KAROSHI is the Japanese word for “death by overload . . . nearly half of the American workers are dissatisfied at work, unhappy with their job.” THE ART OF HAPPINESS AT WORK by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D. explores what it means to be truly happy at work and finding enjoyment with your current position.
IN EXPLORING what it means to be truly happy at work the authors discussed some of the triggers, such as the psychological make-up of the individual, work overload, job satisfaction, boredom and lack of challenge, just to name a few.
FOR ALL OF THIS to make sense you have to identify which type of worker that best describes you. This is an important topic because it has the ability to impact every working person on the face of the earth. Your “Attitude toward one’s work is the most important factor” when talking about “A sense of fulfillment from one’s work.”
- The one who views work as just a job – focus is on the financial reward/compensation.
- The one who views work as a career – focus is on [workplace] advancement.
- The one who views work as a calling – would do it even if she/he didn’t get paid.
NOWADAYS there is no such thing as a 40-hour a week. Everybody is being asked to give more, do more. The expectation, direct or indirectly stated to bring work home, work later hours, or even on the weekend will lead you to believe that you don’t have a choice . . . that there is no “me” time and that you don’t have an “off-duty personality.”
WORKPLACE DISSATISFACTION can be traced back to the thought that many people felt that “They had a sense of autonomy, no freedom to do their work in their own way.” They discuss the effects pleasure and happiness have on happiness which goes back to the point of finding a job that you love.
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “Satisfaction with one’s work tends to make one happier overall, and those who are happy with their life tend to be happier at work.”
- “Contrary to what one might expect, they found that those with more important jobs are no happier in life than those with less important jobs.”
- “For many there is a kind of perverse pleasure in the self-righteous indignation one feels when one is treated unfairly. We hold on to our pain, wear it like a badge, it becomes part of us and we are reluctant to give it up.”
THERE ARE MANY key takeaways from THE ART OF HAPPINESS AT WORK that outline the list of reasons for dissatisfaction at work. Dr. Cutler probes The Dalai Lama to discuss the eastern vs. western philosophies and perception about work. Everyone has their own benchmark, that invisible line of demarcation where enough is enough. The Dalai Lama shares his thoughts about work in general, workplace attitudes, as well as why we work.
A LOT OF WHAT the Dalai Lama shared is not completely from the Buddhist way of thinking, but practical, common-sense thoughts that come from a man who is in the Buddhist world but not oblivious to the world that he lives in. Happiness at work for the Dalai Lama is in his own words, quite simply put, “The more we can reduce the gap from between who we are and what we do, the more effortless our work will become.”
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates THE ART OF HAPPINESS AT WORK as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . just the right mixture of pages and content.