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Career Coach

Here's to Happiness

Published December 30, 2009 3:08 PM by Renee Dahring
This is the last week of 2009 and the last week of the decade. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't offer some thoughts about a New Year's resolution? I suppose I could offer you the expected advice about updating your resume yearly, renegotiating contracts or setting career goals. However, I would rather talk about a subject that is a little less concrete and a little more elusive: happiness.

And I don't mean being happy only in your job. If you are unhappy in your life, I have a strong suspicion you won't be happy in your work either. What I am referring to is letting your moods take control of you when faced with challenges and problems. This may sound counterintuitive, but people who experience bad luck, personal problems or even a lousy workplace can still be happy people. Happy people make happy workplaces ... Perhaps you can see where I am going here.

But can you dislike your job and really still be happy? You should, because you owe it to your patients and coworkers to be happy. I don't mean to suggest you have to like all aspects of your job or ignore things that aren't working right. We all get upset from time to time, but letting a bad situation or bad day dictate your broader happiness is just not productive, and quite frankly it's also a waste of perfectly good opportunities to be happy.

So make a New Year's resolution to be happy, and if you don't feel happy then fake it. Acting happy won't make anything worse, but it just might make it better. Look for reasons to be happy. If that doesn't work, then look for reasons to be grateful. Gratitude is the first step towards happiness.  After all, we as Americans are pretty fortunate people, and we enjoy a standard of living that is the envy of most of the world.

When you are feeling down, try to remember that in the final tally we all probably have had more good things happen to us for no reason than bad things. I don't know about you, but that makes me happy.

Have a Happy New Year and see you in 2010!

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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