Turn Setbacks into Setups

DIY: Create a Happy Workplace from Within

February 27, 2019

The idea of the high paying “dream” job – making great money for something you absolutely love doing – can often feel like just that, a dream. That’s because more often than not, it feels like the things we enjoy doing most won’t yield monetary rewards. In other words, work and fun don’t mix.


Yet at the same time, inspirational speakers and business gurus alike love pushing the idea that work needs to be something pleasurable. This message though, is not about having fun and getting paid for it, but rather, finding a field of work which is in alignment with your personal identity and sense of purpose.


Here at Hundred Life Design, we’re all about taking the initiative and creating opportunities. So rather than waiting for your company to someday make the workplace “happier,” we think true happiness at work is created from the inside out.


So with that mind, here are our 4 steps to bridging the gap between work and fun, and ultimately creating a happier workplace for yourself.


Take time to really understand your values.


This means getting clear on the type of person you want to be and type of life you want to have. Describe the quality of relationships you wish to have with other people. Who are those other people? Is it important that you spend your time providing service to others, or solving important problems, or being in nature? Clarifying your values is about taking the time to paint a very clear picture of the person you wish to be and the corresponding behaviors necessary to get there.


Never exclude the fun factor.


Aside from money and paying the bills, what motivates you? What excites or interests you? Don’t worry if your answers don’t immediately sound like “realistic” employment opportunities. The point here is to just be honest with yourself and select only the topics or activities you love the most. Choosing to do something you don’t enjoy makes succeeding in it nearly impossible, let alone dragging yourself out of bed every day just to do it.


Enjoy the ride not the destination.


If you’re concerned that the life you’ve “outlined” for yourself from steps one and two won’t pay the bills, or you’re not sure yet how to put the whole thing together, consider the following notion: money is simply a measurement of how productive you’ve been, not how happy or successful you are. But if you’re engaged in something you truly enjoy, chances are you’re good at it and likely to continue improving. With true pleasure and skill, money will be a natural by-product. Just start doing what it is you love and the rest will fall into place. It might feel like an incomplete idea at first, but it’s no coincidence that anyone who’s created a life they love always notes two truths;


  1. They followed their biggest interests for the sheer pleasure of it.
  2. They just did it! Activity always beats apprehension or overthinking.


Decide the standard you’ll hold yourself too.


Perhaps the biggest hurdle of finding or creating work you love will come from the naysayers, the haters, and doubters who you’ll inevitably encounter along the way. These people could be anyone, and they will feel the need to “offer some advice” by pointing out how you, or what you’re doing, is somehow wrong. Unless these critics offer well thought out, well researched, or supportive and positive solutions, pay them no mind! Personal stories of how they or someone they know failed, or just negativity in general, are simply defense mechanisms and nothing more.


If creating a positive workplace for others is of interest to you, we’ve found some tips you might find helpful. However, if you’re focused on creating a better working environment for yourself, starting from within, then alignment is your top priority.


When you get your personal values, your interests, and a sense of enjoyment all in alignment, when you are able to tune out the critics who don’t share your vision, and if you’re bold enough to act on all of it, you’ll be well on your way to creating the job previously left to your imagination.

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