Tag Archives: happiness at work

It’s never too late to be what you might have been

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot

There is a general misconception that unless we have achieved “overnight success” in our chosen field by the time we are in our late 20s, we have somehow missed the boat.  Tom Butler-Bowdon who is famous for writing summaries of classics in the fields of self-help, business, psychology and spirituality has written a fascinating book which turns this idea on its head.  The book Never Too Late To Be Great focuses on the idea of slow-cooked success and argues that contrary to what we might think people actually need a long time to realise their true potential. Tom Butler-Bowdon makes the point that given advances in healthcare most people live well in to their eighties in rude health.  This means that we have on average a productive adult lifespan of 60 years (from 20 to 80) in which we have plenty time to realise our dreams and have much more time than… Read the rest...

Shawn Achor – The happy secret to better work

Shawn Achor’s talk about happiness at work is one of the most popular TED talks of all time. In his TED talk Shawn argues that although we believe that we should work to be happy, maybe we have things backwards.  It is the lens we look through that shapes our reality, rather than reality itself.  Shawn suggests that if we view work through a positive lens rather than expecting it to make us happy it will completely change our attitude to work and this will not only make us more productive but also happier in the long run.  Enjoy the video.

Shawn Achor talk TEDx Bloomington 2011.

Posted by Shona Lockhart, 6th February 2015

My top 20 inspirational videos in 2013

This is a collection of some of the talks and videos which inspired me in 2013. There are many more which I could add to this list. Did you attend any talks or watch any You Tube videos which inspired you last year?


1. Tim’s Place Albuquerque: Service With A Smile

Tim is the embodiment of happiness at work and serves every customer with a smile and a free hug.  He has a lot to teach us.

2. Want to know the secret of happiness?

A newspaper seller in Central Station, New York makes himself happy by making others happy.

3. 105 Year Old Lady Shares The Secret To Happiness

Peace is happiness according to this 105 year old. Don’t hold a grudge against anyone.

4. Dr. Brené Brown on Faking It, Perfectionism and Living Wholeheartedly – Super Soul Sunday – OWN

Brené Brown’s TEDx talk went viral and was watched by millions.  In this short video she talks about the importance of living authentically.

5. Dove Real Beauty SketchesRead the rest...

How to avoid work

This interesting article by Maria Popova in Brainpickings looks at how much of the wisdom in a book written over 60 years ago is still relevant today.  How To Avoid Work by William J. Reilly looks at the question of how to find out what you love doing so that work feels like play.  This seems like a good plan to me.  Enjoy the article

How to Avoid Work: A 1949 Guide to Doing What You Love


“Life really begins when you have discovered that you can do anything you want.”

“There is an ugliness in being paid for work one does not like,” Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary in 1941. Indeed, finding a sense of purpose and doing what makes the heart sing is one of the greatest human aspirations — and yet too many people remain caught in the hamster wheel of unfulfilling work. In 1949, career counselor William J. Reilly penned How To Avoid Work (UKpublic library) — a short guide to finding your purpose and doing what you love. Despite… Read the rest...

Sustainability and joy: the power of fun can transform the corporate world

A glowing cloud appeared over southern China on 5 June, appearing at dusk over Wanning City in southern China in Hainan Provice - creating a glowing multicoloured effect similar to a rainbow

Rare ‘floating rainbow’ brightens sunset skies – Image from The Daily Mail 


Joy drinks pure water. She has sat with the dying and attended many births. She denies nothing. She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow. She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon. She climbs mountains. She sings in the hills. She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.

Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient. She does not need to rush. She know there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment. She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.

At times Joy is elusive – she seems to disappear even as we approach her.  I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous.  I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet she waits for us.  Read the rest...

Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love

Most of us spend the majority of our day at work so it is crucially important that the work that we do makes us feel happy and fullfilled. This article by Roman Krznaric from Yes magazine, which was originally published in The Huffington Post, looks at 6 ways to stop worrying about what to do to find a fulfilling job and some simple steps we can take to improve our sense of fulfillment at work.  Romans has also written a book on the subject entitled How to Find Fulfilling Work if you would like to read about this topic more.

Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love

Quitting work that leaves you unfulfilled requires a lot of courage. Here are six things you can do to get yourself ready to take the plunge.
Potter's hands

Photo by Shutterstock.

The idea of fulfilling work—a job that reflects our passions, talents and values—is a modern invention. Open Dr. Johnson’s celebrated Dictionary, published in 1755, and the word “fulfilment” doesn’t… Read the rest...

Happiness at work: Applied Happiness

This great TEDxKC talk by Jenn Lim the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness a company she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) co-created to inspire happiness in work, community and everyday life.

Zappos.com built a  hugely successful brand and company through outstanding customer service and an unusual company culture, but even more inspiring is the fact that they succeeded in doing this by using happiness as a business model. Drawn by the notion that anyone can apply the science of happiness to work, communities and our everyday lives, happiness has become the organizing principle behind a new business and now, a movement.  Watch her fascinating TED talk and decide for yourself if she is worth listening to.



Posted by Shona Lockhart on 1st May 2013

Happiness at work: 80 ideas for a happier workplace

This great blog post by Henry Stewart of Happy Ltd. is full of practical tips for creating a happier workplace.

The Happy Manifesto sets out a vision of happier workplaces. It is based on what organisations might look like if how they were organised and managed was decided by the people who are managed.  What does this mean in practice? Here is a first draft of 80 or so ideas for people to try out.

Ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions very welcome. Check out the Happy Manifesto LinkedIn group or email me at henry@happy.co.uk.


1.            Find a way to delight a customer today

2.            Find a way to delight one of your people today

3.            Stop to say hello to colleagues and get to know them better

4.            Find ways to make working together more fun and sociable

Trust your people

5.            Pre-approve: A new approach, a problem to solve – get an individual… Read the rest...

Orla Kiely: How doing what you love can lead to global success

As a mosaic artist I have always loved colour and pattern and can happily spend many hours making mosaic patterns with tiles and plates.  I am always in “flow” when making mosaics but I am not giving up the day job yet as this love of pattern has always been an interest rather than a job.  It is fascinating to hear stories of people who manage to make a living doing what they love and Orla Kiely is a wonderful example of someone whose love of pattern has created a global empire.  The article below from The Times looks at a Day in the Life of the very talented Orla Kiely:


How did one simple print create a global empire?

The fashion and interior designer Orla Kiely, 49, has a queue of fans, including Kate Middleton. She talks about the secret of her success

The fashion and interior designer Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely was thrilled when Kate Middleton wore one of her designs (Chloe Dewe Mathews)

I’m out of bed by 6.45, and by 7.30, my husband, Dermott, my two teenage sons, Robert and Hamish, and… Read the rest...

What is the work you can’t not do?

Henry David Thoreau – “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”


As we start to approach the end of 2012 many people are probably looking forward to a New Year and asking themselves whether they can face spending another whole year in a job which makes them feel as though they are living a “life of quiet desperation”.  If you are someone who has lost the passion for your work, but can’t figure out what you would like to do in the future you might like to take a look at this new TEDx video by Scott Dinsmore who created the website Live Your Legend.

How do you wake up feeling inspired every day?  How can you find the work that you can’t not do?  How can you encourage yourself to take the road less travelled?

Scott argues there is a 3 step framework for finding the answer to these questions:

1. Find your unique strengths. Use Strengthsfinder 2.0 as a starter.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

What… Read the rest...