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Posts Tagged ‘change’

Abandoning Successful Careers to Embrace Our Vocations: A Less Than Historic Lesson from the Life of Vincent van Gogh

Posted by Ken Klaus on February 25, 2011

Many of us have probably felt at one time or another that we were in the wrong job or that our jobs lacked any real meaning or purpose beyond a monthly paycheck.  We can’t always explain why we feel this way; only that something doesn’t feel right or that life and work seem out of balance.  When our jobs feel like a “bad fit” we usually see the problem as a mismatch between what we are currently doing and what we want to do.  For some this problem occurs because they lack the right skill set, education or experience to pursue a particular job.  As a result the way forward tends to be reasonably clear, even if the transition to a new career requires considerable time, effort and resources.  But for others who have the right competencies and training the way forward is less obvious.  In this case they already have the right tools, but are working in the wrong jobs.  As a result they can stumble around for years making minor career adjustments or lateral moves that never really take them in a new direction.  But with very few exceptions a job in one organization or company tends to be exactly like the same job any place else.  Whether you’re an engineer, consultant, bank teller, flight attendant or truck driver the responsibilities and tasks associated with your job remain fairly constant.

For those who find themselves in this situation the prospect of continuing in the same career for ten, twenty or thirty more years can be daunting.  But why is the way forward so elusive?  Why do we spend years going around in circles – switching teams, managers or companies – but never locate the real source of the problem?  I think there may be two reasons.  First, we underestimate the extent of the change that needs to be made.  We are already using our talents and our training, we may also be well paid and highly regarded in our organization, and many of us will have already spent a decade or more mastering a particular set of skills – the so-called “10,000-hour-rule.”  In short we have achieved a high degree of success and we use our success as proof that we must be in the right job.  So the changes we make never take us outside our current set of tasks and responsibilities and we remain tethered to our ill-fitting jobs.  We also get stuck because we do not fully understand, appreciate or value our experience, training, and qualifications – the talent we have for getting the job done.  We think of our jobs only in terms of what we do or how we do it; but give very little consideration to the reason behind our work – the why.  While the what and how of our jobs can be used to define our competence, proficiency, experience and knowledge, the reason behind our work – the whyis defined by our values, passion, inspiration and dreams.  It is these less tangible qualities, I believe, that offer us a way forward.

Consider the painter Vincent van Gogh.  What if he had been employed as a paint-by-numbers contractor?  He would come to work every day and paint the pictures his employer requested of him – landscapes, animals, architecture, portraits, etc. – all predefined in terms of the content and the colors required for each segment of the painting.  The job would require him to follow the paint-by-numbers system and he would get paid based on the hours he spent painting or the number of pieces he completed each day.  He would clearly be working in a job that utilized his talents as well as one that incorporated his passion for painting; but would he find any real meaning or value in such a job?  And would transferring to a new organization or company or painting other subject matter using the paint-by-numbers system make him feel any better?  When we stand before the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, when we see the colors mix and blend and merge, transforming simple paint and canvas into priceless art we begin to understand why these beautiful paintings would be impossible in a paint-by-numbers world.  We comprehend as well why individuals like van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Rousseau and Seurat would never be happy doing this kind of work.

Many of us spend a lifetime in jobs that utilize our talents but never fully embrace our values or aspirations.  Because we get lost in successful and often lucrative careers, we never seem to locate our real vocations – the jobs we are “called” to do.   For some the way forward is clear: embrace your passion, believe in your dreams and invest your time and resources developing the talents necessary to reach your goals.  But for those who find themselves stuck in paint-by-number jobs, the path from career to vocation requires a different approach.  Instead of an MBA or doctorate, we must invest in a new vision – one that will encompass not only our talents, but our values, passion, inspiration and dreams.  We must also be willing to look beyond the boundaries of our current jobs and consider opportunities in other sectors or industries – the not-for-profit world, public service, or a new business venture.  When we risk giving up our careers to find a place where what we do and who we are begin to mix and blend and merge, we set into motion a set of changes that can transform our jobs into a true calling.  And though few will dare to venture into these uncharted waters, those who do may yet find a life and a career as beautiful and priceless as a painting by Vincent van Gogh.

