What to Do When Your Work Looks Nothing Like the Ad?

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What to Do When Your Work Looks Nothing Like the Ad?

You know those “lifestyle brand” ads you see where all the people look healthy, vibrant, and radiantly blissful while doing yoga on the beach?  The ones where the people always look so fit and happy?  The ones you might envy and hate all at the same time (or maybe that’s just me)?

It seems so perfect, right?  Yeah, that is not your life and I’m guessing it’s not your work life either.

Last week I had a phone call with a leader who works for a company that features these very ads!  I wanted to pinch myself and find out how they do it.

Can you imagine what it must be like to work for a company whose ads are that chill, beautiful, and zen?  Don’t you just think: mindful business meetings, yoga sessions, and a green smoothie machine in the cafeteria.

Guess what, it’s not real!  They might be selling the “just-so-fabulous” yoga pants and after-workout casual wrap, but the main difference between their workplace and yours is this: they get to run from meeting to meeting in yoga pants.  Yes, that’s it, that’s all!

Just like most of us, they don’t feel like they have time to actually do yoga either.

We all feel the pressure – even at a zen yoga pants company.  If they are doing well, the image and values a company promotes are often at odds with the pace of the business, even at the best of companies.

It might be due to hyper growth for some, while for others it’s dealing with the challenges of a changing marketplace.  Either way, the impact can be similar: people want to feel happy at work and yet the pressure to go, go, go makes that elusive.

The research from Harvard and others tells us that happiness isn’t a place you arrive at after you hit your sales goal.  In fact, since goals tend to continually get raised, it’s likely we will never find any real, lasting happiness through goal achievement.

To truly be happier at work, we need to flip it around: seek happiness first and the successes will follow.  So, what can you do to create happiness at work?

Implement simple, proven happiness practices.  The research shows that when we are happier, we are more successful than when negative, neutral or stressed. How?  Try these for the next 21 days either on your own, or with your work team:

  • Spend 2 minutes a day creating more happiness.  Write down 3 new things each day you are grateful for, for 21 days.  This teaches your brain to scan for the positives.
  • Journal about one positive experience from the day before.  This allows your brain to relive the positive.
  • Make even a little time for physical exercise which has been proven to improve mood overall and teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
  • Take 5 for Meditation.  Meditation (yes, even 3-5 minutes) allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve created via multi-tasking and start to recover.
  • Practice Random Acts of Kindness (really!).  Open your inbox first thing each day and send someone a positive email, praising them or thanking them for something they have done recently.

Even if you can’t do all these practices every day, most of them can be done in less than 10 minutes overall.  Practice for 21 days and report back on what has shifted.
At Positive Disruption we specialize in working with companies who know that change done well creates better results, awesome levels of engagement, and a workplace that is THE BEST place to be!

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