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Bring life to your work with Positive Living at work – a guest blog by Hans Wrang, creator of The Positive Lane

When I ask people what they do, most say, “I am electrician”, I am a cleaner” or “I am and accountant”.  Many people identify themselves with their profession or their job title. But there is a lot more to a job than that.  Research has shown that the way we feel about what we do, not surprisingly has a significant impact on our level of happiness.  If we can start thinking differently about what we do, perhaps we can come to appreciate and enjoy it more, contribute more, be more productive, or at the very least work out what else we should be doing instead.

If you start thinking about what you do in terms of how it contributes to humanity and how well aligned it is with what really give you a buzz, you will find that it takes on a completely new perspective.

In a survey conducted by the US Gallup organization in 2001 and again in 2007, they asked people how much they were able to utilize their real strengths at work. Staggeringly, only 17% of people answered “most of the time”. While I am not aware of a similar survey specifically focused on Australian workplaces, I have no reason to believe it is any different here.

That means we have a lot of people sitting around in workplaces who feel seriously under utilized. If employers and employees can get together and agree on ways in which they can do more of the things they are good at, the things that engage and inspire them and apply that to their work, happiness and productivity levels can increase considerably.

A key aspect of living a positive lifestyle is focusing on the things that work well and that we are good at. If we can spend more time doing the things we are good at and that inspire us, we can live a more balanced, happy life.

American psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski, a professor at Yale University School of Management has found that we generally view what we do in one of 3 ways: 

  1. As a job 
  2. As a career
  3. As a calling or passion

Amy also found that it doesn’t matter what you do, you can see what you do as a job, a career or a calling. But people who see what they do as a calling or a passion feel more engaged and inspired and feel that they are doing something meaningful. Not only does that have a direct impact on their level of happiness, it also considerably increases their level of productivity, attention to their work and the passion with which they serve their customers, be they internal or external.

Get to know your real strengths and actively work to incorporate more of them into the work you do. It can seriously change the way you experience life.

So positive living at work is not just a nice thing to have, it produces considerable benefits for all stakeholders. Engaged and inspired people who see what they do in the context of how it contributes to humanity are happier, more productive people, which benefits the organization, both as it relates to keeping the customer happy and to the bottom line. So how positive is your work life right now?

About the author | Hans Wrang is a presenter and commentator on living a positive lifestyle and the creator of The Positive Lane



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