According to this study, it turns out the best predictor of happiness at work is pride in the organization. My thoughts automatically started to leaf through the Rolodex of my mind to jobs I have held over the years. Sure enough, the places I was most happy working, were places where I was proud of the work that not only I was doing, but that the whole organization was doing. And when I thought about times that I have been less satisfied in my work, I could also remember that it was in those times that I had not felt that our group was living up to a standard that made me most proud.
If you regularly read my blog, you’ll understand that my mind doesn’t seem to be satisfied with just thinking about something like this without taking my thoughts a few steps further. I could easily think about how this happiness study could be true for the workplace. It made perfect sense to me that this could be why some people have very low paying jobs and yet do not even consider leaving. They often say things like, I know it doesn’t pay well but I just love the work we do. I’m guessing that the words ‘I just love’ could be replaced with ‘I’m so proud’.
But I wondered about whether this same idea might be applicable to relationships. Are the relationships that we are most happy with, the ones that we are most proud of? When people say that they love a friendship they have with someone, could it be that they feel a sense of pride about some part of that friendship? Or that they are proud of what they do with that person, or that they are proud of who they are being when they are with that person. There are certain people who just make us feel good when we are with them. It could be that the ‘good’ we are feeling is pride in ourselves. It could be that this person sees the good in us and that translates into pride. I’m guessing that we would be willing to do a lot to maintain such a relationship; we would be as faithful to this relationship as we are to an organization we are proud to work for.
I know that I have many relationships that I am proud of. I am proud to have life long friends. I am proud of my relationship with Jim. I am proud of my relationship with my children and of the newer relationships I have with their spouses. I am proud of my relationships with my siblings. And each of these makes me happy.
But what about the other relationship in my life; that relationship I have with myself. I am thinking that if this study is true and if it can be extrapolated to include relationships other than that which we have with our workplace and other people, then pride in our selves might be an indicator of happiness with ourselves. Yikes! That’s deep!
I am thinking of times when I am happy with myself and when I am not so happy with myself. I notice that this is different than simply feeling generally happy. When I think of times I am happy with myself, I can certainly link pride to them. It might be such a simple thing – like being proud that I got a job done early in the day so that I had the rest of the day free. Or it could be being proud that I did not let my emotions get the better of me in a difficult situation. I am definitely happy with myself at times like this.
The takeaway for me is being newly aware that if I find myself feeling unhappy with myself, perhaps I need to consider what I have been feeling proud of or not so proud of lately. If I really want to step into taking charge of my life, I might even be more forward thinking: What can I do today that I will be proud of by tonight? If I could manage that every day, I’d be willing to bet there would be a lot of happy feelings. I also suspect that the things I might choose to be proud of would not even need to be monumental. They might be as simple as making a phone call, letting someone else ‘win’ in traffic, asking a clerk how their day is, going for a walk, eating well….
My inquiry for you this week is “How can this become something you are proud of?”