Pulse Point – “Happiness - Life is Short, Do What You Love”
We’ve all heard this saying or some variation of it, “life is short, do what you love / do what makes you happy.” These are simple but such true words we need to live by. Some may struggle with where to start to reflect on what they love or what makes them happy, or it may have just been awhile since you last gave this some thought. Let’s dive into the world of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to learn more. First, as a reminder or refresher, EQ is the ability to understand yourself better to better understand and work with others.
“Happiness includes feelings of satisfaction, contentment, and the ability to enjoy the many aspects of one’s life.
Happiness both contributes to, and is a product of, emotional intelligence. As such, your Happiness is like an indicator of your emotional health and well-being.”1 There are 4 EQ leadership skills that most directly impact your Happiness - Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Interpersonal Relationships, and Optimism. If you are ready to dig into what makes you happy, here are some things to think about in these leadership areas:
“The ability to respect and accept one’s strengths and weaknesses. People with high self-regard feel fulfilled and satisfied with themselves.”2
Here’s a Place to Start Tip: Set a timer for 2 minutes. Write down your strengths. Look at each one of those and reflect on how you are utilizing those in your career/position.
If you are utilizing many of them and you are satisfied how often you get to flex those skills, awesome (notice I didn’t say 100% / perfection / always use / etc. – why? Because perfectionism doesn’t exist – this social construct can impact one’s self-regard if you aren’t aware of it)!
If you aren’t using your strengths and/or aren’t satisfied with how often you are getting to exercise them, then that’s where a next step is needed. I encourage you to talk with your manager about your strengths and how you can specifically weave in a few (you pick one, two, or three to get started) into your role now or in the future.
“The idea that you find meaning and purpose in what you do and have a genuine excitement about the things that interest you. You are driven to pursue your passions and live your life to the fullest.”2
Here’s a Place to Start Tip: Set a timer for 2 minutes. On a set of sticky notes, write down the things that make you happy in your personal life. Set that stack to the side. Set a timer for 2 minutes. On a set of sticky notes, write down the things that make you happy in your professional life. Make sure to keep these 2 piles separated. Take your stake of personal life happiness sticky notes and stick them on a wall, window, back of a door, whatever makes sense. Now take your stake of professional life happiness sticky notes and stick them on a wall, window, back of a door, whatever makes sense to where they are beside/near (but not mixed in with) the personal life sticky notes. Stand back and reflect on these 2 sets of sticky notes. What jumps out? Are there any themes that have emerged? What realizations are you having? After a few minutes, look at each of those sticky notes and ask yourself, how much of this do I get today? Then ask yourself, does that feel right or do you want more or less of it?
If you feel good with how you are currently incorporating into your life, awesome and keep it up!!
If you don’t feel good, it’s time to get a plan.
Prioritize and/or start somewhere – ask yourself, how can I get more of “X” aka the sticky note you are prioritizing/starting with, in my day to day? And then start doing it – one small step at a time!
If it’s work related, if you can control it – start incorporating it! If you need help, talk with your boss, and pitch your idea on how you could start incorporating that item in your job and why it’s a win-win for you and the company.
“The capability to establish and maintain mutually satisfying relationships where there is an ability to “give and take” and where trust is openly expressed in words or behavior.”2
Here’s a Place to Start Tip: Think about a relationship you’d like to invest in – it can be a personal one, one with your manager, one with someone that could increase harmony, one with a team member – whatever is calling to you. Reflect on the specific areas you’d like to improve or deepen. Think about what you’ve already done to work on those areas and consider what that person needs from you to build trust. Then get to work the next time you connect with them. Work on those specific areas. If you aren’t sure what they are or if it’s working, ask them. Being transparent on the fact that you’d like to build a relationship with them shows that we are human, and we care.
“The ability to remain positive despite setbacks and to have hope for the future. Appreciating that life is a series of ups and downs and having the ability to bounce back from adverse situations is an essential skill in our overall approach to life and well-being."2
Here’s a Place to Start Tip: “When a negative thought enters your mind, write it down and have a designated time each day to “deal with them.” The act of recording them deflates some of their urgency and reserving a time to come back to them robs them of even more punch.”2
Need someone to help you dig into this work with you? Reach out for coaching.
If you are a leader in an organization, your employee’s overall well-being should be a top priority for you given the competitive labor market. One of the top ways to retain your employees, is to engage them, and one of the top ways to engage them, is to make sure they feel fulfilled. Your employee’s fulfillment is driven by their happiness. You get the picture… So, ask each of your team members what drives them, what makes them tick, what motivates them – now you know, so create alignment in the present and be an advocate for them for opportunities in the future.
To assess where you and your organization are in your employee engagement culture journey, download my “Culture Pulse: Employee Engagement Questionnaire” here.
I look forward to providing monthly pulse points to help you stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
About Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified
Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.
About Pulse Point
Pulse Point is a monthly blog to stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
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1 MHS EQ-i 2.0 Model
2 Stein, Book, 2011, “The EQ Edge,” pp. 68, 77, 125, 208, 215