Summer of Happiness: Does what you do all day bring you joy?

It's Thursday, friends, and that means it's time for some Happiness. Catching you up to speed, we're tagging along to Denise's great summer bookclub of the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. If you want to hear my take on adding energy to your life or decreasing negativity in your relationships, follow those cheery pink word links.

First a recap of last week. I followed my own path on the resolution list and made a conscious effort to create less negative experiences. Can I break this down for you, friends? Going into this last week, I really thought, "this will have no effect." But, huh, it did. There were a few moments this past week where I could have pressed an issue (like I typically do) or turned a comment into sarcasm (yup, guilty), and I didn't. I took that one extra inhale and kept it to myself. My hubby and I have had some long work nights this week, and eliminating unnecessary negativity (is any negativity necessary? Talk amongst yourselves) helped both us move through the hills and valleys more easily. And even have a sense of humor about it.

This week: a topic near and dear (and always here), happiness in our work.

Gretchen's five resolutions start this chapter titled: Aim Higher
  • Launch a blog
  • Enjoy the fun of failure
  • Ask for help
  • Work smart
  • Enjoy now
Let me just go sprinting from the gates here...ENJOY THE FUN of failure? Say what? I knew this was going to be a challenge for me to read. Yes on the perfectionist. Yes on the fear of failure. Yes on the need to please.

Moving on.

First nod of agreement: "Being happy can make a big difference in your work life." I have been both happy and unhappy with my worklife at various stages in my career, and as I look back with my brilliant hindsight, I see how some doors closed and windows opened because of my experience. Have you seen this, too?

Here's another that rang a bell: Challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness. Yes. I get this. In the doldrums of day-to-day, if I can insert a surprising twist or turn the mundane into race for myself, I find energy and capacity just waiting to be tapped.

"One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to expand your self-definition."

As she wrote about blogging, I found myself wanting to pull out a highlighter, which I never use (and of course this is a library book). I've only been blogging since April, and so that rush, the adrenaline of hitting the publish button is still fresh and this wondering of "where in the world do I think this is headed?", still palpable.

I appreciated her ideas on Working Smarter. I don't work in the same way. I find myself setting small goals (send those three emails, finish that project, make phone call) and then adding a bonus to meet that (connect with coworker, take a walk, put on a new song) to add happiness and my version of effectiveness in my work.

And, lastly, I can never get enough of Enjoy Now sorts of themes. I can never be reminded enough. It's really an outcry, a prayer, to be reminded of all the Good gifts we've been given. I really loved reading her positive letter to the negative book review.

This week I'm going to enjoy now and sit back to drink in her first resolution - launch a blog. I'll be busy doing my work in the coming week and away from Pars Caeli as I invite friends over the housesit and entertain (oh, and will you ever be entertained!). And my intuitions tell me I'm going to be a little homesick, too. So, if you're on the fence, not sure if you should or if it's the right time, let me be the one to encourage you:

Launch a blog.

And here's my golden nugget to motivate us both.
Happy work week, friends. That's what the majority are, right? So we might as well make them happy.

How do you add happiness to your job or your vocation?

XOXO,
MJ

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