Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Art of Happiness at Work by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

This seemed like the perfect book to pick up and read. I have deep respect for The Dalai Lama and I really needed some advice on how to be happier at work.

I used to really love my job. It was exciting, for the most part, and every day usually held something new and challenging in store. Nowadays, it's not like that. There's a distinct vibe of us vs. them in most cases, IT vs. Accountants. Some of the financial folk chose to think that anyone can program so they'll just take care of what they want and ignore us programmers. The work isn't nearly challenging enough either, although the people are.

Cutler interviews The Dalai Lama about various aspects of work in regards to happiness. For example, they chat about making money, the human factor of work, whether your job is just a job, a career or a calling, how to overcome boredom, how to have a right livelihood, etc. I appreciated his insight on all of the above. Unfortunately, while I think it's all good advice, it will be difficult to put into practice.

In one chapter, and throughout others, the importance of being self-aware is emphasized. I think a lot of people have that problem, to be able to look at themselves and their abilities undistorted and with a critical eye. All in all, the way to achieve happiness, at work or otherwise, is to begin inwards, by readjusting your attitude to all things and remembering that it's just work and that doing good and helping others is more important.
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