Posted in change, competency, Job Fit | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Promoting and Poisoning Change

Posted by Ken Klaus on February 6, 2011

And now, at last, we come to the final post in this series.  Thanks for sticking with me.  We’ve already covered the necessity of choice as well as the catalysts and essential elements that ignite and fuel the transformation process.  Previously we also noted that there were agents that amplify and weaken the transformation process.  These agents are called promoters and poisons; and what is true in chemistry is also true in our personal and vocational lives.  There are attitudes, ideas, and people that can strengthen and support our efforts or can resist, even spoil our endeavors.  Though these agents will differ depending on our objectives and personal circumstances, I do think there are some that will always be present.

Let’s start with the agents that poison the transformation process.  Chief among them, I think, is cynicism.  A cynic is distrustful of someone else’s ideas or motives; but cynicism does not necessarily need to be directed outwardly, toward others; it can also be aimed inwardly, at our own thoughts and intentions.  Now questioning our ideas and motives is certainly a part of the decision making process; but cynicism is not the same as honest reflection.  Cynicism becomes an end in itself.  It is designed to obstruct and incapacitate.  A cynic, including our own inner pessimist, is only concerned with why something cannot be done, and does care to offer ideas on how to reach our goal. Cynicism is static.  It stands still, frozen in time, incapable of action.  Whereas idealism moves us forward.  It chooses to act and embraces change.

Another agent that is toxic to change is perfectionism.  Perfectionism poisons our efforts in two ways.  The first sounds something like this: “You’ll never get everything sorted out the way you want it, so why bother trying.”  There’s a truth hidden in this lie that makes it hard to dispute, which is why we so often accept it at face value.  The truth being that we will never get everything sorted out.  Life is complicated and messy and there are too many components to account for all the possibilities; but the lie comes in the assertion that we shouldn’t try.  Human history has shown that progress is dependent on the attempt, even if that effort ends in failure the first, second, tenth or hundredth time.  Success is built on failure.  If we don’t try we can’t fail. If we don’t fail we will never succeed.

The other way perfectionism poisons our efforts sounds something like this: “You’re doing it all wrong?”  Second-guessing every decision, critiquing every step you make, brooding over the other choices, the ones you “should” have made, becomes a drag, a literal weight, on the transformation process.  We lose momentum and, more importantly, we lose focus.  We spend our time drifting among the “what-ifs” and the path forward turns into a maze of endless possibilities.  A choice is a choice and once we make it we need to move forward, whether it leads to failure or to success.  When we choose to move to a new location, then we must leave our old homes behind.  When we choose to start a new career, then we must leave our old jobs behind.  When we choose to follow our own dreams, then we must give up the dreams that others have for us.   In the end we can either risk a change, and move forward with our lives, or we can play it safe and remain where we are; but if we choose the latter then we surrender all hope of ever finding any real meaning or purpose in life.

Which brings us finally to the agents, which facilitate, enhance and strengthen our efforts to change and perhaps also those things, which give meaning and purpose to our lives: optimism and connectionOptimism is so much more than “positive-thinking.”  Optimism is rooted in honesty and action.  We cannot simply hope that things will work out for the best; we must act and we must do so honestly.  When we fail – and we will – we must choose to persist, to move forward, and not simply fall back into the old routines.  We pause, re-evaluate, and adjust our course; driven not by perfectionism, but from an honest awareness that our first instinct may not always be the right way to go.  We all have a blindside when it comes to making decisions because we tend to overvalue our intuition.  We trust our gut more than is reasonable or rational.  Dan Ariely proves this point over and over again in his books Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality.  In the decision making process we are rarely (if ever) rational.  This means we need others to help broaden our viewpoint, to challenge our assumptions, and to support our choices.  Not cynics, but honest, invested, objective individuals who can help inform our decisions without undue influence or hidden motives.

Here is where connection becomes an essential agent in helping to promote and sustain meaningful change.  Having others – friends, family, and colleagues – who can offer honest, objective insight is critical.  Our natural – meaning irrational – decision making process is nearly impossible to overcome, even when we know we are being unreasonable.  We have only to look at our histories, the patterns in our lives that repeat over and over again to see this is true.  Though the final decision must be ours, having others in our lives who are willing to debate, disagree, and suggest other possibilities seriously ups our chances for success.  In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brene Brown makes this point clear.

