“If you’re happy and you know it…”

We are going to play a quick game.  Raise your hand if you could quit your job tomorrow, you would.  If you are reading this from a smartphone…raising a finger will suffice. Which one you raise is between you and the smartphone. If you raised your hand, Congratulations!  You are in the club with 70% of people who hate their jobs. A 2013 study conducted by Gallup, found that 70% of American workers were unsatisfied with their jobs.  Regardless of income level, education level, marital status people, or industry… people are unhappy at work.

Let’s visit Jaime again, and his magical place called Bongoland. Jaime shared that happiness can be found by filling our pie of life with bigger slices that brought us joy instead of complicated obligations. Jaime asked my friend and I one of the simplest, yet difficult questions that we have ever been asked:  What brought you joy as a child? Quite frankly, I don’t know that I have ever stopped to answer that question.  For many years, several of the wines you enjoy from a few California vineyards were managed by Jaime.  Raise your glass and toast Jaime. He told us these beautiful stories of how his calligraphy gave him extra money, and opened his world to work with some of the brilliant minds at Stanford University.  Jaime has lived. Looking for something different, he bought land in Samara and started creating a beautiful space through his paintings and Bongoland.  In Bongoland, you can find him many early mornings and late evenings painting.  Creating.  With each of his beautiful paintings, there is a spinning top that presents a philosophical thought to the viewer: Are you still discovering in the spinning dance of life? The space and place he has created brings him joy, contagious joy.

What does a person look like that loves their job? According to the research, they have five (5) key things that they do differently:

  1. They follow their passion. Ellen Degeneres started her television career performing a stand-up comedy appearance on Johnny Carson. She was invited to the couch with Carson.  The walk from the stage to the couch, set things in motion for Ellen to share her passion of making people happy. Authentically happy.  She made wearing sneakers cool, and dancing a source of happiness.  She dances as if no one is watching.  The passion for her job has changed the face of daytime television. It has changed hearts and minds. Be happy.  Be full of joy.  A little dancing to a great song, never hurt anyone.  For over 12 years, she has made the world laugh and dance it out.

Are you following your inner child passion with your job or hobby?  If so, clap your hands. 

  1. They look for the happy people. “It’s time to sow the garden.” Every now and then, Yolanda Owens will utter those words. Some may find it direct, but this is a woman that owns her space and place in this world.  When you walk into her spa, you are greeted with happy voices welcoming you to the garden. The garden has celebrated joys, fills with laughter, cries tears of pain, and supports when a little quiet is needed.  For Yolanda, she cares immensely about who and what energy enters her garden.  She wants everyone to leave the garden better than they came.  Some people stop in for the great products for your body, some come for spa treatments, and some come by just to sit in the garden.  It’s an escape from the world.  Where happiness and positive energy matters to her immensely.

Have you followed your inner child passion by being around happy people?  If so, clap your hands.

  1. They start the way they want to finish it. Jill Scott introduced herself to the world by spelling her name and with pride telling you where she was from. “My name is J-I-L-L S-C-O-T-T. Representin’ North Philly y’all…” Jill is my imaginary older sister.  She owns her Queendom.  No, she celebrates it.  From the moment she wakes up until her eyes close to end the day, she is constantly growing. That what happens in my mind. Don’t talk crap about my older sister. She is constantly reflecting.  Jill makes no apologies about who she is, and how her mistakes aren’t mistakes in the comfortable sense of the word. They are moments that are written her journal, uttered in prayer that lead her to reflect on her growth.  Like any older sister, her advice comes in the form of her albums. Live your life like it golden with the light of sun leading you forward, because you must be prepared for the goodness coming your way. She told me so in her latest album. My older sister is better than yours. I’m aware that we aren’t birth sisters, but she’s an awesome imaginary one.

Do you start and end your day that same way? If so, stomp your feet. After all, you begin and end your day with your feet hitting the floor.  

  1. They don’t expect their job to make them happy. Starbucks is one of my favorite companies. A smile spread across millions of faces when a viral video spread of the dancing barista. Sam is a young man with autism and a movement disorder.  He didn’t think he would ever be able to work behind the bar serving us our fancy coffee.  He does.  He dances.  I’m sure he has crappy days.  I’m sure some morning his alarm didn’t go off, and he has some rotten days.  What I do know from watching the viral video is that Sam brings joy to his customers through dancing while making their coffee.  He doesn’t expect his job to make him happy, BUT it gives him confidence to keep pushing forward.  Even when he has crappy days at work.  Some customers can be quite demanding.  He pushes forward to the rhythm.

If you have an outlet for those crappy days that make you happy, shout HURRAY!!!!

  1. They prefer excellence over perfection. “When I commit to something, I go all in.” There are many doughnut shops, there may be some that taste better. If you talk with Kamal Grant, there isn’t any that compare to Sublime Doughnuts.  He unapologetically tells anyone that a Sublime Doughnut is “the BEST doughtnut in the world”, and almost dares you to debate him.  Don’t believe me look at the Instagram page.   Grant is often sitting in the shop watching, creating, thinking about the experience for every customer that walks in his shop.  He doesn’t care about your diet, but he does care about the experience with a smile and encouragement to “spread doughnut love”.  Call it psychology, call it tough love, call it coaching…a smile spreads on many faces when they experience a Sublime Doughnut.  Mr. Grant doesn’t care about your diet or New Year’s resolutions.  The happiest ones care about creating excellence in what they do, not perfection.

Do you focus on excellence or perfection at work? If you can say ‘Excellence’, do all three. 

The child in you wants out.  The child in you wants to spend more time doing the things that brings you the same joy.  What would happen to your life if you spent time doing those things? Would you put your phone down and build a jigsaw puzzle or Lego set?  Would you keep a book with you at all times?  Would you have dinner with your friends and family more? Would you play in the dirt?  Would you play school? Would you spend hours in the museum? Raise your hand if you know what you would do.  Now, go do it!

I have to run now with a busy week ahead. I’m starting Spanish classes, going to see a new exhibit at the High, get this post uploaded, and making dinner for Supper Club.  Five-year-old Lauren is so damn happy!   






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