Its tempting to play the if/then game with your happiness. If my boss gives me this, then I’ll give my boss that.
But when you outsource your happiness you’re bound to lose.
I have fun running cultural transformation workshops for people who work at big companies.
One of the things we discuss are barriers at work.
What’s ‘holding me back‘ from delivering on my company’s values or vision.
What I appreciate most about this exercise is the honesty that you get.
You’ll learn that most people at work aren’t asked ‘what’s holding you back‘.
It’s usually phrased as ‘why haven’t you hit your KPI’ which is obviously a different question.
During the debrief of barriers, it’s common to hear something like this –
‘Well Dan’ they start.
‘As you know happy Employees equate to happy Customers…
…so if our bosses only would (increase our incentive, change our shifts, fill in the blank) we would be happier and then everything would be better…”
At this point they usually laugh a bit and look at me expectantly.
But I’ve heard this one before.
And my response is consistent.
‘Are you sure you want to outsource your happiness?
Because it sounds an awful lot like you’re looking to strike a deal and its your happiness that you’re putting up as table stakes.
If you give me this, then I’ll give you that.
But will you really?
Are you going to live up to your side of the bargain?
If your bosses increase your incentive or (fill in the blank) they have every right to expect you to sign on the dotted line, head back to work and forever serve as a poster child for happiness.
I didn’t know that happiness could be sold so cheaply.
Your happiness is your responsibility – thank goodness!
Once you begin outsourcing at work, it spills over into your personal life as well (and vice versa).
‘If only my child gets into a good school…’
‘If only I could live in a better postal code closer to the sea…’
‘If only my partner would lose a few pounds…’ (oops!)
No one knows how to make you happy better than you.
And certainly no one is going to take better care of your happiness then you.
Avoid outsourcing your happiness.
Thank you for reading!