Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Scott Yates – Enjoy!
For the worker standing by the side of a construction site holding a stop sign, marketing must seem like a pretty sweet gig. You don’t need to stand outside in the blazing sun, the rain, or the snow. You get to wear nice clothes if you want to — no orange vest because there’s no danger of a sleepy truck driver running you over.
And yet, happiness eludes us.
It’s not as if marketers are a morose group, swinging our heads low like Winnie the Pooh’s friend Eeyore. But in the day-to-day work, it’s possible that we don’t get a lot of happiness from our work. There’s always another blog that needs writing or editing. Sometimes great work we create gets no retweets, likes or Plus 1s. And the budget for marketing seems always to hang by a thread.
Here in “Personal Growth” month at Duct Tape Marketing, I’d like to share the secret that will not only make you more happy in your work, but more successful and productive as a bonus.
And the secret is NOT to compare yourself to the worker in the orange vest. Just thinking that you are not the person sucking exhaust fumes all day will not make you happy. In fact, it will probably bring you down, and soon you’ll be smelling diesel fumes at your desk.
So, what is the secret?
Well, at the heart, the secret is to reverse the order of what it takes to make you happy.
If you thought you’d be happy if you grew to, for example, 1,000 followers on Twitter, you are setting yourself up to be miserable for a while until you get there, and then you’ll be happy for a couple of minutes before you find out that your new goal is 2,000. Or 10,000. Either way, your happiness/misery index is not good.
Instead, the secret to happiness is to actively do things every day that will help build up your brain to be happy.
Some of the best scientific work on this comes from a psychology researcher named Shawn Achor, who recorded a funny and smart TED talk. If you haven’t heard it, or even if you have, it’s well worth the 12 minutes.
One of the funnier and more poignant lines is when he tells the story about how a prestigious boarding school contacted him about speaking to the student body during “Wellness Week.” They told him that they had talks planned on depression, drug use, eating disorders, etc. “And Friday night we’re trying to decide between risky sex or happiness.” Achor replied: “That’s most people’s Friday nights.”
Funny stuff, but he makes an important point when he goes on to say that what the school was organizing not a “wellness” week, but a sickness week. He’s right that by focusing on all those negatives, the school officials couldn’t help but to bring the happiness level of the whole school down.
Instead, Achor says that we need to focus on the positive, focus on the things that are good, and focus on what we are grateful for. We need that kind of focus not just once in a while, what we need is to make a habit of paying attention to the good stuff.
He has specific tips, including ones that everyone knows, but doesn’t always do, including exercise and meditation.
But he has other tips that merge beautifully into the life of someone who does marketing. For instance, he recommends that you write down three things that you are grateful for every day. Sounds like great advice, and also sounds like the heart of three great social media posts.
He also recommends that you reach out to someone in your network and say something specific and positive. Have you been to the home page of LinkedIn lately? On your home page they show you new jobs, promotions, new pictures, etc., from people in your LinkedIn circles. In just seconds you could reach out to someone and congratulate them in a way that they are sure to appreciate. As a bonus, you’ll get a little lift from paying attention to the positive aspects of the people around you.
We all know that Christmas time can be joyous, but also a bit sad, especially with the shorter days here in the Northern Hemisphere. To be happier in your work, and in your life, and become more effective with your time and energy, you’ll want to invest a bit of time and energy into ensuring that each day is a happy one. That way when people wish you a happy new year, you can tell them that it’s a lock.
And if you want to wear an orange vest just to work to make sure you don’t get run over by negative people, that’s OK with me.
Scott Yates is the CEO of a content writing service. He’s also pretty happy because he has 3,000 writers who help him get his blogging done. To see some of the work, click to see some blog writing examples.