The happier you are, the more successful you will be. Happy business people are far more productive. Here are 11 tips on how to be happier at work:
1: If you wake up in the morning and tell yourself you are going to work, then you are doing it wrong.
Have you ever seen a musician that is unhappy at work? They are successful as they do what they love doing. I love this quote by Confucius: "find an occupation you love and you'll never work a day in your life."
How can you tell what your business passion is? Ask yourself this simple question: "Who is a rock star to me in business?" For me there are a few, including Richard Branson for his positive attitude, Steve Jobs for his innovation and simplistic product development genius and Warren Buffett for his long term investing strategy.
Put all 3 of the aforementioned rock stars of mine together and you have the blue print for my business passion, which is long term technology venture capital investments in incredibly happy/positive visionaries that think they can change the world!
2: Don't ever start a company with the sole intention of making money; some people are so poor that all they have is money.
Don't worry about money early in your career; if you follow your passion, then everything else will fall into place. Many of my business school students want to become an investment banker but then they hate it and they are miserable once they start. Don't make money your master or you will never be happy at work.
3: Golf often.
I golf often because I love meeting people, having fun and learning about them. Golf is so relaxing too and gets you into a happier state. I love getting to know business partners and customers while playing golf.
4: Laugh at your failures!
Laugh at your failures and shortfalls and you will enjoy your profession and live a much longer happier life! Self-deprecation is an admirable trait. Find humor in all stressful situations. This instantly changes your state and will help you to focus on turning a crisis into an opportunity.
Comedy is often a result of tragedy plus time. Rather than be depressed given a perceived failure, smile and cheer up because your future incredible success in business is a result of that failure. You will be grateful later in life that you 'failed' if this failure pushes you to find your business passion (it often does)!
5: Listen to your spouse.
Your spouse knows what makes you happy in business. Remind them often what your business passions are. In return, they will remind you what you love in life and reinforce and hence help guide and remind you what you are on this earth to accomplish in business.
6: Fail fast.
If your start-up doesn't succeed in 1-2 years, then then you should be happier if you consider failing fast and moving on to your plan B. Don't worry as you can always start another company at some point in your life. Success and happiness in business is merely a result of multiple perceived failures. I love this quote from Michael Jordan: "I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
7: Personal gratitude and happiness.
You will be much more successful in business if you have sincere personal gratitude for what you have. Years ago I read The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. He said that in western society people are so unhappy as we tend to compare ourselves to those that have more than us. By contrast, those that live in second, or third world countries are happier than we are as they focus on what is important in life, like family and friends and a beautiful day!
If we are grateful for at least one different thing in our lives every day and help others that are less fortunate, then we will all lead more fulfilled lives. At night when I say prayers with my 3 wonderful children, I always make them thank God for something different every day.
8: Follow your heroes.
Use Twitter to follow your business heroes who always seem happy with their lives (i.e., Richard Branson). They often tweet incredibly motivational and happy quotes that resonate well with me. I love their short snippets of optimism, happiness, hope and best practices.
9: Small clients are more work than large clients.
Don't waste your time trying to get small clients. Elephant hunt. You will find that small customers are often more work than large customers! You'll be happier if you can generate more revenue from fewer clients.
10: Take that walk!
Some of the best decisions in life are made on long walks. Steve Jobs used to go on long walks with his friend, Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Go on at least one long walk per week in order to clear your thoughts and assess where you are in life and how you can be happier at work.
11. Move around a lot because all your wealth can't buy you health!
Stand up and work for at least half of the day as your productivity and level of happiness will increase materially. Exercising daily helps you think more clearly and be generally happier at work.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."
Find out what your passion is and what you were put on this planet to do (it is not to make money). What is your calling? Find your passion and you will always be happy in business and in life.