Being miserable at work

I read a quote by Carlos Castaneda the other day while in Planet Books and it struck me like a sledge-hammer. “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” I have known what seems to have been so many miserable people it really isn’t funny. I used to think that I could help them to be happy. All I got was exhausted and they just wanted more of me and my energy. I judged them harshly and eventually avoided them believing they were nothing but a drain. Then I realised I was ignorant.

Drugs don’t even help

Let’s face it, we’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve been sad and that to me is not misery. A miserable person is someone who just cannot be happy, joyful or satisfied by anything in life. They are the perpetual ‘grass-is-greener’ (or there is no grass just desert) person who has nothing positive to say. To be around them is a drain on other peoples energy. We all know at least one person like this. Drugs don’t even help these people. Is it really their fault though?

It’s genetic?

At a conference “Mind & its Potential” in December 2009, I heard preeminent scientists from around the world and the Dala Lama discuss the concept of happiness. A fascinating topic. What I learned changed my life, my outlook and raised my level of compassion for miserable people. You see, science has discovered that we all have a pre-set point for being happy. Happiness and by virtue of their relationship to each other, misery, are genetic! Some people really cannot help being miserable. Or is it that simple? I don’t think it is. I’ve seen miserable people get joyful and satisfied, and I’ve seen them enjoy life for more than just one day.

It takes work

Otherwise known as effort, working at something always produces results. I think it is a law of nature and some guy years ago confirmed it, that when a force is applied to an object providing the force is large enough to move the object, the object will move. Misery is possibly the heaviest object in the known universe. I think it is also a paradox. You can get the entire world’s population to work on moving one person’s misery and it will not move. Get the miserable person to apply just a little bit of effort on a daily basis and the misery will move.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that people with diagnosed depression or other mental illnesses can alter or effect their state of mind.

There is a difference between being miserable and having a serious mental illness.

What kind of effort can move misery

I suggest starting with being grateful. Gratitude is a powerful motivator to seeing how lucky we are for the things that we have in our lives. Perhaps the most important thing to be grateful about are the loving relationships we have. Once we see, feel and experience the love we have in our loves it is pretty hard to be miserable about life. We put so much effort into being miserable everyday and yet if we put that same effort into being grateful how much better would our experience of life be.

So the next time you are with someone that is miserable, be compassionate to them. Unlike us, their pre-set point for happiness is higher than ours and they need to work harder at being happy. They just don’t know it yet.

Written by Allan. Posted in Workplace & Personal Relationships

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Hi, I'm Allan, the Director of Beyond IQ Pty Ltd. My goal is to provide you with insightful and thought provoking material. I hope to inspire you to start or join the discussion below and to keep coming back. I believe that conversation will inevitably lead to a greater truth, and I want you to be a part of it. Get to know me a little better. Find me on Facebook, add me to your circle on Google+ or join my professional network on LinkedIn

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