Pursuing Happiness? For Managers and Others

By Barry Maher

David Myers is a professor of psychology at Hope College and the author of The Pursuit of Happiness. Myers says, “Your happiness is like your cholesterol level, both are genetically influenced, yet both are—to a certain extent—under your control.”

No surprise, self-esteem is the trait most strongly linked to happiness. You wouldn’t expect a high degree of bliss among self-loathers and potential suicides. Happiness is also associated with health, intelligence and a feeling of being in control of one’s life.

You can’t do much about the health of those you work with. You can do precious little about their intelligence. But you may be able to do help them feel more in control of their working lives, particularly if you’re their boss. And you can often do a great deal about the way they think about themselves.

Which means you have the power to make other people happy—to one extent or another. That’s another one of those truths that we all know but seldom seem to remember. It’s a power we all have. And those of us who are bosses have even more of it.

Incredibly Obvious Tip: Make the people around you happy, and you’ll be surrounded by happy people.

Incredibly Obvious Corollary: Most of us are happier when we’re surrounded by happy people.

Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

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