A 7 Days guide for the pursue of Happiness while working in Finance

Marco Venturelli3 July 2018
A 7 Days guide for the pursue of Happiness while working in Finance

While reflecting on how Finance associates can help increasing Happiness in their working environment and companies, I read various blogs and articles on the matter and decided to propose a 7 Days behavioural based approach.The major caveat coming from a recent book “Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life,” by Harvard Medical School professor and psychologist Susan David is that the following suggestions will work if you like being a Finance associate and you like what you are doing: ‘Happiness, Susan David found, is the by-product of pursuing things that have intrinsic value to us. In other words, when you do something you love, that’s when you’ll feel happy’. So the suggestions are valid for those that are already convinced about their choice.

Create your own Happiness regimen

Research is clear: Happiness, resilience, connection, and kindness are skills that can be taught and developed over time—with practice.That’s why UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, in collaboration with HopeLab, launched Greater Good in Action: “Synthesizing hundreds of scientific studies, Greater Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life—and puts them at your fingertips in a format that’s easy to navigate and digest.The practices in Greater Good in Action are for anyone who wants to improve his or her social and emotional well-being, or the well-being of others, but doesn’t necessarily have the time or money to invest in a formal program. We hope they serve as building blocks for creating your own happiness regimen.While we’ll never have a sure path toward happiness, we believe these practices can create lasting improvements in individuals, families, and communities. Over time, they can evolve into habits, and from habits become a new way of experiencing the world.”

Another source of inspiration are “The 10 keys for happier living” created by Action For Happiness (AFH), an international non-profit of people dedicated to the creation of a happier world, which has the Dalai Lama as its patron. They’re a list of happy guidelines, unique because they’re both practical and research-based.

What I propose are then some “small changes that all add up, when it comes to mood”. 

The 7 Days Guide for Finance 

Monday: Giving – Do Things For Others. You are back at work and on your desk the last week Sales report. Division Two, the one the company is counting a lot for this quarter results, is again behind budget. Give them a call, let them know that you care, offer your support. “I am sure we are all together doing the right things. It just takes time for our initiative to generate expected outcome” you may say. Show some compassion, maybe it was your team to set such a high target to the Division head.

Tuesday: Relating – Connect with people – Make three extra connections today. Take the stairs and go to Departments of your organization where they usually do not meet you. The Labs? A nearby Warehouse? The Internal communication team?. It is up to you. Stop to chat with them tell them what the Company is doing, learn some new name. Show your Emotions: say something positive: “Your proposal to expand the Labs has really positively impressed me. It will be stretched to fund it but you were so passionate behind the idea that we are taking the risk”

Wednesday: Exercising – Take care of your body. Are you exercising in the local company gym or prefer more exclusive places? Pay the fee, go to the company gym: notice which healthy actions lifts your mood and do more of them. “Try to limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 and a half hours a day” suggests Dr Mike Evans.

Thursday: Awareness – Live life mindfully – “Reflect – Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance” say Morgan Freeman. Notice and appreciate the good things that your company is doing, list the KPIs where you are beating competition, call to your mind all the efficiency projects you team is committed to, think to some individuals that helped you in your life to become who you are, that were meaningful to you. Clear your table, quit your email and reflect on small positive things. Vanessa King, AFH’s lead positive psychologist and architect of the keys, who’s writing a book on them, suggest to canvass friends to find out what you are good at – then do more of it.

Friday: Acceptance No-one’s perfect. But so often we compare a negative view of ourselves and the difficulties to make things happen in the place where we work, with an unrealistic view of other people and the organization they work for. Dwelling on our flaws – what we are not rather than what we have got- makes much harder to be happy. Friday’s SWAT could mean maybe ‘Sell What’s Available Today’, putting passion and determination instead of desiring someone else’s’ s success. Notice things you do well, however small.

Saturday: Resilience. ‘Fail again, fail better’ sustains Samuel Beckett. Get from Netflix the movie Pursuit of Happiness based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a “Bone Density scanner”. He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell, as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him; he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices. Or watch again Life is Beautiful where a gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice, meets Dora, a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with his charm and humour. Eventually they marry and have a son, Giosue. Their happiness is abruptly halted, however, when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and taken to a concentration camp. Determined to shelter his son from the horrors of his surroundings, Guido convinces Giosue that their time in the camp is merely a game.

If the week was heavy take the day to shift your mood and bring new perspectives to the challenges you are facing.

 Sunday Trying out – Keep learning new things Surprise your family cook a new meal, bring them to visit a new nice place, “As long as you live, keep learning how to live” said Seneca. Find time to lose yourself in what you love.

It’s Monday again, you enter smiling your office. On your desk the Quarterly Report…Division Two made the Sales target. It is time to set your goal for the next quarter. Share your dreams; tell to 3 people what is important for you and the company. Set your personal Happiness goal and share with them. Be The Happy CFO