empowering workbook designed to teach, inspire, and increase self-love. The instant-downloadable PDF is a go-to resource for learning about self-love, engaging in exercises that increase self-love, and discovering more about the various ways you can (and should!) love who you are. The workbook features innovative, inspiring, and empowering activities to help you uncover a deep, lasting love of yourself. The workbook is broken down into four sections: 

  • Loving Your Mind: insights on how to break negative thought patterns, how to master the art of positive self-talk, and how to understand the power of "I am";
  • Loving Your Body: insights on how to love your body, how to embrace your flaws, and how to put an end to comparisons;
  • Loving Your Heart: insights on how to reclaim your muchness, how to let go of the past, and how to forgive yourself and others; 
  • Loving Your Life: insights on how to focus on the positive aspects of your life, how to cut out complaining, and how to establish boundaries with others. 

In addition to these four sections — each of which is loaded with information, activities, and worksheets — the Conclusion features:

  • A set of self-love reminders to print + post up wherever you need self-love boost
  • self-love cheat sheet to fill out with your top self-love reminders
  • A list of self-love resources featuring my favorite self-love websites + books 

If you've been struggling with self-love (or just want to reinforce your current self-love practices), this workbook is exactly what you need. As I was creating the workbook, I went through some difficult situations. I found myself answering the questions and doing the exercises as I was creating them, and it was amazing what it did for my self-esteem, self-respect, and self-love. The very act of creating (and working through) this workbook had such a positive impact on my life, and I'm so excited to share that experience with you. 

Loving-Yourself-Sample

I've created a lot of things since I started Positively Present — Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively PresentThe Positively Present Guide to LifeFinding Your Self, The ABC's of Self-Love, and many other e-books — and this has been one of my favorite projects to work on. Self-love is so, so important. It provides the foundation for your relationships, your work, and your life. It's something every single person should be able to do and I hope this workbook will help anyone who is struggling to love him or herself. If you're looking for more love, peace, acceptance, and meaning in your life, this workbook is for you. Click the box below to grab your copy and begin the amazing experience of loving who you are!
 

Buy-Now

 


how to make every day matter + a 2016 planner!

2016-Every-Day-Matters
 

As you might recall from last year, I worked with Watkins Publishing to create a 2015 planner/diary, and this year I had the honor of creating another planner, filled with inspiration, ideas, and illustrations to help you make the most of 2016 — the Every Day Matters 2016 Diary: A Year of Inspiration for the Mind, Body, & Spirit. Like last year's planner, it's been designed to inspire you all year long (and it comes in desk and pocket sizes!)

I know it's a bit early to start thinking about a 2016 planner, but I like to get ahead and the pre-orders ship on August 18 so you'll have it ready to go if you order it now. Yay! The great thing about this planner is that it not only keeps you organized, but it also keeps you inspired to make the most of every day. I'm going to tell you a bit about the planner so you know what it's all about, but after that, I'm going to spend a little time exploring how to make the most of every day — tips you can use right now (and when you use your planner in 2016!).

 

ABOUT THE DIARY / PLANNER

Not only does Every Day Matters have plenty of space for daily planning, but it also offers inspiring advice on how to make every day matter. Designed as a resource for enriching daily life, it will guide you on a year-long journey of awareness and fulfillment as you go about your everyday activities. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed with multiple thoughts each day as our to-do lists grow, so I've focused on one life-enhancing theme per month, making inspiration manageable.

Each monthly theme zeros in on a single word — like "happiness," "beauty," or "simplicity" — and is the basis for a weekly quote and activity chosen to inspire reflection and positive transformation. The monthly themes for this year are: Happiness, Creativity, Truth, Beauty, Simplicity, Kindness, Mindfulness, Curiosity, Wisdom, Courage, Gratitude, and Growth. By focusing on just one theme each month while looking at the theme in a different way each week allows for each inspirational concept to be considered from unique perspectives and encourages positive action to become an integral part of day-to-day life. Check out a sample of the diary in the quick video below. (If you can't see the sample, click here.)  

  
Video created by Watkins Publishing.


The way you plan your day is probably pretty unique to you, but whatever your current method, I can assure you: having a planner/diary in your life that both keeps you organized and inspires you can be a life-changing experience. I've had the experience of using the Every Day Matters diary for most of 2015 and it's been awesome to reflect on various themes and encounter inspiring activities that I wrote a year ago. Even though I created it, I still find it amazingly inspiring and the layout of the planner keeps every week so organized!

