Organizational Aerodynamics – Chapter Five – Organizational Happiness

Organizational Aerodynamics

(Copyright 2000, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Five – Organizational Happiness

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Welcome back to our fifth block of instruction entitled Organizational Happiness.  We spend much of our waking lives within organizations of all types and the aim of this lesson is to look at what makes people happy and unhappy within the context of any organization.  Polls show that workers are often disillusioned and disenchanted with their jobs in the workplace and the rates of divorce and dysfunction within families remains high – which begs the question, “Why are people unhappy?”

Families are perhaps the most basic of organizations as their members are relatively low in number and their involvement with one another spans the entire 24 hour day.  Families are essentially a microcosm of all larger organizations, and in fact, larger organizations often refer to themselves as a work family.  One would think that families have some of the most reasons to be happy and loyal to one another – relational, hereditary, financial, symbolic, religious, personal, safety, emotional and romantic reasons – yet, we know that families suffer from very high rates of dysfunction and failure.  This lesson examines a number of possible reasons that unhappiness exists within families, in order to better understand what it takes to actually be happy within all types of organizations.

Common sense tells us that by removing the irritants to happiness, then happiness is much more likely to be achieved, however, happiness is and always will be a choice.  History is full of examples where people in the most dire of surroundings chose to remain happy, regardless.  If happiness is a choice and a personal decision, then it stands to reason that our environment impacts our decision to be happy or not.  The more negative our environment is, the harder it is to make the choice to be happy.

1.  By removing the irritants to happiness, then happiness is much more likely to be achieved…

2.  Happiness is and always will be a choice…

3.  Our environment impacts our decision to be happy or not…

4.  The more negative our environment is, the harder it is to make the choice to be happy…

A well known adage and basic axiom of life serves as our starting point in examining the concept of happiness within organizations: Simplicity defined…do what you love, love what you do.  Yet many, if not most people, aren’t in the position of doing what they love and loving what they do – and dream of the day when they can follow their passions and spend their waking hours engaged in their heart’s desires.  Of all the organizations in the world, one would think that the basic family unit – and especially the adults themselves – would be happy together and engaged in their heart’s desires.  So let’s examine a few reasons why this might not be the case. 

5.  Simplicity defined…do what you love, love what you do…

Some of the most basic elements of human nature are the freedoms of thought, opinion, choice, movement and association.  It stands to reason that if we can’t relax and be ourselves within a family, organization or business, then we’re not going to be happy in that environment.  We also know that stress is a major irritant to happiness.  In fact, environmental stress can be a major contributing factor to all types of medical issues affecting not only our happiness but our health.  When others try to control and manipulate certain aspects of our lives – or everything we do – we feel personally violated to the point that we can’t be happy.  In fact, in these cases, we often have to leave that environment altogether and break off contact in order to protect both our sanity and wellbeing.  Control freaks then are a major reason for dysfunction within both family and organizational dynamics.

6.  If we can’t relax and be ourselves within a family, organization or business, then we’re not going to be happy in that environment…

7.  Stress is a major irritant to happiness…

8.  Environmental stress can be a major contributing factor to all types of medical issues affecting not only our happiness but our health…

9.  Control freaks are a major reason for dysfunction and unhappiness within both family and organizational dynamics…

Whenever bullying, harassment or abuse – mental, physical or both – is the source of someone’s unhappiness, then immediate measures need to be applied to protect the victim(s) of the abuse.  The authorities need to be involved in these cases, especially if the target of the abuse is a minor or simply someone who’s unable to speak up for themselves.  Bullying and harassment can be very insidious in nature and the perpetrators often devise very cunning ways to make their targets feel uncomfortable, while avoiding scrutiny from others. Abusers, however, often take a more direct approach, which makes them all the more dangerous.  If you find that you’re being bullied, harassed or abused, then you need to immediately get away from the perpetrator for your own personal safety and inform the authorities of what has taken place.

