Rogue Community College
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Choosing Happiness

Instructor: Coral Simpson

The experience of positive well-being combined with a sense that one’s life is meaningful and good can be described as happiness. This course will give attendees life skills and empowering perspectives that when practiced can make positive lasting changes in their lives and in the community.

choosing happiness class with community education at RCCMany people don’t allow themselves the luxury of being enthusiastic, inspired, relaxed, or happy—especially at work. To me, this is a very unfortunate form of self-denial. It seems that a great number of people are frightened at what a happy demeanor would look like to other people, including coworkers, clients, and employers. After all, they assume, “Someone who is relaxed (or happy) must not be a hard worker.” The logic goes something like this: If they looked happy, others might assume they were satisfied with the status quo and therefore lack the necessary motivation to excel in their work or go the extra mile. They certainly couldn’t survive in a competitive environment.

I’m often hired to speak to corporations around the country on stress reduction and the happier living. On a number of occasions, the person who invited me to speak has asked me, in a nervous tone, whether I would help the employees become so happy that they would “lose their edge.” I’m not kidding!

In reality, it’s the other way around. It’s nonsense to believe that a relaxed, happy person necessarily lacks motivation. On the contrary, happy people are almost always the ones who love what they do. It’s been shown again and again that people who love what they do are highly motivated by their own enthusiasm to continually better themselves and their performance. They are good listeners and have a sharp learning curve. In addition, happy workers are highly creative, charismatic, easy to be around, and good team players.

Unhappy people, on the other hand, are often held back by their own misery or stress, which distracts them from success. Rigid, stressed-out people are a drag to be around and difficulty to work with. They are the ones who lack motivation because they are so consumed with their own problems, lack of time, and stress. Unhappy people often feel victimized by others and their working conditions. It’s difficult for them to be solution-oriented because everything is seen as someone else’s fault. In addition, they are usually poor team players because they are often self-centered and preoccupied with their own issues. They are defensive and, almost always, poor listeners. If they are successful, it’s despite their unhappiness, not because of it. In fact, if an unhappy, stressed-out person can learn to become happier, he or she will become even more successful.

I felt this strategy would be an excellent way to introduce this book because one of my goals is to convince you that it’s okay to be happy, kind, patient, more relaxed and forgiving. It’s to your advantage, personally and professionally. You wouldn’t lose your edge, nor will you be “walked on.” I can assure you that you won’t become apathetic, uncaring or unmotivated. To the contrary, you’ll feel more inspired, creative, and driven to make an even greater contribution than you do right now. You’ll see solutions and opportunities where others see problems. Likewise, rather than being discouraged by setbacks or failures, you’ll bounce back quickly and resiliently. You will have increased energy, you’ll be able to work “in the eye of the storm,” and, because you’ll be so level headed, you’ll be the one who is looked to when tough decisions need to be made. You will rise to the top.

If you dare to be happy, your life will begin to change immediately. Your life and your work will take on greater significance and will be experienced as an extraordinary adventure. You’ll be loved by others and, without a doubt, you’ll be sweating the small stuff far less often at work.


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