2016-Order-It

One of the great benefits of this diary over others is that it really helps to reinforce the notion that every matters. Every day won't be great, but there's something great to be found in every day. By focusing on various monthly themes and narrowing in on one inspirational word each month, I've found that using the Every Day Matters planner really does help me stay more in the moment and make the most of my day-to-day life. Here are some of the best ways to make every day matter... today and in the year ahead!

  

HOW TO MAKE EVERY DAY MATTER

1. Keep yourself organized.

Have you every tried just jotting down things whenever and wherever they come to mind? If you have, you probably know that it doesn't usually work out so well. You forget where you wrote something down or you lose the scrap of paper where you wrote it, causing you to waste time on searching for something instead of enjoying the moment. The more organized things are, the easier it is to stay present and focused on what's happening in the moment.  

 

2. Frees your mind to focus on gratitude. 

We talk about gratitude a lot in the self-improvement world, but that's because it's so absolutely vital to making the most of every moment. Whenever you focus on gratitude, you turn your attention to what you have (not what you lack) and that is one of the ultimate ways to make the most of the moment. If you want to make the most of your day, start it off by jotting down a list of things for which you're thankful.

 

3. Take time to make a plan. 

While I'm not a big fan of worrying too much about the future, but planning ahead is actually a great way to make the most of the moment. When you write things down that need to be done in the future or schedule dates with yourself to revisit specific tasks, you free your mind of having to remember those details and allow your attention to be directed back to right now. Writing down what needs to be done later frees your mind to enjoy right now. 

 

4. Do something you really enjoy doing. 

Ever have those moments when you're like, What in the world should I do now? Even if you have a million things to do, sometimes it's hard to know where to begin. When you have one of those moments, pause and determine what you'd really like to be doing. Even if you only engage in that activity for a short period of time, allowing yourself to do something you love is a fantastic way to make the most of any day. 

 

5. Cross something off your to-do list.

Few feelings trump the satisfaction that comes with crossing something off a to-do list (especially something you've been putting off for awhile!). It might sound like a small act — drawing a line through a list item — but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with knowing you've done what needed to be done is actually pretty wonderful, and it's a great way to make the day feel like it matters.

 

6. Reflect on what you've accomplished.

I'm not an advocate of reflecting too much on the past, but sometimes you can benefit from reflecting on what you've accomplished in a day. I've recently started keeping a "Done" list alongside my "To Do" list, and it's really made me see how much I get done in a day. (It's also useful if I'm trying to remember when I did something.) Even if you don't make a list, reflecting on what you've undertaken in a day is a great way to cultivate positive feelings.

 

7. Locate a source of inspiration.

One of the best ways to make a day matter is to end it feeling inspired and motivated. Sometimes this can be a challenge, but it's important to seek inspiration every day. It'll keep you feeling positive and make it easier to stay in the present. Whether you get your inspiration from a place like the Every Day Matters, from a favorite website, or from spending time with inspiring people, make it a priority to feel inspired in some small way every single day. 

 

With busy schedules and tons of to-do's, the days can pass by quickly. It's important to take some time to appreciate them as you're experiencing them (even when you're super busy!). The Every Day Matters planner is a great way to do that, and I'm so excited that I've had the opportunity to create this 2016 version, filled with all the inspiration you'll need to make it through the year! If you're ready to get your copy, pre-order by clicking the image below and you'll have your planner ready to go for 2016!

2016-Get-Your-Copy


living happy at work : an interview

Work-Happy

 

No matter how much you love what you do, staying happy and motivated at work can be a challenge. (And if you don't love what you do it can be a huge challenge!) It's something we all struggle with and, though I've written about it in my book, The Positively Present Guide to Life, I'm always looking for new resources and insights for how to keep the workplace positive.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Deborah Heisz, COO and co-founder of Live Happy magazine, about her advice for making the most of work. Keep reading for inspiration for making the most of your workday! (And if you don't work, don't worry — there are still tons great insights in the interview that you can apply to life at home or at school.)

 

  1. Staying positive at work can be difficult. What advice do you have for someone who struggles to stay positive at work? 