10.  If you find that you’re being bullied, harassed or abused, then you need to immediately get away from the perpetrator for your own personal safety and inform the authorities of what has taken place…

Sometimes, the source of unhappiness within a family or organization isn’t what other people are doing to us, but more of a reflection of their personalities, opinions, egos and mannerisms.  All organizations require people to share space together in some way, shape or form and oftentimes in close quarters.  People are often incompatible for many different reasons, simply because we don’t feel comfortable in their presence.  We may sense they’re creeps, abrasive, combative, argumentative, dishonest, disloyal or any number of other descriptions that makes us feel uncomfortable in their presence – which in turn makes us unhappy.

11.  People are often incompatible for many different reasons, simply because we don’t feel comfortable in their presence…

Another source of unhappiness is being in the presence of someone who’s on a power trip or has a sense of entitlement.  Some people enjoy having and holding power and decisions over the heads of others and wield this power in ways that shows their authority or perceived authority over others.  They may also feel entitled to have the best or first choice of everything and let it be known that their opinion is the only one that counts.  These are both self-centered actions that make others feel uncomfortable and unhappy around them.

12.  Some people enjoy having and holding power and decisions over the heads of others and wield this power in ways that shows their authority or perceived authority over others…

13.  Self-centered actions make others feel uncomfortable and unhappy…

Given these reasons for unhappiness, it becomes hard for people to choose to be happy when they find themselves surrounded by dysfunction and worse.  The age old adage of grow where you’re planted is difficult when you have little or no control over the soil, water, temperature, air quality or climate you find yourself planted in. Most people find that their only way out is to vote with their feet and completely leave the situation that was the cause of their unhappiness.  Walking away doesn’t mean the next organization or environment will be a rose garden and often allows the dysfunction to continue on unabated in the place you left.  It’s for all these reasons and more that people leave dysfunctional surroundings.  Sometimes people leave for more simple reasons, because their pay, benefits and working conditions were undesirable, but more often than not, there are deeper reasons for workers’ disenchantment with their work environments.

14.  It becomes hard for people to choose to be happy when they find themselves surrounded by dysfunction and worse…

15.   More often than not, there are deeper reasons for workers’ disenchantment with their work environments…

So how can you break the cycle of unhappiness, dysfunction and disillusionment, and avoid having to go from one environment to the next looking for someplace, anyplace that will at least be a benign environment?  How can we simply choose to be happy and avoid the environmental irritants that so often stand in the way of happiness? How can we find our heart’s desires and end up doing what we love and loving what we do?

16.  How can we find our heart’s desires and end up doing what we love and loving what we do?

Each of us has an innate skill, talent, desire and dream that in the quietest moments makes itself known to our hearts.  Ask yourself, “Where does your heart wander when you daydream?”  “If you could do anything you want, what would it be?”  “What makes you feel the most comfortable?”  “What settings and environments make you completely happy?”  “What things would I do for free if someone allowed me to do them?”  “If you could do anything in the entire world, what would it be?”

17.  Each of us has an innate skill, talent, desire and dream that in the quietest moments makes itself known to our hearts…

18.  Ask yourself, “Where does your heart wander when you daydream?”  “If you could do anything you want, what would it be?”  “What makes you feel the most comfortable?”  “What settings and environments make you completely happy?”  “What things would I do for free if someone allowed me to do them?”  “If you could do anything in the entire world, what would it be?”

When I was 18 and flunked my advanced chemistry course during my freshman year at Michigan State University, I saw my dreams of becoming a veterinarian slipping through my fingers.  There was nothing else in the entire world that I wanted to be, despite reading through MSU’s thick, green course catalog from cover to cover looking for another major.  I was at a dead end and had run out of rope.  It was only then that I began the soul-searching that led me to follow my heart’s desires.  The only thing I had ever wanted to do was to go on an adventure like Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – but how does one do that in the real-world?  It didn’t seem possible.  It was only then that I began asking my dorm mates and others, “Why are you in college?” and “What would you do, if you could do anything you wanted to do?”

