- Find daily happiness by changing your perceptions.
- Align on why, and be flexible with how.
- Treat life as an adventure and embrace side quests.
- When facing tasks you don't enjoy, do it quickly and efficiently.
On March 20, 2021, the World Happiness Report was released, and the results were shocking. COVID-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere. Negative feelings have had a 12% increase globally from 2017 to 2020 and we're seeing a widening happiness gap within each country.
So where does happiness come from? Why are some people able to be happy, while others find it difficult to grasp?
We are what we do repeatedly
Let's break down happiness into a macro and micro approach. In our pursuit of happiness, each of us has embarked on a journey towards community feeling - a true sense of belonging. To achieve community feeling, one must have self-acceptance and contribute to others.
But what can we do today to be happy? Each of us has daily responsibilities that may not be satisfying to work on. Do we take this as a sad fact of life, resolve to live miserably, and idly spend our days until our next vacation?
This behavior is what drives us to escapism - watching TV, or playing games excessively and throwing away opportunities to grow.
Escapism: The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
Thankfully, we have the power to control our lives - by changing our perceptions.
Start With Why
I am happy and productive when I understand and resonate with the goals behind the actions that I have to do.
For example: If you are working on a marketing campaign at work, and you learn that the intention is to raise money for a charitable cause that you care about - you will find more meaning in accomplishing the tasks at hand.
Most of the time, what hinders cooperation comes from a lack of consensus on how to achieve the goal. There is always more than one way to solve a problem, and everybody has their own opinion.
When approaching new tasks:
- Seek first to understand why the action exists. What are we trying to accomplish?
- If you resonate with the goal, but not the solution, brainstorm new ideas that make you happy. You will always do much better on tasks that you enjoy doing.
These steps are applicable in both personal and professional contexts. Always try to question your own actions to have a better understanding of yourself and your true goals - so you are working towards the outcomes that you care about.
Be flexible on the how, and strong on the whys. This is the foundation of being intentional.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
- Dale Carnegie
But what happens when we're in a situation where we can't choose our tasks?
Love your tasks
Have you ever met someone that jumps into every situation with a smile on their face? Such people radiate energy when given a task to do, no matter the connection or immediate benefit to them. Why?
It is because they have invested in the journey of learning and growth. They value each experience because it is an opportunity to learn something new.
If you've ever played a video game, you know that some games push you to complete side quests before proceeding to the main mission. The side quests enrich the main quests' story and give the player extra skills and equipment to succeed.
When facing tasks that you must do, treat life as an adventure. Be present, love each experience, and learn as much as you can.
It is there that the passage of nothing days becomes one’s trial. What tests one's courage is to keep walking on one's path.
- Alfred Adler
Learn how we use escapism to our advantage by turning our lives into a game.
Find joy through excellence
In the event that you have to do things you don't want to do, like taxes, you might as well do it quickly and efficiently.
The task that you don't like doing will always end up being the last task you do. You may find yourself procrastinating - pushing it day after day, week after week. In such situations, eat the frog. It's a simple productivity method that helps you prioritize tasks every morning.
“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.”
- Mark Twain
Respect your time. If a task does not bring you joy, don't let it take up more time than is necessary. Always ask yourself - which task will give me the highest leverage? What can I do, that will take 20% effort to earn 80% of the result?
Use these principles to gain a sense of satisfaction and achievement from every task you do.
Happiness is a choice
Our world is shaped by our subjective experiences. It is by being intentional that we get to decide how we live our life. You are what you choose to focus on, and you can decide today if you want your daily actions to be your daily source of happiness.
At Co-x3, we want to help you make work meaningful, fun, and engaging. To that end, we've created a series of templates in our toolbox that will help you take action on the knowledge shared today.