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Are you waiting to be happy? Will you be happy when you finally find that new job, lose 20 pounds, get your degree, get promoted or whatever? Are you focusing on the future at the expense of enjoying the present? If you’re like me the answer is probably yes.
Over the years, sometimes I’ve been guilty of the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome too. But, I’m working on changing that.
While I was at the SHRM conference, I had the opportunity to hear Steve Gilliland give a presentation on negativity in the workplace. He talked about how we tolerate negativity in the workplace because it’s accepted behavior. He explained how outside stimuli affect our thoughts and attitudes, which in turn affects our behaviors and overall performance.
Then he told us how to change. Fight negative stimuli. Don’t accept and tolerate negative behavior. Don’t participate in negative conversations and don’t encourage them. In short: change your attitude!
For example, when someone starts a conversation with, “You know I really like Jane, but . . .” (Jane being the friend who couldn’t make lunch today) know that the speaker is most likely not about to say something nice about Jane.
It’s an uncomfortable situation but what can you do? Counter with something positive. If you can’t eliminate negative stimuli don’t participate in, don’t even tolerate bad behavior. You’re only encouraging more. It’s these “innocent” conversations that help breed negativity in the workplace.
During his presentation on negativity he also talked about the overall journey of life. About how most of us are so focused on getting there – wherever “there” may be – that we don’t enjoy the “ride”. This really struck a chord with me.
Even though I enjoy my work, I tend to focus on the future. Consequently, I rarely relax. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on the new programs we’re going to be offering in the fall. Hoping they’ll be successful. Worrying that they won’t. I was spending so much time focusing on the future that I almost missed the summer.
Right now, I’m reading Steve Gilliland’s book Enjoy The Ride: The true joy of life is in the trip! And it’s already had an impact on me. Just like his presentation, his book is filled humorous and inspiring looks at the challenges of life.
It’s not easy, but I’m learning to “relish the moment”. And I’m happier for it. Pick up your copy of Enjoy The Ride – it will change the way you look at your journey.