17 Ways to Be Happier at Work

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by Geoffrey James

A reader recently pointed me to some “rules for a happier life” that various folks have posted in various forms. Here’s my take on those rules as they apply to the workplace:

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, starts out in a different place and is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea where someone else’s journey might lead them, so drawing comparisons is a complete waste of time.

2. Never obsess over things you cannot control.

While it’s often important to know about other things–like the economy, the markets that you sell to, the actions that others might take, your focus should remain on what you actually control, which is 1) your own thoughts and 2) your own actions.

3. Know and keep your personal limits and boundaries.

While your job might sometimes seem like the most important thing in your world, you’re killing a part of yourself if you let work situations push you into places that violate your privacy and your integrity.

4. Don’t over commit yourself or your team.

It’s great to be enthusiastic and willing to go the “extra mile,” but making promises that you (or your team) can’t reasonably keep is simply a way to create failure and disappointment.

5. Remember you get the same amount of time every day as everyone else.

You may feel you’re short on time and that you need more of it, but the simple truth is that when the day started, you got your fair share: 24 hours. Nobody got any more than you did, so stop complaining.

6. Don’t take yourself so seriously; nobody else does.

The ability to laugh at your foibles not only makes you happier as a person, it makes you more powerful, more influential and more attractive to others. If you can’t laugh at yourself, everyone else will be laughing behind your back.

7. Daydream more rather than less.

The idea that daydreaming and working are mutually exclusive belongs back in the 20th century. It’s when you let your thoughts wander that you’re more likely to have the insights that will make you both unique and more competitive.

8. Don’t bother with hate; it’s not worth the effort.

Hate is an emotional parasite that eats away at your energy and health. If something is wrong with the world and you can change it, take action. If you can’t take action, you’re better off to forgive and forget.

9. Make peace with your past lest it create your future.

Focusing on past mistakes or wrongs inflicted on you is exactly like driving a car while looking in the rear view mirror. You’ll keep heading in the same direction until you collide with something solid.

10. Don’t try to “win” every argument.

Some battles aren’t worth fighting, and many people are easier to handle when they think they’ve won the argument. What’s important isn’t “winning,” but what you, and the other people involved, plan to do next.

11. Remember that nobody is in charge of your happiness except you.

While some work environments are inherently difficult, if you’re consistently miserable it’s your fault. You owe it to yourself and your coworkers to either find a job that makes you happy or make the best of the job you’ve got.

12. Smile and laugh more frequently.

Contrary to popular belief, smiling and laughter are not the RESULT of being happy; they’re part of a cycle that both creates and reinforces happiness. Find reasons to smile. Never, ever suppress a laugh.

13. Don’t waste precious energy on malice and gossip.

Before you tell a story about anybody else, or listen to such a story, ask yourself four questions: 1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind? 3) Is it necessary? and 4) Would I want somebody telling a similar story about me?

14. Don’t worry what others think about you; it’s none of your business.

You can’t mind read and you don’t have everyone else wired into a lie detector. Truly, you really have NO IDEA what anyone is REALLY thinking about you. It’s a total waste of time and energy to try.

15. Remember that however bad (or good) a situation is, it will inevitably change.

The nature of the physical universe is change. Nothing remains the same; everything is, as the gurus say, transitory. Whether you’re celebrating or mourning or something in between, this, too, will pass.

16. Trash everything in your work area that isn’t useful or beautiful.

Think about it: you’re going to spend about a third of your waking adult life at work. Why would you want to fill your work environment–and that part of your life–with objects that are useless and ugly?

17. Believe that the best is yet to come, no matter what.

When my grandmother was widowed in her 70s, she went back to college, traveled across Europe in youth hostels, and learned Japanese painting, among many other activities. The last thing she told me was: “You know, Geoffers, life begins at 90.”

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/17-ways-to-be-happier-at-work.html?fb_action_ids=10200614171664318

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Want To Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better Writer

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by Dave Keepen

The number of poorly written emails, resumes and blog posts I come across each month is both staggering and saddening. Grammar is off. There are tons of misspellings. Language is much wordier or more complex than necessary. Some things I read literally make no sense at all to me.

