Ten Habits of Happy, Successful People
While employment gurus
are focusing their advice on job
seekers, those of us who are working
could use a little attention as well.
How can we get more job satisfaction
when we are exhausted and doing the work
of two or three people?
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
was a best seller for an incredibly long
time given its relatively simple advice.
Even though most readers probably
already know the seven habits, putting
them on paper enhances their credibility
and charges them with a spark of genius.
With this in
mind, I offer you Besson's “Ten Habits
of Happy, Successful People”.
Know your mission and pursue it with
Shakespeare’s prose, this habit may be
interpreted on more than one level. As a
philosophy, it challenges you to
discover the unique role best suited to
your talents, interests and values and
serves as a driving force to propel you
On a more
pragmatic level, your mission is
represented by your day-to-day job
description. The happiest professionals
are those who understand their work and
perform it with excellence. Part of
their savvy comes from technical
competence and part comes from knowing
they are doing exactly what their
management/clients expect. As quality
experts would say, they do the job right
the first time.
Competence alone will not get you what
You must also make sure management is
familiar with the caliber of your work
and understands the rewards you expect
often employees assume their bosses know
the best career paths for them and they
mistakenly think their high level
performance will automatically be
acknowledged. Unfortunately, many
workers only generate attention when
they produce a problem.
are willing to run the risk of being
passed over for a key assignment or
promotion, ask for what you want. Your
manager isn't a mind reader.
Become an intrapreneur who views his job
as a long term consulting assignment
with a valued client company.
Fast Company magazine had a cover
story called “Me, Inc.”, which
revolutionized its readers’ thinking
about their careers. The article said
that because organizations no longer
give tacit guarantees of lifetime
employment, it’s wise to think of
yourself as a contractor with a
portfolio who does excellent work,
learns as much as possible from each
position, and is ready to move should
the desire or need arise.
downsizing, outsourcing and moving jobs
overseas are long-term structural
changes in both blue and white-collar
positions. Employees who recognize and
accept this trend and increase/broaden
their skills will prosper now and in the
Take some risks.
responsibility for your own career
satisfaction. Don't waste valuable time
hoping for the best or waiting for your
company to do what's right. Chart a
career path, and make your management
your partners in walking with you down
Auntie Mame, a Broadway character who
has more than her share of ups and
downs, "Life is a banquet and most poor
suckers are starving to death." Pull
your chair up to the table and take part
in the feast.
Trust your gut.
situation does or doesn't feel right,
don't let logic override intuition.
Have you ever taken a project or job
your gut warned you against only to find
weeks later your instinct was correct?
knows what the public wants and makes it
available to them before they have
discovered they need it. If he had
traveled the “path well taken,” we may
still be using CD players instead of
logic has its place in the decision
making process, but whole-brained
thinking will give you a balanced
perspective that pure analysis cannot.
Network, network, network even when
you're very happy in your current
professionals know a well-developed
support system can be a source of
wonderful friendships, mentors, and
referrals for everything from
pediatricians to plumbers. Your network
can also provide objective insights for
evaluating opportunities and problems.
Mastermind groups, trade organizations,
churches, alumni associations, friends
of friends, continuing education
classes, etc. all offer excellent
sources for cultivating relationships
with colleagues who are stimulating,
fun, resourceful and willing to serve,
upon occasion, as human crying towels or
a personal cheering section.
Negotiate for a win-win solution.
While it may
appeal to our most primitive instincts
to leave opponents bleeding in the dust,
we will probably have to work with them
again. Humiliation does not breed
long-term relationships. It promotes a
long lasting desire for revenge.
time you are in a mood to take no
prisoners, put yourself in your
opponent's place. Suggest a course of
action, which you perceive to be
genuinely palatable to both parties.
Your opponent will respect you for it
and probably return the favor the next
Fake it 'til you make it.
No, I'm not
suggesting you lie on your resume or
present yourself as someone you're not.
I'm alluding to those occasional lapses
of self confidence we experience when
faced with a project that stretches us.
Self doubt nibbles around the edges of
our consciousness. Can I really pull
this off? I asked for what I want and I
got it. Now what?
moments of rising panic, it's wise to
remember that positive behavior can
easily overtake negative feeling. And,
fortunately behavior is what others
see. Remember that great presentation
you gave with your mouth dry and knees
knocking? In it you used fear as a
source of extra energy. Fear can be
your ally if you channel it effectively.
only those goals you really want to
have we heard people say, “In January I
plan to lose 25 pounds this year.” Yet,
come December their weight hasn't
changed? Goals prefaced by "I should"
rather than "I want" are generally
doomed by self sabotage.
To test a
goal for viability, see if it will
RUMBA. Decide if it is reasonable,
understandable, measurable, behavioral
and agreed upon. Meeting only the first
four conditions isn't enough. You and
everyone involved with your goal must
genuinely agree it's a great idea, or
lack of enthusiasm will scuttle it
sooner or later.
Fill your life with a combination of
work, education and fun.
Richard Bolles in his life-planning book
Three Boxes of Life, Americans
tend to divide their lives into three
discreet time periods, each having a
singular purpose. From birth to about
21, we are in our learning box. Our
mission is to absorb information and
advice from our elders. From about 21 to
65, we are in our working box where we
must concentrate on producing worthwhile
products and services. Then at 65, we
retire and move into our fun box.
Unfortunately, people who buy into this
pattern for living lead a pretty stale
existence and often die early because
they feel useless without their jobs.
They've forgotten how to learn and enjoy
themselves. For them life without work
is meaningless. Many Baby Boomers are
facing this dilemma as they struggle to
decide if they want or can afford to
have mastered the art of combining
education, career, and leisure
throughout their lives follow the sage
advice of Robin Williams in The Dead
Poet Society: Carpe Diem! They seize
each day and make it their own.