What is happy?

I heard or read the other day that 7 out of 10 people are not happy with their jobs.  Why do people continue in careers, jobs, industries where they aren’t truly happy with what they’re doing?

Could be financial – can’t just quit, have a mortgage, debt, school, etc to pay off.  Could be emotional – can’t just quit, it gives me purpose or a sense of well being, or even making you feel like you belong to something or are a part of a group.  Could be mental – I can’t just quit, who would hire me, what am I good for, what would I do?

Regardless of why people stay in places that aren’t fulfilling, to me it all comes down to one question.

What are you willing to do to change the situation?

In a lot of cases, I think people are lost, and have almost given up on ever getting something better or different or fulfilling.  “It’s hopeless” or “It’d never work out” are common answers to “Why haven’t you tried to change”.

I think the main problem is something I learned a while back, but haven’t really been able to put into practice – it’s not about dropping everything and moving to an island (which is one of my dreams).  It’s about making adjustments.  Adjustments to practices, to thought processes, but most importantly, to attitude.  If you find yourself always behind the 8-ball, what can  you do to prepare for things, or even better anticipate things so if something does go sideways, how can you deal with it?  How can you deal with attitudes and temperaments that can conflict with yours, or just downright try to bring you down?  How can you plan ahead or even just mentally prepare yourself for the grueling day ahead?

I like to start by being thankful.  I know it sounds cliche, but even if everything is falling down around me or everything is sunshine and roses – starting with thoughts of how I am thankful for things really helps.  It also helps me put myself in the shoes of the cranky, the stressed, and the anxious to maybe see from their point of view.  Maybe they don’t have the necessary skills to cope with stress or deadlines.  Then again, they may just be an asshole, but the key here is to let that be, and be the best person you can be.

I’m a big fan of japanese culture.  The word Samurai essentially means “To Serve”.  I use that in my every day attitude to help me help others.  One of the ways I found to help with that is being thankful for my health, my job, my family, and the opportunities that around around me.

So back to the question – what are you willing to do?

Take small steps to make changes.  First with attitude – be thankful.  Then, look at what you could be doing instead of getting upset at the inability of it all, and do some reading, or watch some videos on something you’re really interested in.  Then, who knows what can happen.  That’s really up to you.

Hope this helps!