Connection [is] the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.  One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on “going it alone.”  Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone.  Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves.  It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.”  The truth is we are both.

Change – meaningful, sustained transformation – will likely prove to be the hardest and the most rewarding venture we can embark upon; and reclaiming our lives and our vocations and our dreams may require a significant and fundamental transformation in how we think about ourselves and our place and purpose in this world.  But the risk, by comparison, is small.  Because if our lives and vocations and dreams are not already our own, then what can we loose by choosing to leave them behind in search of a more authentic and meaningful life?

Posted in change, failure, goals | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Elements of Change

Posted by Ken Klaus on January 30, 2011

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve looked at the catalysts for change as well as the role choice plays in igniting the transformation process.  And though our failures often inspire us to make a change, motivation alone will not be enough to nurture and sustain our goal over the long-term.  Transformation requires more than just the spark of inspiration, it needs fuel, and this energy source must come from within.  No external source – whether family, friends, or institutions – will ever be strong enough, will ever last long enough, to see us through to the end.  This elemental fuel comes from within and when it is purposefully applied leads us from good intentions to meaningful actions.  These elements are courage, risk, and honesty.

Courage is almost always understood in the context of fear, and whereas courage is understood as a virtue, fear is usually regarded as a weakness.  Courage, however, is not the absence of fear and without fear courage has no value.  A. C. Grayling makes this point in his book, Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age.  “Moreover, courage can only be felt by those who are afraid.  If a man is truly fearless as he leaps over the enemy parapet or hurls himself into a rugby tackle, he is not courageous.  Because most people fail to recognize this simple fact, the true quantum of heroism in the world goes unrecognised and therefore unrewarded.  The quaking public speaker, the trembling amateur actor, the nervous hospital patient submitting himself to needles and scalpels, are all manifesting courage.  ‘This is courage in a man,’ Eurpides further said, ‘to bear what heaven sends.’  Actually he said ‘to bear unflinchingly’, but by this addition he spoils the sentiment, because if courage requires fear, then flinching is perfectly in order.”

Fear, I think, is a gift and like failure it is often a great motivator.  But motivation is not enough.  We have to act and acting requires courage.  Most of us fear change; but if lasting, meaningful transformation is our goal then we must stand our ground.  We must courageously – not fearlessly – face each new day.  We must act in spite of our fear and not make the mistake of waiting until we are unafraid.

Closely allied to courage is risk.  Risk is frequently associated with chance or with what we cannot see or anticipate; and I think the underlying emotion tied to risk is vulnerability.  Vulnerability, like fear, is often seen as a weakness.  It is something we work very hard to hide from others.  A thousand years ago this was part of our survival instinct.  Living behind walls of stone was far safer than dwelling in a thatched cottage in the middle of a wheat field.  But there’s also a positive, even necessary, side to vulnerability, which I only just discovered this past week while browsing through the presentations on TED.com.  Quite accidently I stumbled upon an inspiring and deeply insightful presentation by Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability.  If you have the time I encourage you to listen to this presentation.  In fact, if you’re short on time, I suggest you stop reading right here and just head over to TED.com.  The central idea in Dr. Brown’s presentation is that without vulnerability we cannot be whole, we cannot feel connected, we cannot ever fully be ourselves, and I would add, we cannot really change.  Here again failure presents us with an opportunity – not for shame, which is far too often the case – but an opportunity to be open, to be vulnerable, to risk taking a different path.  But if we shun this feeling, if we reject openness, connection, compassion and courage, then the opportunity for change will be lost.  We will remain stuck in the routines and patterns that lead us back again and again to the same failures.  Courage, then, is not only a friend to the fearful, but also to all those who would embrace vulnerability and risk change.  But courage alone will not be enough.