Everyone I talked to had a dream or desire, but for one reason or another they made excuses as to why they couldn’t follow them, “My parents are paying for me to go to college.”  “It’s expected that I graduate and become a doctor, lawyer, etc.”  “I’d love to be a ski bum, a mountain climber, sail the world, etc., etc., etc., but it’ll never happen…”  It was the rare answer that actually validated their choice and reason for being in college…

It was then that I made my decision to follow my heart and go off on a great adventure.  I began studying maps of the United States and pondering what kind of an adventure to go on.  I didn’t have any money and didn’t own a car, motorcycle or a horse – and walking would take me forever to get anywhere – but I had a bicycle and loved to ride down country roads.  So I decided to throw caution to the wind, go off on a great bicycle adventure and simply follow my heart. When I told others of my plans to quit college and bicycle around America, some were envious, but most simply called me crazy.  They said I was foolish and wasting my time, and were flabbergasted that I was dropping out of school to go on a bicycle trip.  Others said it would be a failure and wouldn’t amount to anything…

But you see, it was my dream, my desire and my adventure – I was the one making the decision, because it was my life.  I didn’t need anyone’s validation for it to be authentic and true to who I was and wanted to be.  I asked a friend to go with me and we left in the fall of 1976 and traveled 8,003 miles on a great adventure around the United States – and it was only the beginning of many more adventures in my life.  You can read more about my adventures as I post them by going to:

http://insearchofthemeaningoflife.com/

All things are truly possible for those who follow their hearts – never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.  Follow your heart, make your dreams come true and choose to be happy.  You only have one life to live, so make every moment count.  Live your dreams without regret and never look back – do what you love, love what you do!

19.  All things are truly possible for those who follow their hearts – never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done…

20.  Follow your heart, make your dreams come true and choose to be happy.  You only have one life to live, so make every moment count.  Live your dreams without regret and never look back – do what you love, love what you do!

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Organizational Happiness

~~~~~~~~~~

1.  By removing the irritants to happiness, then happiness is much more likely to be achieved…

2.  Happiness is and always will be a choice…

3.  Our environment impacts our decision to be happy or not…

4.  The more negative our environment is, the harder it is to make the choice to be happy…

5.  Simplicity defined…do what you love, love what you do…

6.  If we can’t relax and be ourselves within a family, organization or business, then we’re not going to be happy in that environment…

7.  Stress is a major irritant to happiness…

8.  Environmental stress can be a major contributing factor to all types of medical issues affecting not only our happiness but our health…

9.  Control freaks are a major reason for dysfunction and unhappiness within both family and organizational dynamics…

10.  If you find that you’re being bullied, harassed or abused, then you need to immediately get away from the perpetrator for your own personal safety and inform the authorities of what has taken place…

11.  People are often incompatible for many different reasons, simply because we don’t feel comfortable in their presence…

12.  Some people enjoy having and holding power and decisions over the heads of others and wield this power in ways that shows their authority or perceived authority over others…

13.  Self-centered actions make others feel uncomfortable and unhappy…

14.  It becomes hard for people to choose to be happy when they find themselves surrounded by dysfunction and worse…

15.   More often than not, there are deeper reasons for workers’ disenchantment with their work environments…

16.  How can we find our heart’s desires and end up doing what we love and loving what we do?

17.  Each of us has an innate skill, talent, desire and dream that in the quietest moments makes itself known to our hearts…

18.  Ask yourself, “Where does your heart wander when you daydream?”  “If you could do anything you want, what would it be?”  “What makes you feel the most comfortable?”  “What settings and environments make you completely happy?”  “What things would I do for free if someone allowed me to do them?”  “If you could do anything in the entire world, what would it be?”

19.  All things are truly possible for those who follow their hearts – never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done…

20.  Follow your heart, make your dreams come true and choose to be happy.  You only have one life to live, so make every moment count.  Live your dreams without regret and never look back – do what you love, love what you do!

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“…helping individuals, organizations and businesses creatively solve their challenges…”

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