Friday, November 9, 2012


Well-being is a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community. A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ asserts John Steinbeck. People who are happiest at work are 47% more productive than their least happy colleagues, and those who are happiest at work take only 1.5 days off sick a year. So can one develop the ability to change one’s mind-set and be happy at work and home?   Dr Martin Seligman, the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that one can. His ‘happiness formula’ assists individuals to learn how to obtain an optimistic outlook inside and outside the office. He defines a happy life as one filled with positive feelings and activities, and believes that the degree to which you experience these feelings matches your level of enduring happiness. Within the workplace there are numerous benefits to having an optimistic mind-set and choosing to be a happy individual. According to Dr. Seligman’s studies, optimistic individuals, unlike pessimists, tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback and that its causes are confined to that particular case. When optimistic individuals are confronted by a bad situation they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. It is this very attitude that places optimists a few steps ahead of pessimists. Seligman indicates that optimists recover faster and are able to act again sooner, due to the way they explain a failure to themselves. Anyone may experience failure or even rejection in the workplace; however Dr Seligman claims that you can still be happy regardless of this. He indicates that optimists have a beneficial outlook as it allows them to be proactive and productive in the face of failure, and to lead, inspire and encourage others, thereby preserving their happiness. According to Jessica Pryce-Jones, CEO of the iOpener Institute, there are five factors that make up the structure of happiness at work: • Contribution – is about the effort you make and your perception of it • Conviction – is about the motivation you have whatever your circumstances • Culture – is about how well you feel you fit at work • Commitment – is about the extent to which you are engaged with your work • Confidence – is about the sense of belief you have in yourself and your job  

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