Tag Archives: achieve

What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

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Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 29th birthday.

It is only one year until I’m 30! When I say it like this, it sounds scary… I am growing old! Luckily I have a lot of older friends, so I do not feel too bad about it! Haha 😉

I am not much of a birthday person. As much as I enjoy the fact that family and close friends remember the day I was born, I do not crave the need to do something special on a day like this. (We age on a daily basis not on a yearly basis!) In fact, I am not too comfortable being in the center of attention. I would rather open up a bottle of wine, snuggle up on the couch and enjoy a good movie. If only it was not this warm right now in Malta….!

Having said that, this coming year I will try to be happy for what I have achieved, and where my life is taking me, rather than focusing on the fact that I am growing older. I will attempt to be thankful for who I have become, and welcome the coming year with arms wide open. I am grateful to those who have supported me, and listened to me complain about what was bringing me down. I appreciate especially those who pushed me to do well, change jobs and not to lose hope! When I stop thinking about how unlucky I am at times, I come to realise how good it feels to be alive, how I survived so many difficulties and heartache this year, and because of this, I have become a stronger person. More than ever, I know what I want in life and I am determined to not let anyone get in the way of myself following my heart and my dreams.

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Hello 29, let’s kick some ass!

Post-college Travel: How Can You Afford It?

Post-college graduation is an excellent time for you to start traveling. You have a great education and the means to make some money. You might not set off on your travels right away, but maybe you’re desperate to start making some trips. The only problem is, you might not be making too much money after college. Plus, many people have mountains of debt they have to overcome. So if you want to travel after college, how can you afford it? Fortunately, you have lots of options to make travel affordable. Try some of these techniques to ensure you can see the world.

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Deal with Your Student Debt

When you first leave college, one of your greatest concerns is probably your student debt. It’s hanging over your head, and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But there’s a lot of it, and you have other expenses to take care of too. How can you travel when you have so much money to repay? The first thing you should do is look into Obama student loan forgiveness. You might be able to have some or all of your debt removed so you no longer have to repay. The next thing to do is consider consolidating your loans or managing them in another way. Create a budget to ensure you’re making timely payment.

Lock Down a Job First

Going traveling straight after graduation sounds great. However, you’re unlikely to have much money. Maybe your parents will be kind enough to loan or gift you some. But once it’s run out, that’s it. Before you set off on your travels, it’s a good idea to find your first post-college job. Here’s the crucial part: you need one with good vacation time. Of course, that shouldn’t be your only criterion. But a steady income coupled with flexible vacation time will allow you to travel more.

Travel Frugally

Traveling doesn’t have to mean 5-star hotel and first class flights. You can see so much more if you’re willing to budget your travels properly. You can save by staying in hostels or even camping. You can find cheap places to eat or perhaps avoid eating out altogether. If you stay in a hostel or maybe a homestay, you can cook for yourself. Book your trips at the right times to get the best deals. Go to the right destinations too, where you can get more for your money.

Combine Work and Travel

Here’s another idea: work as you travel. You can look for work programs in various countries that allow you to experience a new country and earn money. You could work as an au pair or in hospitality. There’s seasonal work and other opportunities. You could also consider volunteering or combining travel with studying. You can get experience in the workforce while also gaining life experience. You might even learn a new language.

Traveling after college is achievable if you go about it in the right way. Consider your dreams carefully to plan them successfully.

Should we stop asking questions?

Should we stop asking questions, and accept our fate?
Should we just give up on things being how we want them to be?
Should we stop worrying… take life as it comes?
Should we stop dreaming?
Should stop challenging ourselves?
Should we not aim for the stars?

I will never stop questioning things, I will never stop learning things, I will never be okay with where I stand. For if I do, then what’s next? I’d be stuck for eternity doing the same things, living the same life.

Questions will help you grow.

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I want to see the world, experience new adventures and new cultures.
I want to be more than just Steffi who works in IT.
I do not want my job to define me, and I don’t want my life to be linear.
I want to evolve, become a better person of myself.
I want my life to be exciting, hopeful and achievement driven.

I want be satisfied; I am content with what I have, but to me contentment is knowing that there will always be something new to discover and that boredom will never be a threat.

What do you want in life?

There it is – possibly one of the biggest questions you can ask yourself, and the people around you.

If you were to ask me, it is very difficult to not know what you want in life.

Okay, I am not expecting you to have it all planned out, or to know every single step of the way, but surely you know where you want to end up, realistically speaking. I don’t think there’s any person in the world, who has never thought about this. I mean how could you? Even if you just day dream…. Everyone has plans… Maybe for some, it is just hard to admit or to share with others. But they are there; at the back of your mind.

I mean…

  • Who would want to end up doing the same first job over and over again for the rest of his life?
  • Who wants to live with his parents for ever and ever?
  • Who doesn’t dream of a better future, or of bettering themselves?

Surely there are things that you want to achieve, be it small or huge… we are the only ones who stand in our way to make things come true. Or perhaps, someone close to you who can’t seem to make up their mind.

Always remember, no pain – no gain. A life without struggles, is not worth living; or having.

What is your biggest regret?

There are days, and times when I struggle to be inspired; I don’t mean it just in finding something to write about, but also in life in general.