Vulnerability also requires honesty.  Self-awareness is the key to our ability to be honest, both with ourselves and with others.  What we do not know about ourselves we cannot possibly hope to change.  In the first act of Hamlet, as Laertes was setting off for France, his father Polonius enjoins him, “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou cans’t not be false to any man.”  But from the day we are born we are taught the very opposite of this truism: Follow the rules.  Be like everyone else.  Don’t be different.  Go along to get along.  And sadly we do, without even realizing it, until we no longer know who we are or what we want.  And we spend our lives chasing only the shadow of our dreams because we have come to believe that our real dreams are too ambitions, to unconventional, too silly, too impractical, too whatever.  But coming to truly understand who we are, and what we want, and why both of these things are important, opens us to the possibility for real change.  James Hollis makes the following observation in his book Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up.

Some of us, understandably, do not wish to hear even this message of hope and personal growth.  We wish to have our old world, our former assumptions and stratagems reinstituted as quickly as possible.  Most of us live our lives backing into our future, making the choices of each new moment from the data and agenda of the old – and then we wonder why repetitive patterns turn up in our lives.  Our dilemma was best described in the nineteenth century by the Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard when he noted in his journal the paradox that life must be remembered backward but lived forward.  Is it not self-deluding, then, to keep doing the same thing but expecting different results?

For those willing to stand in the heat of this transformational fire, the second half of life provides a shot at getting themselves back again.  They might still fondly gaze at the old world, but they risk engaging a larger world, one more complex, less safe, more challenging, the one that is already irresistibly hurtling toward them.

Paradoxically, this summons asks us to begin taking ourselves more seriously than ever before, but in a different way than before.  Such self-examination cannot proceed without, for instance, more honesty than we have been capable of.  Living within a constricted view of our journey, and identifying with old defensive strategies, we unwittingly become the enemies of our own growth, our own largeness of soul, through our repetitive history-bound choices.

Change – genuine, meaningful transformation – is hard and often requires heroic effort, which is why the virtues so often associated with heroes include courage, risk, and honesty.  Fear and failure may prove to be the motivation behind our efforts to change, but without these other essential elements we cannot hope to maintain the commitment – the fire – required over the days, weeks, months or years it may take to reach our goals.  Be courageous and stand your ground; choose risk over comfort – embrace vulnerability; and be faithful to yourself and to your dreams.  These are the elements that will sustain and nurture your transformation.

Posted in failure, fear, goals, risk | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Catalysts for Change

Posted by Ken Klaus on January 24, 2011

Change most frequently happens for a reason.  Transformation is intentional.  The natural adaptations that take place over tens of thousands of years are driven by something external to the organism – new predators, alterations in the climate, dwindling sources of food – which compel a change and ensure the plant or animal can not only survive, but thrive.  The same is true in chemistry, where the application of a catalyst – reagents[1] of change – can be used to enhance or even accelerate transformation.  Agents that hasten a reaction are called positive catalysts; while those that hinder or block changes are called inhibitors.  In addition other substances can be used in combination with a catalyst to either promote or poison its effectiveness.[2]

Though adaptation and survival are common reasons for change, there are occasions when change is driven not by some external force, but from within – by choice.  We choose to adapt, not because we have to, but because we want to.  And more often than not our choices are fueled and energized by a catalyst – a force that accelerates our will and gets us moving.  The most common catalyst for making a change, I think, is failure.  But almost universally failure is perceived as a negative, something to be avoided, a source of shame and regret.  We laud success and shun those who fail.  We link our value as employees and individuals directly to our successes or to our failures.  But success and failure are two sides of the same coin.  We cannot have one without the other.  To succeed we must fail – at least some of the time.  This means failure too has value; we need to fail if we ever hope to succeed.

The gift of failure is the opportunity to make a change.  As a catalyst for change, failure is unique because its transformative properties are only revealed when we make a choice – whether to persist along the same path until we succeed or to look for a new path because the one we are traveling has proven to be a dead-end.  Transformation – sustained, meaningful change – must begin with a choice.  If we fail and do nothing, then the opportunity for change is lost.  The catalytic power inherent in all failure can only be realized through the application of choice.

