Happiness is a huge buzzword in media and marketing. But how are you supposed to sell it if you can’t even find the bloody thing? Having a bad day – or year – at the salt mines? These five podcasts can help. And – if that doesn’t work – see number three.
Happiness at Work
Happiness guru to the business world and guest on Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, Dr Srikumar Kao pitches his prescription for creating meaning in your work life. He suggests work is merely a construct based on mental models we’ve been indoctrinated into since childhood. And, if you’re unhappy at work, you can reconstruct your reality by tearing down the mental models that are no longer working for you. If they ever have. He offers ways of not making assumptions about others’ thoughts and behaviour, and actively choosing which emotional domain you inhabit. He also offers tools for making habitual wanting recede and not using the self-defeating process of, “If only XXX would happen… I would be happy.” Dr Rao positions his work as a guide to reigning in the “wild horse mind”, and redirecting it towards more constructive ways of thinking.
Look for the good facts around you and focus in on them 10-20 times a day. Keep it up and you won’t be able to drum up a negative thought – even if your boss held you at gunpoint
HappyWays – Happiness at Work: The Art Of Loving Your Job; for Employees and Managers Alike
This 10-episode podcast from happiness at work expert, Jon Kjaer Nielsen, includes topics such as Structure Fetishes, Rituals for Socialising at Work, and No Revenge at Work. All worthy grist for the corporate mill. As is An End to Whining and Complaining. Nielson argues that bitching, moaning, negativity and bullying kill company culture, motivation and productivity. Whining and complaining are contagious, he says, and result in an increased focus on negativity to the extent that your brain becomes hardwired to look for it. The cure? If you’re a manager, cut a swathe through the whingers and suggest it’s time they tell they’re (sob) story walkin’. “Bringing down the spirit of an organisation,” Nielsen opines, “should be a dismissible offence.” If firing the culprits isn’t possible, he offers seven strategies for combating the problem.
To quit or not to quit
Also from Jon Kjaer Nielsen, comes this nifty little pep talk on deciding if you really hate your job enough to tell your boss to shove it – and how to arrive at that watershed moment. Nielsen examines the list of excuses we feed ourselves in order to stay stuck in a soul-destroying rut, and cites the questions you need to ask yourself to decide what you really want. He also offers tips on not second guessing yourself, regardless of whether you’ve decided to stay or go.
The Accidental Creative
Louder Than Words author Todd Henry has many useful podcasts in his work-happiness arsenal but we’re going to focus on Hardwiring Happiness. Henry chats to Dr Rick Hanson to find out how we can overcome our obsession with trying to change external factors in order to create happiness, as opposed to learning how to rewire our baked-in negativity bias. The end result, he claims, is that we become Velcro for the good things and Teflon for the bad. In short, he recommends looking for the good facts around you and focusing in on them 10-20 times a day. Keep it up and you won’t be able to drum up a negative thought, even if your boss held you at gunpoint.
The Happiness Institute: Crafting the Best Job for Yourself Using Positive Psychology
It takes a bit of patience to get to the meat on this two-hour podcast/webinar from Dr Happy, aka Dr Tim Sharp, but once you do there are simple, and easily applicable techniques on offer for altering your mindset at work. A lot of his message is just homespun wisdom such as, “Although the grass is greener, it’s typically easier to tend to your own lawn first…” Easier said than done? The starting point, he says, is to start taking stock of what you’re grateful for, and to take a key strengths test (there are many online but he suggests this one from Penn University). You can get a head start by asking yourself questions such as: What do I learn easily? What energises me? What is something people compliment me on? And, What have I always been told to change?