Finding Happiness at Work

Self-love, Self-awareness, Self-efficacy and Self-appreciation

Authored by: Juanita Coleman-Merritt

The Routledge Companion to Happiness at Work

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367266554
eBook ISBN: 9780429294426
Adobe ISBN:


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A recent Time Magazine Special, The Science of Happiness (July 2019), is devoted to a better understanding of the general experience of happiness in our society. It contains a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are usually as happy as they make their Minds up to be”. The comment speaks to the importance of one’s mental state for happiness, regardless of the current circumstances in which a person finds himself. I consider myself truly fortunate in the kind of work to which I dedicated my life, and in the positive work environments that I encountered during my journey through the world of work. However, I realize that not everyone finds themselves in a situation that easily translates into happiness at work. Because I have enjoyed my work life a great deal, I have developed an interest in supporting happier work experiences for younger people who are facing challenges in their work environments. This article explores some of those challenges for persons who I have mentored as they have sought to find balance, self-satisfaction, and inner peace in their work situations. I find that there are four personal elements to consider when seeking happiness in the work environment. They are Self-love, Self-awareness, Self-efficacy, and Self-appreciation. We focus on the Self because, while most of us have varying degrees of control over our circumstances, it is the Self over which we generally have the most control.

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