But choosing is only the first step, the spark that ignites the catalyst.  Change – true transformation – involves far more than just decision-making.  It requires risk, courage, honesty and perseverance.  Bigger, more important changes, may also call for promoters – like optimism, inspiration and collaboration – to increase the power of our actions.  And we must also be careful not to introduce inhibitors or poisons, like doubt, distraction and perfectionism.  Over the coming weeks I want to explore the reagents of change – risk, courage, and honesty – as well as the things that help to promote, inhibit and poison our efforts to change.  But as a starting point I would like to suggest that we must first begin to see failure not as the opposite of success, but as an opportunity for change.  Too often failure is used as a weapon, to demoralize and devalue, and we wield this truncheon against others and ourselves alike.  But we are worth so much more than the sum of our accomplishments; and even when we fail our value is never diminished.  Failure may be the end of an endeavor, or it may be the next step on the path to success.  The choice is ours.


[1] In organic chemistry, reagents are compounds or mixtures, usually composed of inorganic or small organic molecules that are used to affect a transformation on an organic substrate.  Wikipedia, Reagent.

[2] Catalysis is the change in rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of a substance called a catalyst. Unlike other reagents that participate in the chemical reaction, a catalyst is not consumed by the reaction itself. Catalysts that speed the reaction are called positive catalysts. Substances that interact with catalysts to slow the reaction are called inhibitors (or negative catalysts). Substances that increase the activity of catalysts are called promoters, and substances that deactivate catalysts are called catalytic poisons.  Wikipedia, Catalysis

Posted in failure, risk, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Our Role As Leaders During Times Of Change

Posted by Vivian Wong on August 18, 2009

I recently attended a webinar titled “Remarkable Leaders Create Team Alignment” from the The Kevin Eikenberry Group. The seminar content resonated with me really well.

ducks crossing after the storm

I especially liked what Kevin said about our role as leaders during times of change:

Leaders need to focus the team on something positive, uplifting and productive. We don’t deny feelings of past staff cut, it’s our job to have a dialogue with people so they know we do understand them, use them as a jumping off point to get to the goal, re-energize them to give them something to focus on.”

One attendee asked: “How do you keep people calm in the midst of economic crisis?”

Kevin’s response was spot on: “Keeping people focused on the goal is key. We need to re-focus people on the organizational goal to help the organization be more successful and thus improve their chance of keeping their jobs.  The ONLY thing in one’s personal control is to do a great job.

Don’t you find it much more energizing to focus on goals rather than the alligators at your feet?

Working with “what is IN our control” rather than getting paralyzed by “what is OUT of our control” just makes perfect sense to me.

How do you navigate and lead your teams through times of change?

Posted in communication, goals, leadership, management, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Tales of an acquired employee

Posted by Meg Bear on November 26, 2008

rws It occurred to me yesterday, that in the months to come, many people who do not find themselves rightsized will find themselves acquired into a new company.  Having had the privilege of experiencing this myself, I thought I would give the benefit of hindsight view.

When we were first acquired into Oracle, there was more drama than a high school prom.  From DHL verifying if you had a job (or not) to senior executives crying on the phone telling you how they had failed.  Even those of us who believed we had skills to contribute were left to wonder how exactly it was going to work out.  What was going to happen to our products? our teams? our roles? 

Acquisition is an interesting situation where you find yourself part of a volume discount purchase.  When you apply for a job, you get a sense that they want you.  When you are acquired, you find yourself happy that they had your home address. 

You also are experiencing this change with a large group, resulting in mass speculation and lots of rumors.  My general advice is to give it time and don’t believe every scary rumor you hear.  Anything you worry about at the beginning is probably the wrong thing anyway.  Do your best to not sweat the small stuff and to be flexible to new ideas

Most importantly I would recommend you remember that you have a new job, it is not a continuation of your old job with new a new logo on the paycheck.  Just as you did when you started working for your current company, you need to attempt to introduce yourself often, listen a lot and learn the language of the group.  Like any new job, you need to give yourself (and others) some time to get oriented.  If you take the attitude that your job is new, your expectations are better set.  You find yourself pleasantly surprised when something works as you are used to (vs. annoyed to find it different).  You find yourself happy to have your vacation accrual continue from your initial start date (vs. annoyed to find the vacation policy different) and so on.  With a new job you expect that you are the one who will have to change

Sure, you didn’t ask for this new job, but at the same time you managed to get it without having to actually interview, so you have that going for you (which is nice).  Acquisition is scary for us because we have so little control.  Having confidence in your abilities and taking the time to find out how you can best contribute to the new objectives of the combined company, will help you focus on things you can impact and hopefully help you to quit stressing about the things you cannot.

