Using Your Strengths to Become Happier

One good way to become lastingly happier is to know your "signature strengths" and exercise them.

A signature strength is a characteristic that you are not only naturally good at, but that makes you feel good when you exercise it. For example, my top signature strength is Love Of Learning. I am naturally curious and I am good at learning, and it actually makes me happy to learn new things.

Anyway, The Chief Happiness Officer had a great little mission for his readers: A seven-step process to discover your signature strengths and exercise them at work in order to be happier while you're on the job. A worthy mission! Here's a link to the article and one of the seven steps:

Monday Tip: Use your strengths at work: "What strengths do you rarely or never use at work? These represent untapped potential for you and your workplace. Is there any way you could get to use them more often?"

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Could I Just Do Part Of It For Now?

The following is part of a series called Direct Your Mind. Good questions can be used effectively to direct your mind so you're using your mind to work for you rather than against you. Read more here about how to use the technique.

The time-management expert, Alan Lakein, calls this the “Swiss Cheese” method. You poke a hole in your project. After you poke enough holes in a project, there isn’t much left. A large project becomes easier and easier to tackle the more holes you poke in it. Also, when you don’t have the time or motivation to tackle your project, you can do some small thing that moves it forward, even a little, and that will do two things: It’ll improve your mood, and it will make the project a little less intimidating.

This question keeps you moving. It keeps you making progress.

One of Lakein’s techniques is to set a timer for five minutes, and work on your project until the time is up. Because it is so brief, you are not at all intimidated. Five minutes. You can stand just about anything for five measly minutes.

Often you’ll find that once your five minutes are up, you don’t really want to stop. But by giving yourself such a small goal to begin with, you are able to get something done. Without that technique, you would have gotten nothing done on that project.

And working on your project for even five minutes gets you thinking about it, which is usually a good thing.

We tend to think about projects as a whole. This question gets us thinking about doing smaller parts of the whole. Do you have a large project you’ve been putting off because it’s such a large project and you don’t want to get started? Ponder this question. Can you do something on it for five minutes? Can you do a small part of it now?

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth
SlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.