    Even though you may love what you do, in any job there will be moments when the printer breaks, your call is not returned or a key partnership falls apart. If you are handling a stressful situation or have been solving problem after problem all day, it’s helpful to just stop and take a breath. Sharon Salzberg, meditation expert and author of Real Happiness at Work: Meditation for Accomplishment, Achievement and Peace, suggests using mindfulness, compassion and other forms of meditation to improve work life. She says that beginning a daily meditation practice that is as short as five minutes can be life changing. Sharon and other experts share tips in our latest issue of Live Happy to help everyone on the path to a more positive workplace.

    Another important point is to focus on what aspects of your job are the most meaningful to you. If you interact with the public or clients, what can you do to feel you are making a difference in their lives or helping to make their day just a little bit better? Bringing a smile to someone else’s face can have a positive effect on your outlook as well. 

  1. How you start the day can have a big impact on the rest of the day. What things can someone do to start his or her day off on a positive note? 

    Find a reason to be happy and positive when you wake up to start the day off on the right note. I like to think of something funny my children did or said the day before that makes me laugh. Exercise, even just 10 minutes’ worth, will get the blood flowing and set you on a course of making healthy decisions all day. Setting your priorities for each day the night before can also allow you to be present so your first couple hours of the day aren’t lost in chaos.

    I enjoyed Amy Robach’s comment about this in our story on Good Morning America. She says that giving and receiving cheery greetings with co-workers each morning — even though the entire staff and crew starts their days very early — is exactly what she needs to feel positive from the minute she arrives at work. “The place is humming and alive,” she says, “and you just can’t help but be glad to be here.” 

  1. You recently interviewed the Good Morning America team. What did you learn from them about making the most of a work day?

    GMA is one of the most joyful and supportive workplaces I have ever seen. It’s clear that the staff loves what they do and that this contributes to a positive environment, as well as to their great sense of teamwork. Spending time with the GMA anchors made me realize that it is not just the light-hearted moments that convey positivity, but also the respect for every contribution made that builds trust and camaraderie.

  1. Not everyone loves what they do for a living. How would you recommend making the most of a not-so-great workplace? 

    It’s hard to believe that only 30 percent of all Americans are truly engaged and like their jobs. But for the other 70 percent, there’s a lot they can do to feel more satisfied and fulfilled at work and to create a better work environment. One of the easiest ways is to recognize that you can be a catalyst for change. Negative talk and gossip can impact your day to day experience, instead avoid those conversations and thank people, say good morning, share positive news.

    Happiness, like negativity, can be contagious.  You can be the person who brings everyone else in the office up instead of down. Shane Lopez, Ph.D., and Gallup senior scientist, says engagement at work is about more than happiness. It’s about being content with the work you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. He urges us to “take some control where you have it” and organize your day to make the most of it. Change your shift to work with people you enjoy and be curious about what other co-workers are doing who have a more positive outlook.

    Ask a colleague about what he or she is working on that they are excited about. Thank someone for going above and beyond on an assignment or acknowledge a job well done to set a more positive workplace tone for everyone. And if you decide that you do really need a change, just starting to explore new options or signing up for a class to learn cutting-edge skills can help you feel less trapped and capable of moving beyond your current challenging situation.

  1. Sometimes coworkers can be tough to cope with. What advice do you have for staying positive around negative colleagues? 

    Practice mindfulness. Walk away from the negative unproductive gripe session.  Shake off outbursts or tense exchanges by stepping away for a moment for perspective. Focus on your breath or take a walk away from pinging email and desk clutter. 

    Kerry Hannon, author of Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness, offers some great common sense tips we describe in-depth in our latest issue of Live Happy. One of the easiest and most useful tips from Kerry is to write down one thing you did well or that went right every day in a work journal. It’s easy to focus on that brusque comment or dismissal of your idea during a meeting or the printer that broke on deadline, but if you start focusing on the good, you’ll begin to notice that it’s been there all along.

 

Keeping a positive attitude isn't always the easiest thing to do during your work day, but if you take Deborah's insights on how to make each work day a bit happier and put them into practice, you'll find it easier to keep a smile on your face at the office. For more great insights on staying happy at work, check out LiveHappy.com/Work

 

 

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Absolutely hate your job and can't imagine finding happiness there? Do some soul-searching with the Finding Yourself workbook and discover more about yourself and what would make you happier (in life and in your career!). Download a copy of the e-book Finding Yourself: A Soul-Searching Workbook for Surprising Self Discovery to find inspiration, questions, and activities to get you thinking about what it means to be you. Finding Yourself is a must for learning more about who you are and about what you value most. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own soul-searching copy here.