Change is good for you.  It is good for your skills, it is good for your network, it is good for your soul.  Use the change to your best advantage and give it time for your plan to yield fruit.  If you can manage to stay focused on going forward and not spend your time looking back, you will find the transition will be a lot easier.

Looking back at my own experience, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to join Oracle.  I have crafted my ideal job, I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I have met amazing new people and I’ve learned a lot of new skills.  As a personal kicker I have also managed to shorten my commute. 

I am hopeful that the changes others experience in their own employment is full of similar opportunities.  A lot is about mindset.  Be open for change and patient that it will take time and you will be fine.

Posted in personal | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Happiness @ Work?

Posted by Vivian Wong on September 15, 2008

What motivates most people at work include promotions and pay raises. These two factors certainly affect our happiness level at work – but they are often short-lived and sometimes leave you with more frustration than if you haven’t gotten any at all. For example: you may have recently got promoted, and yet you may think it took management far too long to give you the promotion you deserve. (This may be true but that should not rob you of the joy of receiving the promotion); Even if you were truly happy with the promotion or the raise (and better still both), that special feeling doesn’t last very long. Surely we can’t get promoted as often as we’d like – otherwise all of us would be CEOs or Presidents by now. So how do we go about finding happiness at work that doesn’t fade away like soap bubbles?     

Know Yourself
 
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. (Buddha)    

It is clearly not possible to love EVERYTHING about your job – but you should ask yourself: 
       

  • Are you being challenged and do you enjoy the challenges?
  • Are you maximizing your strengths?
  • Are you developing your greatest potential through the peaks and valley of this constant rollercoaster ride working in a large corporation?
  • Are you doing the best you can?
  • Do you get job satisfaction from your job?
If your answers to above questions are mostly no, then you should take a hard look at your career. Perhaps it’s time for you to initiate a change! This is the perfect recipe to frustration, disappointment and unhappiness.     

If there are a couple of “No”s, then you should take the responsibility upon yourself to see how you can turn them to “yes”. You could be standing in your own way of happiness! For example, say you are a developer. If you are not maximizing your strength in “presentation” because all you do is writing technical design documents and code all day. You may be frustrated that you have amazing hidden talents waiting for your manager to discover and she/he STILL hasn’t discovered them yet. Let’s face it, your managers are not trained to be talent agents. You need to take the initiative to discuss this with her/him. Perhaps you could volunteer for community services such as hosting brown bags for knowledge transfers. (Most managers would love to see their employees being proactive).    

If all your answers are “Yes” – then congratulations! You have reached Nirvana!     

Know what YOU want is key to finding happiness at work– if you have no idea what floats your boat, then how could your manager know? Aligning your own career goals with the needs/opportunities of the business with the support of your manager will certainly get you a lot closer to reaching your goals.     

Without a clear goal, you will always end up somewhere else – perhaps even further away from finding happiness!     

Love What You Do
I am not talking about loving every minute of your job. That job probably doesn’t exist. (It’s like having adorable kids or puppies, they all have their least attractive moments.;-) ). We all know that we are at our best form when we do something we love. So if you don’t love what you do (or at least some aspects of your job), then you need to figure out what you are really passionate about and go after that!     

Be Adaptable
The truth is, you have to be comfortable with change no matter what you do – in fact you should fully expect it. You have to have the strength to accept things you cannot change – because change is the only constant in today’s world. Resistance causes pain, and pain can blind you to the opportunities for your growth that changes often bring. Ultimately, this resistance can affect your happiness at work (or what is left of it).     

A pessimist sees the difficulty in opportunity, and an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill     

Be Positive
No one likes to work with a whiner who’s never happy and projects negative thoughts/attitude. Negative thoughts/words affect you and those around you on a subconscious level. People feel more at ease (and eager to help) when we are positive. There have also been countless studies that link negative thoughts to physical illnesses. For example, one recent study showed that Nuns who have positive thoughts live 10 years longer than those who don’t. Apparently being negative is a secret recipe to dying younger!     

Finally…
If you know what you want to do, do what you love and have the strength to overcome obstacles along the way with a positive attitude, I think you are on the right track to finding happiness at work!