Thoughts on well-being in the workplace

This week’s thoughts about happiness and well-being in the workplace.

  1. What’s the secret to happy employees? Having no secrets. When it comes to your team’s happiness at the workplace, sharing really is caring. Another reason to narrate your work.
  2. Sonja Lyubomirsky says happiness is 50% inherited, 10% circumstantial, and 40% up to you. But she confuses happiness and well-being, two entirely different things.
  3. Happiness is more a right-brain thing than a left. Maybe. By a little.
  4. Max Weber said the capitalist ethic is money over happiness. Sourpuss Puritans.
  5. Bhutan’s fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck is forever quoted but his country is not like any place I’ve ever been. It helps that most of these guys are Buddhists, too. The Gross Domestic Happiness meme starts in the mountain kingdom.
  6. Women are naturally happier than men. By a little.
  7. Research finds it takes four positive thoughts to balance one negative thought. I’d been told it took seven.
  8. Consider being your own happiness coach. It’s not that tough to see the world as a better place.
  9. The Happiness Trade is about 2% news and 98% echo chamber. People are forever repeating the same lists of self-help hints. There’s an obscene amount of copying and clutter.
  10. Happiness quotient descreases with age — it you let it.
  11. Small talk leads to meaningful conversation which builds relationahips that create happiness.
  12. Happiness is the cause of positive outcomes in life, not the result.
  13. As if blindness to our own tendencies to err weren’t bad enough, we’re emotionally committed to our bad decisions because of another bad habit Kahneman has identified – the tendency to trust our snap, intuitive judgments over better, more deliberative decision-making processes. Like all cognitive illusions, this one has a vestigial, evolutionary component: quick thinking keeps you safe from predators. System 1 crowding out System 2.
  14. Flash from the past: Parahansa Yogananda wrote, “To seek happiness outside ourselves is like trying to lasso a cloud. Happiness is not a thing: It is a state of mind. It must be lived. Neither worldly power nor moneymaking schemes can ever capture happiness. Mental restlessness results from an outward focus of awareness. Restlessness itself guarantees that happiness will remain elusive. Temporal power and money are not states of mind. Once obtained, they only dilute a person’s happiness. Certainly they cannot enhance it.”
  15. Business, and I’m thinking American business, is foolish to deny that humans are emotional beings.
  16. Widespread worker disengagement is a major factor behind slowing revenue growth, says Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile.

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