Writing is a lost art, and many professionals don’t realize how essential a job skill it is. Even if you’re not a writer by trade, every time you click “Publish” on a blog, “Post” on a LinkedIn update, or “Send” on an email, you are putting your writing out into the world.

Your writing is a reflection of your thinking. Clear, succinct, convincing writing will differentiate you as a great thinker and a valuable asset to your team.

If you want to be thought of as a smart thinker, you must become a better writer. If you want to be taken seriously by your manager, colleagues, potential employers, clients and prospects, you must become a better writer.

It’s not just you who must become a better writer- it’s all of us. I’ll be the first to admit, I too have had to learn to become a better writer. So here are five ways that I’ve become a better writer over the last several years:

1) Practice, practice, practice. The old joke comes to mind: A tourist in New York asked a woman on the street, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” and she replied, “Practice, practice, practice.” The truth is, the best way to get better at anything is to do it repeatedly. Write a personal blog or begin that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Offer to write some content for your company’s marketing team. Write a short, interesting LinkedIn update each day. The more you write, the better you’ll become at writing. That’s why I write here on LinkedIn every Monday and Thursday, no matter what.

2) Say it out loud. I read all of my articles and books out loud before I publish them, and many of my emails out loud as well. It’s great to hear my writing the way others will “hear” it as they read. Especially since tone in emails is difficult to convey, it’s valuable to say what you’re writing aloud, and then consider a quick edit, before you put it out there.

3) Make it more concise. Less is often more, so during my editing process, I’ll often ask, “How can I say the same thing in fewer words?” People don’t have time to read a long email, or memo, or article, so out of respect for your intended audience, practice making your writing short and sweet. I’d even argue that tweeting has helped me a lot with this, as it obviously limits you to 140 characters. If you’re not on Twitter yet, this is another reason to get tweeting.

4) Work on your headlines. A mentor once told me that 50% of your writing is the headline. So, spend equal time and energy working on your headline as you do the piece itself. Whether it’s the headline of a blog post or an inter-office memo, or a subject line for an email to a sales prospect, your headlines will either grab your reader’s attention, and get them interested in what you have to say, or not. Lists and questions work very well as headlines and subject lines. Practice them.

5) Read. Besides practicing writing, the number one way to improve your writing skills is to read great work. I read at least one book per month, at least 20 articles per week, and countless tweets, Facebook posts and emails per day. I know we all have limited time, but truly the best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader.

These are my methods for becoming a better writer. Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you agree or disagree with me that all business professionals can work to become better writers? How important is good writing to you? And how have you become a better writer over your career? Let me know in the comments below!

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130221123241-15077789-want-to-be-taken-seriously-become-a-better-writer?_mSplash=1

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Dave Kerpen loves writing. You can read more of his writing here on LinkedIn by clicking on the link above. Check out his bestselling books, Likeable Business and Likeable Social Media, or read more on his personal blog and Likeable blog.

Right On

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Here’s the link to a personal resource I’ve written entitled “Right On – Advancement Through Self-Development”. I’ve used it in mentoring scenarios. Some of my staff have used it as a self-study guide. I personally followed this as I went from unemployed to a Vice President in 5 years.

http://www.amazon.com/Right-On-ebook/dp/B006VEMDT0

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Are You Already Leading?

by The Mojo Company

I was reminded recently of something I absolutely love seeing. It’s that whole “leading without a title” thing. It’s one of the first things I think young professionals, or any professionals for that matter, should consider if they want to be a manager or executive. In what ways are you already leading? Who are you already leading? Why do you want to lead? What is it that you want to do that you think you need a title to do? (I’m not saying there aren’t legit answers to that question–there are.)

It’s exciting when you see people who are essentially leading on accident. And by people leading on accident, I mean they’re so excited and passionate about what they’re doing that they lead projects and people without really even thinking about it. They don’t have to start leading because they’re already leading. Their leadership is an outgrowth of who they are.

They see something that needs done, so they figure out how to get it done. They see someone who needs a little help getting better at something, so they come alongside them and give them a hand. They may not have a title. They may not have an officially sanctioned project. They may not have a corporate mandate. They may not have a fancy office. They just have a desire to serve and lead. So they do.

Read the rest at: http://themojocompany.com/2013/02/accidental-leadership/?utm_source=rss

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