Happiness: Change your attitude

By Aliker David Martin

Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.  ~Francesca Reigler

Happiness is an attitude

Our way of thinking is responsible for our daily fortune and misfortune. Last week, a friend told me a story of twins (Peter and Paul) who went to the same schools and pursued the same program at University. Since completing University, Peter has always got good jobs and Paul has always failed interviews. After an interview, Paul’s position was re-advertised and applicants were encouraged to apply. Out of rage, Paul told Peter, ”You know we look alike, why don’t you do this interview for me. I am tired of seeing short skinny men reject me during interviews. I know am good for the job but they just don’t like me”. Peter jokingly accepted and went for the interview. He excelled so much that the team leader said,” Paul we are glad that you re-applied for the job and performed better this time. We rejected you last time because; you showed a lot of attitude from the time you came in and during the interview. The way you carried your self and stood before us showed us that you might not be a team player. Congratulations, you have the job”.

Having said this anecdote, we learn three very important lessons.

First and foremost, your attitude towards others often determines their attitude towards you. Paul must have shown serious attitude for short people every time he went for interviews. Therefore, it determined the attitude of people at the interview panels.

Secondly, your attitude is contagious. A good attitude attracts good attitudes from others justlike a negative attitude; it influences the people around you negatively. Just imagine, why do we easily smile when we are near comedians?

Finally, your attitude can give you a winner’s perspective. During an interview, if all applicants have been good; a visible great attitude may give you an edge over others. Your attitude may make you view ideas differently unlike a biased applicant. So change your attitude and remain positive and you will find happiness in your life.


HAPPINESS: Stop complaining and focus on the solution

By Aliker David Martin

OCTOBER 20th, 2011

If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.  ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Stop complaining and focus on the solution

Last year, I had a good conversation with my good friend Paul (not real name). Paul has failed to get a scholarship since 2002 when we completed our undergraduate studies. He had taken to complaining and sour grapping. I asked Paul what he has done differently in his last three applications. He answered, “ I think I am just unlucky, I have been applying to different schools and have since then given up”. I told Paul that’s the real problem. Stop complaining and focus on the solutions.

I remember reading in one of my motivational books that,” the average person complains 70 times a day”. The problem with complaining is that the “victim” gives up and puts more effort in complaining. This is the energy you need to keep creative doing something different every other time.

Today, Paul called to inform me about his success. I could hear from the other side of the telephone, that he was a happy man. I asked him, “How did you make it?” Paul answered,” I stopped thinking of my self as a victim and started looking for a way to solve the problem”. Many times in life, we keep complaining about the unfortunate events in our life and forget that we could do some thing differently about it. Maya Angelou, author and poet once said,” if you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain”. Paul changed his attitude from being a victim to being a victor. If you want to be happy, change your attitude and become a victor.

Focusing on the solution keeps you focused on what is working, so you can stop using your energy to complain and start creating more happiness in your life.


HAPPINESS: Smile and get promoted

HAPPINESS:Smile and get promoted

By Aliker David Martin

September 17th, 2011

 He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Last week, I received a request on my blog to write on Happiness and achievements. In my reflection I realized while achieving our life’s goals lead to happiness, happiness itself is an important component of achieving our life’s goals. This reflection reminded me of my colleague Othieno (not real name). Othieno was a very hardworking and committed teacher at my first workplace. Othieno worked long hours and so dedicatedly that he won the best staff award of the year. His focus was to be a head-teacher at a young promising age. Subsequently, the School director reshuffled his administration and replaced the deputy head-teacher and the head-teacher in Othieno’s third year of service. While the director acknowledged Othieno’s hard work and dedication he believed he was still so young and needed more experience. Othieno developed attitude and became so negative, he fell off with other staffs that didn’t agree with him and failed to meet deadlines. Othieno fell from grace to grass and lost his job in the third year. Othieno’s experience is what many young employees experience. The question is, “how does happiness lead to promotions at work?”

The greatest workplace threat is the viral infection of negativity. Othieno allowed his attitude to take advantage of him. Trouble likes company, Othieno allowed himself to join the group of disgruntled employees who have given up on being promoted. A continuously negative employee affects the attitude of other employees. To keep happy, an employee has to learn work politics and keep away from negative staffs. Othieno excelled in his earlier years because he loved his job and had a goal. Negativity affected his focus and he lost his dream.

Another reason to keep happy at work is productivity. Employers reward productivity. Therefore, keep happy and become more productive then a promotion will get your way. Researchers such as Thomas Wright from Kansas State University have repeatedly shown that happier workers deliver more products. Now I know why our teachers were given touring trips and staff parties. While the office gossip was that ”only party going staffs get promoted,” the logic was that party going staffs were happy and enjoyed their jobs hence more productive. Othieno avoided staff leisure activities and carried his work home.

Stephen R. Covey asserts that,” our greatest joy and our greatest pain come in our relationship with others”. Othieno developed grudges with many other staffs as a result of his unhappiness. This implies he could no longer be a team player. His frustration made him unable to meet his deadlines. While other happy staff members enjoyed the cooperation of their colleagues and great appraisals from their line managers to guarantee them promotions. Othieno would have enjoyed emotional support from his colleagues when he felt frustrated. This would have eventually made him regain his focus and potentially achieved his goal. We all have low moments at our work place, what is important is not how we fall but how we get up when we fall because we all fall anyway.

Conclusively as you begin a new week at work, keep happy and focus on your goal. Realize that we all have low moments at work but what keeps us going is a good working relationship, keeping ever productive and less negativity to meet deadlines.

NB: As always, mail me what you think or what you want me to write about.