Where is your business “happy place?” Do you even know if you have one? And if you do, how do you find it and go there?
You are having a bad day, and it seems like it going to last until you somehow make it home and put your head on your pillow. It looks like the mold is set for the balance of the day and nothing is going to change it. It seems like you are stuck in an unhappy place.
On these days, learning to banish negativity and leading a successful business resembles the fruitless search for the Holy Grail.
- But is this gloomy fate really true?
- Are you really stuck in a bad place, or can you do something to make things different?
- Is there a way to get out of this unhappy place and get into a better frame of mind?
The Short Answer is Yes
Some will reflect back upon this past year regretting their unfinished goals in addition to any unexpected losses. Others will remove this year from memory and simply accept it as a loss unworthy of redemption.
Either way, smart folks are looking forward to 2012, excited about a fresh start.
We are all ready to make resolutions that we will surely keep this time around , eager to do better.
Business can be compared to a horse race…it doesn’t matter if you are first out of the gate. The finish line is everything.
6 Ways to Find Your Business Happy Place
ONE: Find Some “Me” Time
I love my family, I love my friends and I love my work. However, I am very comfortable with being by myself. But to be effective in re-energizing my batteries, I have to be proactive in finding some “Me” time.
My favorite time of day is early morning. Although I’m the first one up in the morning, I do not mind being alone. During this time, I sit back and reflect on me. “Me” time is important. Some people mediate. Others pray. And some reflect.
Through out the course of the day, I spend time worrying about my clients and their needs. “Me” time is strictly dedicated to me and my needs.
It feels so good to say, “Time just for me.”
I encourage you to consider the one person who matters most…you. And find a recipe of solitude that works for you.
Always remember this:
- It is acceptable as well as necessary to dedicate 15-30 minutes a day toward your needs.
- There are twenty-four hours in a day, if you can’t find a few minutes for you, you should re-evaluate your priorities.
- You are just as essential as anyone around you.
- So be sure to always carve out time to invest in you.
TWO: Negative By Character
Take a look around. I am sure that we all can agree that some people are just negative by nature. Think about the guy who has a problem with everyone in the office or the girl who thinks everyone is lazy except for her.
- These people are like a viruses
- Their negative mood spreads like a plague
- They are not happy until everyone is miserable like them
QUESTION: Does misery love company, or does misery make company equally miserable?
Psychologists have discussed whether couples and close friends are depressed in tandem because one person’s mood poisons the well, or because people gravitate toward significant others with the same traits. Either way, woeful commiserating is a cancer that eats away people and brings everyone down.
“Happy people seek out happy people, and those who are miserable seek the same.”
The bottom line is this: Stay away from negative contagion and you will be on your way finding your business happy place.
THREE: Alter the Forecast
Negative thoughts are like hurricanes. The more you think of them, the more force they have. Attempting to talk yourself out of negativity is no a solution. Such inner debates put the thoughts front and center of your mind.
And by criticizing yourself, you end up feeling like even more of a failure and asking this:
“Why can’t I get over this and be happy?”
Instead, recognize that negative and fearful thoughts are normal. It’s usually best to tune them out. It also helps to consider the context. When you’re overreacting about a situation, try to figure out what’s behind the disconnect.
When you’re exhausted or under stress, your thoughts often default to negative patterns laid down long ago, even though they have no relevance to the current situation.
One of the best ways to keep negativity at bay is to skip the venting. You may think that complaining to friends and family will help relieve the pressure you feel. In fact all you’re doing is digging yourself a deeper trench.
Solution: Focus on the moment. It’s not a coincidence that negative thinking is most common when we allow our minds to wander. Turning your attention toward what you’re doing and staying in the now allows you to stop worrying about the future and obsessing over the past.
It simultaneously reminds you of the genuine beauty and pleasure of life in the middle of the negativity.
FOUR: Blissful Lifestyle
Laugh. This simple act releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Laughing also invites laughter from other people; a social connection that will boost your mood too.
And who doesn’t like to laugh???
FIVE: Count Your Blessings
People who concentrate on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negatives ones (…surprise!!!!) are genuinely happier.
And recognize this:
If you’re in a bad funk, you might have to start with a simple statement to yourself like “I’m grateful I’m alive today.“
Before too long you’ll see how much you really have going for you.
Say thank you. Expressing gratitude improves happiness as well. In one study, research subjects wrote a thank-you letter to someone who helped them in a significant way.
Their happiness levels increased immediately and, amazingly, remained higher than normal for a month.
SIX: Play to Your Strengths
One measure of happiness is the ability to become absorbed by a task. We are most absorbed by new activities that we’re naturally good at. If your strength is social connection, find a hobby that allows you to interact with others. If your strength is self-expression, consider starting a blog or taking an art class.
Do good. In study after study, any form of generosity, acts of kindness, donations, or volunteer work raised overall happiness.
Following these six steps will be a great start that moves you from your yucky spot in your day and brings you to this happy place. It works at home, at work, and everywhere else.
So leaders, do yourself, your teams, your families, your associates, your peers and even that person at your favorite coffee shop a favor, practice finding your happy place and be there often. In doing so, you will be modeling the kinds of behaviors that will make your spot on the globe a bit brighter, happier, and more productive.
So, are you doing any of the six recommended steps to help yourself find your happy place on any kind of regular basis? If so, how can you expand on them and model them more effectively this year? If not, what small steps can you take to begin burning a hot trail to that happy place so that getting there in the future will be easier? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Dean DeSantis is Publisher of Business Philanthropy 101-Helping you, Help Yourself!
He helps to increase market share, outperform competition, and increase profits
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