If you don’t care about happiness, you can skip this blog post altogether and just close out this tab.
If you DO want to be happy, keep reading.
This is for you if you want to be happy in your life.
If you want to have joy, and love the life you’re living, this is for you.
Because what I have to share is ground-breaking.
It's about work.
I know what you’re thinking: “Come on Lisa, I thought you said we were going to talk about happiness, not work!”
I am. Stay with me.
A lot of us grew up with parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, and friends telling us that while “it’d be nice” to like our work, it’s not possible, or realistic.
Maybe these well-intentioned people told you things like:
“It’s normal to hate your job.”
“No-one likes their job.”
Or “it’s work – it’s not supposed to be fun.”
Maybe they told you to “work to live, not live to work”, as if you can just forget about being miserable for 40 hours of your week during the other 70 you’re awake.
Whatever it is, whatever the message, the result is that we have a ton of people (maybe you?), who are looking to money, job title prestige, or social status in our jobs to make us happy.
And we’ve got it backward.
Because it turns out happy work does matter.
Here’s the thing – the research today is showing us the old mentality is wrong.
It’s not about money, benefits (yes, even the ping pong table and beer on tap), or job title that matters. It’s the work itself.
A few months ago, one of my favorite artists, Stefan Sagmeister, was hosting a screening of his new documentary, “The Happy Film” and was even there in person for Q+A. You better believe I bought tickets right away and was PUMPED to attend.
Stefan is no stranger to experimentation, and to get the best hold on happiness, he worked with a variety of experts, including Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D. and author of "The Happiness Hypothesis".
From all the research on happiness, Stefan decided to experiment with three things, for one month each. The three things were:
- Meditation. He even went on a dreamy Bali meditation retreat.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). He worked with a therapist to step outside his comfort zone and resolve old issues.
- Drugs (prescribed, not street drugs). He used plain ol’ Big Pharma pills.
Spoiler alert: the drugs by far made him the happiest, but of course, the effects were short-lived and dissolved soon after he stopped taking them.
Stefan Sagmeister tried drugs, meditation, and cognitive therapy... but none of them made him happier long-term.
Here’s what Stefan discovered:
In his project, he missed the mark. He focused on the wrong things, as Dr. Haidt points out in the film.
Happiness is not about meditation, therapy or drugs - or in other words, treatments. Instead, happiness is about the elements and conditions of how you live your life.
The 3 critical life conditions for happiness are:
- Have strong relationships. Romance, family, acquaintances.
- Enjoy your work and be engaged in it.
- Be a part of something larger than yourself, with people you like and respect. A cause. A religion, project or spirituality.
Strong relationships probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you. If you’ve ever been in love, you know how incredibly happy it can make you (in fact, as happy as cocaine can).
And if you’ve ever moved away from people you love, you know isolation can make you incredibly unhappy until you’ve made new friends and relationships.
But I want to talk about work. And happiness.
It turns out, happy work isn’t just a “nice to have” or some dream delusional millennials hold on to.
Enjoying your work and being engaged in it is critical to your happiness.
And so is being a part of something larger – which can come from your work as well.
Your work will make you happier if you are engaged in the work, and a part of something larger.
Meditation, drugs, therapy all helped make Stefan a little happier. But truth is, it wasn't enough to create a sustained change.
It wasn't as profound as the hype.
So, after this experiment, what can you incorporate into daily life?
- Write 3 things that worked during the day and why. This little exercise can literally take you one minute and will tap you into being aware and looking for the positive.
- Make time for relationships. No matter how busy you are, find ways to include others. Exercise with a friend. Share a meal with family. Volunteer with someone you care about, include those you enjoy in side projects, and prioritize those you love.
- Create a focus on being part of something larger. For Stefan, it’s creating happier cities and taking his research and findings to create spaces that allow people to find joy. For you, this could mean joining a non-profit, volunteering for a project you're passionate about at work, or starting a side-business with a company whose mission you're on board with.
Helping people be happier, through work, is one of my absolute passions. It’s a part of my “why”, my “something bigger”.
I truly believe you shouldn’t have to choose between meaningful work you love – and having a fun-filled life. That’s my passion, and what drives me to create what I do.
If you are ready to be happier, if you’re ready to take a hard look at the work you’re doing as part of that picture, and find a way to enjoy your work, I’d love to support you through that process.
As your coach, I’m here for you to uncover all the fears and help you face them (even the ones you don’t know you have).
I’m here to show you your brilliance, and remind you that it is possible, even in the moments when you don’t see it or believe it yourself.
I’m your cheerleader, your mirror that reflects back who you are, and the person asking you questions you wish I wouldn’t ask (but you’re so glad I did).
I’m here to be the accountability partner you need, making sure that you keep your commitments to yourself – the commitment to having a career or business you love.
Together, we make sure you’re moving forward, week after week, towards the life you know you’re meant to be living.
The life where you have work you enjoy, that’s meaningful to you, and that adds joy to your life (not exhausts, drains and sucks your soul).
With my sweet baby on the way in January, I’m opening only two final spots for one-on-one clients. These will be the last spots available in 2017, and possibly ever (I honestly don't know what changes baby will bring!).
Get in touch today and schedule a complimentary discovery call to see how I can help you create happy work, for the happiest life possible.
If you've been thinking about working together, book now, because these spots will go quickly.
I love helping people like you find ways to have a job or a business that makes you happier and more fulfilled than you ever imagined. In fact, it’s what makes ME feel happier and more fulfilled than I thought possible.
I can’t wait to hear from you.
PS. Here’s a shot of my wonderful friend Kaitlyn and I after the show with Stefan. He talked to us about his next work project, which involves working with cities around the world to create happier spaces.
I love that Stefan is taking what he learned to heart – engaging and enjoying his work.
You can do the same - it IS possible for each of us. If you’re looking to find happiness and joy with your work – and allow that to expand into the rest of your life, let’s chat.
Get in touch to claim one of the last TWO one-on-one coaching spaces for 2017 or book your complimentary discovery call now to see how I can help you create happy work, for the most happy life possible.
PPS. Check out The Happy Film Here.