Shift happens. In fact, it’s already happening. Gallup reports that almost 50% of Americans are “suffering” and unhappy, 2/3 (65%) are ‘miserable’ at work, and 3/4 (75%) report that the most stressful part of their lives is their work/boss. In 1999, these numbers looked different. Only 1/4 (25%) saw their job as stressful.
These statistics are incredibly important for you and me. Why? Recent research in interpersonal neurobiology and quantum physics now confirm what Buddhist monks learned 4000 years ago in deep meditation: our thoughts are like FM radio signals – they reach outward, they affect the feelings/moods of other people unconsciously, and they can make us incredibly sick. A bad mood quite literally spreads like a virus. 90% of what we see the doctor for in America is completely thought-related – things like fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, high blood pressure, ulcers, fibromyalgia, and even heart disease (National Institute of Mental Health) .
There is a shift happening. Those attuned to it can feel it. Those not attuned can read about it in the newspaper or see it in their community as yoga centers emerge in uburbia. We want to be happy. The things we thought would make us happy, do not. The key to happiness does not exist outside us. It is not found in the size of the house we have, the clothes that we wear, or the amount of money in our bank account. In fact, the relationship between cash and contentment is rather squirrelly - displaying a U-curve relationship, not a linear one (i.e., those who are starving are not happy; those that are wealthy are not happy, because both spend their time worrying about money).
If we want to change the world, we start by changing ourselves…
If we want to be happy, we must look within.
We no longer need to preach about the link between employee engagement and business performance. The most successful companies in the world get it: The happiness / contentment / wellbeing of their people – their “culture” – is critical. Engaged people create financially strong companies. No one debates this today.
We understand the link between engagement and performance well. However, business consultants understand little about how to create engagement. Most approaches are outside-in. HR programs are created, company picnics are held, or perhaps even the interior of the office is updated. If one thing is crystal clear in the happiness research, it is what we know from the Ancients: happiness, contentment, and even employee engagement must come from within; it is an inside-out process, not outside-in. Believe it or not, the color of the walls in your office doesn’t do diddley for your mood or sense of wellbeing; how you manage a difficult coworker conversation, though, does.
You can do something about it. Teach a woman to fish and feed her for life. Stop painting the walls of the corporate office and start listening to the ideas of your associates. Stop creating policies and start thinking outside the cubicle. Employee engagement, high performance cultures, and thriving companies are developed, not imagined. It starts with belief – a real knowing that if your company wants to thrive, it must deeply care about the thriving of its people.
At the Moksha Institute, we can help you create a thriving company. Our workshops and team building sessions are dynamic, interactive, and life changing experiences. Organizations are just sacred mirrors of their leaders, and through our intensive teambuilding and culture shaping workshops, we transform work teams/leaders and create cascading impacts throughout the company.