Jeff has been struggling to go to work everyday. He desperately needs his job to pay bills and provide for his family, but this past year, he has grown disenchanted with his work environment. So much so, that he thinks about quitting. He knows he can’t and feels trapped in an unhappy job.
Being unhappy at work, can spill over to family life. Even in a tough economy, no one likes to be in a job that makes him or her unhappy. But happiness on the job may relate to something you never expected—your ability to stay present. Yes, happiness has everything to do with what is going on in your mind.
Think of all the times you find yourself distracted at work–you worry over a deadline, are upset with a co-worker, wonder what you will make for dinner, are mentally scheduling your next dental appointment, etc. Worry and thinking about the future are distracting. This mental habit can take your focus off the task at hand and create such distraction that you find yourself not engaging in the here and now. And when you are not here and now focused, you risk your happiness.
Harvard researchers discovered that if your mind wanders during work, this could be the source of on-the-job unhappiness. And according to the researchers, our minds wander about 47% of the time anyway.
In the Harvard study that utilized an iPHONE app and received feedback from more than 15,000 people from countries all over the world, mind wandering occurred on the job about 50% of the time.
What the researchers concluded was that we humans spend a great deal of time thinking about things that are not happening in the moment. And apparently, a wandering mind is an unhappy mind–something religious groups have thought to be true for years. We are reminded by Jesus not to worry about tomorrow and to remember that God is with us at every step of our earthly journey.
So if you want to get happy on the job, stay in the moment and let go of worry. Worry is future focused and steals our joy and contributes to job unhappiness.