According to the recent Forbes.com article, 10 Steps to Happiness at Work, the single biggest obstacle to workplace happiness is the belief that we are prisoners of circumstance, powerless before the things that happen to us.
The article references the book Happiness at Work by Srikumar Rao, which is based in part on Eastern spirituality. Rao believes that finding happiness at work means changing the way we think about it. “We create our own experience,” he insists. “The knowledge that we are responsible for living the life we have is our most powerful tool.”
We tend to forget that. We are responsible for living the life we have. It’s so easy to get sucked in to the daily routine that we forget we are choosing to live our lives that way.
It’s also easy to blame our problems and unhappiness on external factors. But the truth is, we are the wardens of our own prisons.
You are at the job you’re at because you choose to be. You’re in the relationship you’re in because you choose to be. You’re in the financial situation you’re in because you choose to be. You’re in the health you’re in because you choose to be.
Your dreams are collecting dust in the back of your mind because that’s where you choose to leave them.
Now, here’s the mind-bender: you can choose to change any of these things at any time. Yes, it may feel *impossible*, but that feeling of impossibility isn’t usually accurate – it’s usually created out of fear.
I allowed myself to play the prisoner role for years. In the past, I was in jobs that made me unhappy. I had every reason in the book for why I couldn’t leave and why I didn’t have the time to pursue my fiction writing dream. But when I finally overcame my fears, changed jobs, and did a better job prioritizing my time, I discovered that it is possible to find a harmonious balance between a day job and a dream.
The result? A newfound happiness that I never thought possible.
How are you living the life you have?