Tips for Real Happiness at Work

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Kaplow had the honor of welcoming best-selling author Sharon Salzberg to our office to discuss her latest book, Real Happiness at Work. Salzberg, one of the leaders in bringing the practice of mindfulness to America, spoke to us about studying Buddhism in India in the 70s. She established the Insight Meditation Society in 1976 with two colleagues. Today, she leads retreats worldwide and is a best-selling author.

In Real Happiness at Work Salzberg discusses how to be more creative, compassionate and effective on the job. Below are five of my favorite insights:

  • Keep a gratitude journal: We all tend to focus on the bad things or mistakes that happen at work— but we need to celebrate the good as well. Writing things down may help shift our focus.
  • Don’t project into the future: I know I’m guilty of this: I’m always worried about what’s going to happen next. Salzberg talked about controlling a wandering mind with breathing techniques and an acceptance that some things are out of our control.
  • Think of your boss as a person: Everyone has things going on in their lives that others are unaware of….even your boss. Salzberg suggested we pay closer attention to one another as human beings and try to be more compassionate.
  • Seven minutes a day makes a difference: Salzberg shared the science behind taking time each day to sit and breathe to “come back to yourself.” We can achieve greater clarity by exercising our “letting go muscle.” Researchers found that this can be done in as little as seven minutes each day.
  • Emphasize the quality of being: The changes in technology have left us with very little sense of real rest.  We need to take a moment to cut through distraction. Salzberg suggested having a cup of tea right before a big meeting or presentation. She explained that taking time to enjoy the smell and taste of the tea may help you to have a more proactive meeting since you’ll be in a better state of mind.

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