Leadership Tactic #60: Happiness Is Underrated

The other day I was talking to a happily employed friend who is being recruited for another job. He said that the recruiting company is known for targeting people who are happy in their current jobs.

I thought that was really interesting, that the number one filter the company used was employee happiness. They aren’t looking for for people who were disgruntled with their jobs and looking to move on. They’re looking for people who have found happiness despite their circumstances (because let’s face it, no job or company is 100% perfect).

I’ve found this applies to dating as well. I’ve gone on several dates with women–and even dated one for quite a while–who seemed so unhappy with their lives. Every sentence they spoke was dripping with “woe is me.”

Now, everyone goes through some rough patches. People have bad days, bad weeks, bad months. But I find myself much more drawn to people who aren’t victims of their environment, who try to find the good things in their lives, who actively seek to change their circumstances. I’m drawn to those people when it comes to relationships, and I’m drawn to those people as coworkers and employees.

We all know people who complain and mope every time you see them. What I don’t think those people realize is that by complaining and moping, you’re driving people away from you, so in effect you’re making your circumstances even worse.

Just in case you might be one of those people, try to be aware of the amount of time you spend complaining and saying negative things today. Just keep an eye on it. You may be surprised. And if you are one of those people, stop being a victim. You don’t have to be a victim. You can choose to find happiness in your life.

9 thoughts on “Leadership Tactic #60: Happiness Is Underrated”

  1. This is a great point. For over a year, Laura has been working M/W/F at one physical therapy clinic and T/Th at another. She’s always talking about wanting to have one home base, and she finally had the opportunity to do so about a month ago. Her boss was shocked, however, when she declined and opted not only not to take the full-time position at her T/Th clinic, but to leave that clinic altogether. We had discussed it at length, and a big factor in her decision was that the people (primarily one person) at that clinic were “woe is me” people and that she came home unhappy after listening to it all day.

    • Trev–Sounds like you and Laura made a wise decision. It really is a drain to be around those types of people all day. I wish there were a polite and professional way to let them know the huge negative impact they’re having on the people around them.

  2. I agree that negativity is draining on everyone. Kudos to T-Mac and Laura for recognizing the impact and taking action. So how do the therapist listen to the woes of life as a living?

    I am working on letting negative energy flow through me and not get stopped in me. For example if someone gives me a shove on my shoulder (literally) – if the energy is stopped in me, I tumble and fall. BUT if I can allow the energy to pass through me I notice that the negative energy will pass through and across my body and come to rest on the opposite foot – thereby passing through me and I don’t stumble.

    I know I am not explaining it well. and at times I can’t seem to practice it well — but I am challenged to practice it with some negative people that I can not ‘cut out’ of my life.

    • MS–I understand what you’re saying. It’s a technique used in meditation. Instead of trying to block all thoughts from entering your mind, you acknowledge your thoughts and then let them slip away. They key is not to cling to those thoughts and linger on them–let that negative energy move on.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, Jamey. For a long time (years), I WAS that “woe is me” person, until one day someone made a not so nice comment about it. While the comment wasn’t the nicest, it made me finally realize what a drag it was to be near me!

    I’m not going to say I’m perfect all the time, or even ever, but I do try and remember to be happy – it’s just so much prettier than being sad.

    • Neeraja–Thanks for your comment. So you’re saying that sometimes you need one good, harsh, well-intentioned comment to snap you out of it? I’m guessing that some people wouldn’t be receptive to that, but that’s their choice.

  4. Didn’t you do a blog series of sorts on happiness or finding happiness or something like that? I have a vague memory of it, I know a graph was involved and maybe a pie chart. I’m surprised you didn’t link that up to this blog entry.

    • Good memory–I looked for it, but it goes way back a couple of years, and I’ve used the word “happiness” in many posts since then. Posts like that are hard to find. 🙂

      And this post is a little different. The point of this post is that it’s possible to find happiness anywhere at any time, and that I think people are better off giving that a try.


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