Loving your work-life is defined by adopting and nurturing a positive attitude. Happiness is not a result of a perfect situation. I suggest perfect does not exist in this world, and without some challenge to overcome, whatever we gain holds less value than that which we work to achieve. Rather, happiness is a state of mind that you choose to have.
When I think that I’d be happy if only my co-workers did their work the way I think they should, if only my boss appreciated all that I do, if only I got a promotion– I am giving away my happiness. Though sometimes it’s easy to fall for the “if only”s, if only is dependent on outside factors I cannot control. What I can control is my attitude and doing my best work with a positive attitude.
Adjusting my attitude is both easier and harder than it sounds. Sometimes I have to re-align my attitude again and again. The good news is oftentimes adjusting my attitude is as simple as thinking a loving thought or affirming quote toward myself, my co-workers and my situation. There are several tools I use to re-focus my attitude at work and in my life.
My favorite attitude tool is making a gratitude list. A gratitude list can be as simple or in-depth as I need. Sitting at my desk in my office, I might be grateful for the view out my window, the reminder to laugh at the joke taped to my computer monitor, the opportunity to use my skills and experience in my work, and sharing a story or smile with a co-worker. A gratitude list provides an instant attitude boost.
Another attitude tool is asking myself, “how important is it?”. Whatever “it” is, it’s usually not that important at all. “How important is it?” gives me perspective and clarity when my attitude is not good.
When using “how important is it?” it is helpful to consider if I will remember this specific situation in one year. Most likely a year from now, I’ll have a new set of challenges and concerns that will not be affected by whatever challenge is in front of me now.
Having a positive attitude does not mean I put on a fake smile and pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. Resigning myself to a bad situation has few benefits. However, most days I experience stress and negative attitudes are normal days that just require a little attitude adjustment. When I have a positive attitude, I am free to be happy and love my work-life!
“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” -Henry David Thoreau