There are times, where I feel stuck… Maybe because I don’t think that there is something that exciting going on in my life currently, or perhaps, I start wondering whether I have made the right decisions in the past… Whether I regret something, whether it is too late to start anew.

Then, there are days like today, where you are browsing the internet out of boredom, hoping you come across something interesting… and it finally happens:

Knowing you are not the only person who has regrets, should give you hope and enough inspiration to keep fighting… To take THAT risk, to get out of your comfort zone and make your dreams come true… Because, what could possibly come out of life if you always play it safe, if you don’t feel truly alive… and happy?

What is your biggest regret? Isn’t it the fear itself… The fear of failing?
Take the leap!

Happy Birthday to me!

I eagerly waited for church bells to ring at midnight, as I was worried that I will age a year in an instance. No, not really; that is what I thought when I was a kid anyway… but now, I do not believe in this crap anymoreIMG_20151016_122108-01… Same with massive celebrations, when in reality, we get older everyday… and those who love us and care about us, should not wait for this day to appreciate us.

This year, I decided that I won’t bother with organising any birthday event or get-together. I decided I want to spend it with myself. In my own company; Take a drive, enjoy nature… whether it rains or shines. Maybe read a book and sip a glass of wine, then an easy afternoon with my cats.

It has been a busy and rather rough year, but I can’t say I didn’t have fun;

  • I made some new decent friends
  • I am trying to maintain friendships which are worthwhile. You know who you are!
  • I finally made a dream come true, by watching AC/DC live
  • I have also made it to Cardiff and finally saw all things Doctor Who.
  • I kept in track with fixing the house, although there is still more to maintain and make my house a home…
  • I am still writing on here, which is a good thing too. I find that writing things down help me deal with things better.
  • I’ve drank countless bottles of wine, and laughed uncontrollably.
  • I’ve survived another year with two lovely deviled cats
  • I’ve managed to get rid of some people who only contact me when they need a favour or they are bored with their lives
  • I’ve made plans to visit North Wales, and it will happen in a month’s time
  • I have upgraded my phone to my beloved Samsung s6; fancy pants I know
  • Although it is hard for me to finish off a book, this year I have managed to read quite a few. The problem is that it is difficult to find a book which keeps me intrigued
  • I have realised my passion for photography is here to stay, and traveling is the key to my happiness and relaxation
  • Explored more around the island thanks to my new SatNav

I have also learned a few lessons:

  • I have learned to love myself and to respect myself, as I am in the end the only constant in my life
  • It is my life, and i won’t let anyone make me feel that I am doing it wrong. My life, my choices… No one knows what’s best for me better than I do
  • Don’t judge people, even if you were in their shoes
  • Complaining and not acting on it gets you nowhere
  • Don’t let anyone use you for their personal gain

Overall, I feel that I managed to confront most of the challenges thrown in my face with positivity and a dash of panic. I think I did well, but I hope that I keep growing into a strong achievement oriented person as years go by 🙂

Thank you to those of you who stood by me, and pissed me off to no end so that I strive to get better and better at what I do.

Enough now, see you soon!

Love,
The 27 28-year old X

Inspirational BlogPost: Meet Otu, a guy of many talents

Sometimes, there is no better way in getting inspiration than watching a couple of YouTube videos to help you feel better, man up and keep moving forward in life.

Today, I will share with you the person who made me smile yesterday, and who has made me realise that I should keep persisting in getting what I want, and make my dreams come true.

 Meet Otu, a guy of many talents
Credit: Youtube/ Otu Channel

The name is Olli Suurmunne from Finland. He owns his own YouTube channel by the name ‘Otu Channel’. This guy has a disability; He was born with a deformed left hand.. yet he is able to do more than an average person does or achieves in a lifetime.

Why?

Because he never saw his defected hand as an obstacle. He works hard, and he has positive results.

He can play the keyboard, guitar, he sings, solves the rubic’s cube in under a minute… he makes amazing digital artwork… He designs, composes and makes games.

Without further ado, this video is what made my heart pounding, what inspired me:

And this is a fun video of the guy singing and impersonating various well known singers:

One of his bands, where he does guitars, vocals (clean, throat singing):


Ending this blog post with Otu’s own words: “Keep your head high and keep chasing those dreams of yours because I’m sure as hell, will be chasing mine.”

More info on his blog: Olli Suurmunne

Of Music Talents & Dreams

Today I came across the coolest of videos. In fact, this was shared with me by a colleague since I am into rock / metal music. He thought, it was something I would appreciate.

Boy, was he right.

The video features a group called ‘Rockin1000’, which is made up of 1,000 rockers and metalheads; 1,000 musicians to be exact. The music video was aimed to 5 specific people: Chris, Nate, Pat, Taylor and Dave.
If you have not guessed already, these 5 people make up the band Foo Fighters. Yes you heard me!!

You are warned… this will bring you to tears…

Watch the video here:


Needless to say, this has been viewed more than 5 times…. In fact on day 4, they are already at 12,000,000 views!! Wow.

Lo and behold, Dave Grohl replied to their video (only 1 day later!)… and not only this, but he spoke in Italian (English captions available) because this is the nationality of Rockin1000! Isn’t he nice, or what?

This inspires me…
1) It is good to dream………
2) Dreams can come true……………
3) Work hard, you can achieve it!