How to be happy and succeed at a difficult workplace

What is happiness?

Happiness is inversely proportional to stress, sadness, anger, resentment et al. In simple terms the absence of these lowering emotions is happiness.

What does it mean to succeed?

Being able to fulfil most physical, emotional, materialistic and personal needs while being happy & healthy.

What is a difficult workplace? 

Any workplace where the combination of  “Colleagues being true friends/well wishers, A complete control over your working day & unquestionable authority” is lacking.

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Until and unless you are the CEO of Apple, Facebook or the likes, it is highly unlikely that you will call your workplace an easy one after reading my definition of it. In coming to terms with the reality of a typical job life, you do understand that colleagues are never your well wishers, your employers cringe at the thought of giving you authority and eventually as a result you end up having limited or no control over your day.

It has been proved scientifically that working with people you love, having control over your day and authority are the top three ingredients of a happy and successful working life. It has also been proved by research that 90% job goers never have the good fortune of having all three ingredients in the right proportions, rendering 90% of people who work – sore & unhappy. I would also term them unsuccessful, as the absence of happiness means they don’t fulfil my criteria of success.

Of course, exceptions apply but again probability says 99.235 % of people who read this post will nod in agreement.

How do you still be happy and succeed at a difficult workplace?

1. Be humble & try not to spoil relationships: Ever read the garbage truck story, google it if you have not. There will be negative people and moments that will provoke you to burn bridges little by little. Try not to. Until you have a better opportunity, chances are that you will need to deal with the same people day in and day out. Then why spoil terms? Flex your ego muscles everyday, until they are in your control.

2. Cultivate the craftsman mindset: Most of us tend to limit the efforts we take in proportion to the salaries we are paid. This is a wrong approach. Painter Picasso, Actor Rajnikant & Music Director A. R. Rahman always tried to put their best in whatever they did. This yielded them bigger and better opportunities as they went along. The craftsman always first puts his best into whatever he does and gets his fair result afterwards. Be the craftsman/craftswoman at office.

3. Build Career Capital: When you start working like the craftsman,  you end up acquiring skills that are “rare and valuable”.  Over time, this adds up and becomes your career capital. As this balance of career capital grows, you enable yourself to become eligible enough to negotiate with your employers. You are now in a position to demand control & authority. In simple terms, Build your career capital. Trade it for control & authority. Repeat steps 1 to 3.

And then one day when you’re chilling at the beach sipping mango juice, call me. 🙂

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