'The Art Of Happiness At Work' By HH Dalai Lama And Howard C Cutler

'The art of happiness at work' is a compilation of conversations between HH Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler on how to be happy at work.

The book deals with many important aspects of our modern way of work, such as satisfaction, motivation, productivity, the need of balance between boredom and challenge, or interdependence.

The Dalai Lama points at money as the main motivator when it comes down to work; however, he says, "The problem is [...] when the motivation to make money becomes an end in itself. [...] There's a kind of underlying assumption that money can solve all of our problems."

Looking at work from other points of view

Although 'The art of happiness at work' won't give you any specific 'solutions' to work problems, it does give you a number of perspectives with which to look at work. For instance:

  • How beneficial your work is to others: "[...] one factor that would be very useful to consider is the benefit or harm caused by the work that one does. [...] If you can, serve others. If not, at least refrain from harming them."

  • Considering your job as a calling: "[...] the focus may be on the creative process, and the high quality of the work itself. And I think that could transform the view from a mere job or a career to a calling."

  • We play more roles: "[...] realize that one has different roles in addition to the role at work - one may be a parent or a child or a brother or sister, or may have other interests or hobbies."

  • The importance of self-awareness: "[...] I think that self-appraisal - developing an accurate and realistic sense of self through careful observation - leads to greater self-understanding. And I think self-understanding is a crucial factor if one is talking about work satisfaction. It can even have other kinds of beneficial side effects."

On happiness and attitude

Just like in the book 'The art of happiness', also from HH Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler, in 'The art of happiness at work' the Dalai Lama points that happiness comes down to oneself - happiness is within oneself.

"True happiness relates more to the mind and heart. Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable; one day it's there, the next day it may not be."

In the same way, our own attitude towards work plays an important role: "[...] in seeking to gain a sense of fulfillment from one's work, I think one's attitude is the most important thing."

Again, we are the ones to choose our attitude towards work or towards whatever else happens in our lives.

All in all, 'The art of happiness at work' offers a number of different perspectives on work which can help you to look at your job with new eyes, and find meaning and fulfillment in what you do.

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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

Dalai Lama

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