Shayne on You: Happiness is your job

Dear Maggie,

I try to stay positive, and to keep an upbeat approach to life. I don’t love my job, but I’m determined to make the best of it until something better comes along. It’s really hard, though, because the people I work with are just so negative! Not all of them, but it seems like most of them are. All they ever talk about is the bad economy or the swine flu or whatever horrendous thing they saw on the news most recently. It’s tough to stay positive in the face of all of that. How do I manage it?

Signed, Smiling at the Pouters

Dear Smiling,

You’re doing exactly the right thing. You know that the better job you’re wanting will come to you faster if you make the best of where you are now. You’re staying positive. You’re on the right track.

Just remember that other people’s moods are their own and have nothing to do with you. They want to mope, let them mope, but do not let their moping be your excuse to feel badly. Keep smiling. Keep pointing out the positive. When someone says, the economy is terrible, you reply, “Isn’t it great that we all have jobs?” Or “I heard the stock market was up again today.” Or “Gosh, it’s gorgeous outside!” Then go smilingly about your work. Not only will the complainers fall away from your vicinity, but other, happier co-workers will gravitate into it.

The mopers might see you as a happy, ignorant idiot at first, until they start noticing how good your life is always going, and how it keeps getting better and better. And who cares what they think anyway?

Just remember, your happiness is your job, not theirs. Never fall into the trap of saying, “I’d be happy at work if only those others would change their behavior.” Because there will always be someone else who needs to change to make your life better, and someone else and someone else, until you learn it’s your own deal and yours alone. So decide to be happy, choose better feeling thoughts, let only positive words and praise and gratitude spill from your lips during random conversations, and bask in life. That’s what it’s for.



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