“It’s not that I’m unhappy, but I’m not really that inspired by life.” I hear this all the time.
There’s a phase that many of us wander into at certain points in life that’s akin to comfortably numb. It could feel like you’re in a holding pattern until you find something that makes you feel more purposeful.
More and more people are finding themselves in this limbo, especially those between 55 and 65 who may have tired of their career but are hanging on to their job for health insurance, a retirement benefit or great pay, but not necessarily for love.
According to a recent survey, $1 million in cash lasts about for about 13 years of retirement in Hawaii. With many enjoying longer lives, some are choosing to stay in the workforce even though they’d secretly rather be traveling, visiting grandkids or sleeping in.
If circumstances have you treading water five days a week during business hours you basically have two choices.
One is to just decide to “survive” your job. The others is to make the decision that you want to commit to finding ways to be happier at work. Many people think it’s the job that matters most, but your attitude adjustment can help you to love your job more. It’s possible to be happy at a mundane job.
Here are a few ways to refocus:
>> Make relationships at work a higher priority. Since we spend so much time with people at work, relationships at work matter. Research has shown that as we get older, friendships are a stronger predictor of well being than relationships with family. So it’s worth the effort to nurture those relationships.
Start by being positive and appreciative of those you’d like to befriend. Think of things you can do in the workplace to help others be happy. Brainstorm on how you can do random acts of kindness at work daily.
>> Focus on learning. If you’re not learning, you’re likely not thriving. Though learning can be professional, it also can manifest as learning more about yourself, the people around you or your workplace.
What more can you learn about your co-workers? If your work is routine and “boring,” find something to learn and focus on. Can you create a better system? Can you find ways to be more productive? Human beings love learning and love the feeling of getting better and better at something.
>> Look for meaning. Your job will be immensely more enjoyable if it has meaning. Bring new awareness of your day-to-day tasks by simply asking yourself a few questions.
Who do I make happy at my work? Who am I helping outside the company by what I do? How am I contributing to the company by serving our clients or customers?
Happiness at work does not mean feeling deliriously “up” all the time. It’s about putting in the effort to make yourself and others feel good as often as possible.