Come On Get Even Happier

BKBG Business Blog,

Would you like to be happier?  Who would answer no?  Happiness makes you perform better, feel better and to better enjoy life.  Some people may believe others are predisposed to look at the glass overflowing rather than half full or half empty.  It’s not realistic to believe you should be happy all of the time, writes University of Texas professor of Psychology, Human Dimensions of Organizations and Marketing Art Markman.  However, Markman offers guidance on how you can lift your spirits and raise your happiness quotient.  

First, don’t look at everything in life as a competition where there are winners and losers.  That’s difficult for entrepreneurial showroom owners and designers who are on the competitive playing field daily trying to win new contracts, obtain better deals and negotiate for subs, labor and other necessities for their clients and showrooms.  Life does not necessarily have to be a zero-sum game, Markman notes.  You can create happiness not only for yourself, but also for your team members, family members, friends and colleagues.  “The more that you can focus on setting goals in life to cooperate and enhance the success of yourself and others at some point in time, the more likely you are to be happy,” Markman claims.  The point is that everything in life doesn’t have to result in winners and losers. There are endless opportunities for win-win outcomes.

Negative thinking begets negative thinking all but eliminating the ability to increase the happiness quotient.  Focusing on problems such as an order that is late, damaged, incomplete or otherwise not acceptable typically makes you angry, anxious or sad.  When that occurs, change your mindset.  Did the manufacturer purposely send products that were not acceptable?  Most likely no. Mistakes happen.  Granted, they may happen too frequently.  However, ask yourself, did the manufacturer send an incomplete order on purpose to disappoint you and make you angry?  Probably not.  Imagine their reaction when you relate the problem.  Empathizing with the problem creator can help limit the adverse effects of your anger and frustration.

Victories are fleeting.  Once you win a big contract, your focus typically moves to a bigger contract, which often results in discounting the achievement of the first contract.  Markman advises not to discount what you have previously achieved.  Stand in the middle of your showroom and look around.  Think about all of the lives that you have improved.  Don’t always focus on what you have yet to accomplish.  Instead, take some time to savor past victories and accomplishments.

Giving in to short-term temptations is not necessarily a bad thing.  Owning and operating a showroom is not easy. It requires sacrifices, compromises and delaying satisfaction to the future.  Don’t put all of your eggs in a future basket.  Take some time now to enjoy yourself and the fruits of your efforts.  “Successful people can often stay so focused on doing what is necessary now, that they don’t focus on enjoying things,” Markman states.  He advises to invest in something now that you have always wanted, a piece of art, a vacation, a night on the town, etc. 

Additionally, your physical wellbeing affects your mental wellbeing.  If you feel good physically, you will feel good mentally.  Take time to exercise every day even if that involves a longer walk.  When you are unhappy, you are less likely to go to the gym, take a run, swim or engage in physical activity.

Life’s too short to miss opportunities for increasing your happiness.  Changing perspective and savoring past accomplishments can help maintain perspective and result in more win-win outcomes.