If we pay more attention to how we spend our time, focus on building trust with our teams, and tap into our ability to be optimistic, we could feel happier the next time we walk into the office, according to three experts. They gave TED Talks in the past year, and their research couldn’t be more relevant as we face the realities of a recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report: nearly 70 per cent of people aren’t engaged at work. We’ve pulled their talks out of the archives to renew our thinking on happiness---it might be easier to achieve than we think:
Simply Happy with Matt Killingsworth, Founder, Track Your Happiness
Researcher Matt Killingsworth wanted to know if there was an equation to achieving happiness. He launched an app called Track Your Happiness to find out. Today, 35,000 people have signed up to get texts asking how they’re feeling at any given time based on a list of 22 different activities. His research shows that we’re substantially less happy when our minds wander. Further, 47 per cent of the time people are thinking about something different than what they’re doing. So, it’s simple then, we’re happier when we’re in the moment. Learn how to redirect your attention in this talk with Matt Killingsworth.
The Meaning of Work with Margaret Heffernan, CEO Coach and Writer
Our modern day work environment has become a pecking order and could be a heck of a lot more productive says Margaret Heffernan, a coach to CEOs. She uses the study of the productivity of a chicken flock to illustrate both our problems and solutions in the workplace. The super chickens--think Steve Jobs and Jack Welsh--who were expected to be the most productive actually pecked each other to death, while the good ‘ol worker chickens produced more eggs. We don’t need more superstars; what we need is social capital, Heffernan implies. We need to build trust in companies, and that takes time. The longer teams work together, the more valuable and robust companies become.
The Case of Optimism with John Hunter, Teacher
Are humans wired to be positive even in uncertain times? Teacher John Hunter set out to find the answer to that question in a game he created for fourth graders. The setting: work as teams to tackle real life problems like war, famine, and climate change in as little as five minutes. In this talk, Hunter shares the results, which he believes is really just a backdrop to learn to solve problems that his generation and the generation before have left behind. “It’s about going to zero together, collaborating, and going deep within ourselves to solve problems,” he adds. Today, some of his students are in public policy, and reference his game as helping them make some of the biggest decisions in their roles.
Now, cue up Pharrell, Happy, and find more mindfulness, trust, and optimism in your day.
How do you focus on being happy each day?