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spike bullet December 2009 - The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life

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spike bullet  The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life Dancing Lady

by Tom Terez

1. Thou shalt honor thyself
Your brain can process 100 trillion instructions per second while using the equivalent of just 12 watts of power.  Your heart beats 100,000 times per day, carrying your blood some 12,000 miles (19,000 km).  Youíre built to imagine, create, communicate, and love.  If you do nothing else today, sit back in awe of yourself.

2. Thou shalt be true to thyself
Only one person has your portfolio of experience, know-how, skills, and style attributes.  Youíre in charge of putting it to work without compromise.  If you need inspiration, consider Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Edison.  All of these greats ó and many more ó enriched the world by rejecting conformity and making the most of their differences.

3. Thou shalt speak up
When you have a good idea, share it.  When you have a question, ask it.  When you need help, say so.  When your help is needed, offer it.  When you see a scene of disrespect, step forward and set things right.  When you envision a better future, put it in spoken word.  Your voice needs to be heard.

4. Thou shalt strive to simplify
Whenever people congregate, they tend to overcomplicate.  That explains those countless workplace rules, objectives, projects, deadlines, and meetings.  Itís up to you to challenge the raging routine.  Take a fresh look at your schedule, and eliminate every activity that seems important but isnít.  An action is either mission-driven or mere motion.  Keep the former, ditch the latter.

5. Thou shalt assume the best
Few people wake up and declare: "Iím going to make this a horrible day.  Iím going to foul things up and make life miserable for my co-workers."  No, most people want good days in which they use their know-how, exercise their creativity, and make a positive contribution.  Assume and expect the best ... and thatís what youíll get.

6. Thou shalt fix processes, not people
Itís tempting to blame that missed deadline or fouled-up project on Debbie, Dan, or some other nearby human punching bag.  But the fact is, problems almost always occur because of process issues, not people.  So cut Debbie and Dan some slack ó and enlist their help in analyzing and improving the flow of activities that make up the process.

7. Thou shalt serve a greater purpose
Henry David Thoreau lived 150 years ago, but his words seem especially relevant in todayís Blackberried world: "It is not enough to be busy ó so are the ants.  The question is: What are we busy about?"  Nor is it enough to have a mission statement that lies forgotten.  Whatís needed is a heartfelt mission that gives meaning to all the work-related busyness.  Whatís yours?

8. Thou shalt be interested
Want to be interesting?  Then be interested ó in people, processes, clients, customers, competitors, and more.  Open your eyes a bit wider.  Be more curious.  Seek new challenges.  Start more conversations.  Make a point of asking questions rather than making statements.  Turn your work world, and the larger world, into your own lifelong school.

9. Thou shalt honor time away from work
Youíre more than an employee.  Youíre more than the sum of your tasks.  Youíre a human being, not a human doing.  Treat yourself accordingly by rounding out how you spend your time.  Balance your time at work with time at home, outdoors, in the community, and elsewhere.  Youíll recharge your battery while gaining new insights and perspectives that inform your work.

10. Thou shalt be thine own best manager
Guess whoís in charge of you.  Hint: Itís not your boss, your bossí boss, or anyone else.  The sooner you take responsibility for your own happiness and fulfillment, the sooner youíll achieve it.

Tom Terez ( is an international consultant and frequent speaker on organizational performance ( and personal excellence (  Copyright © 2007 Tom Terez Workplace Solutions, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission of the author.

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Related newsletter article:
    February 2009 - Staying Inspired
    December 2008 - Finding gratitude within the angst
    December 2007: Management Styles (just for fun)
    December 2004 - Make it Lighter (Fun at Work)
    September 2008 - The Joy of Work
    December 2002 - Taking a Productivity Break
    December 2001 - Lighten Up
    December 1999 -- Fun at Work 
    September 2004 - Stress Busters: Managing Stress in the Workplace

    September, 1997 - Balancing Life and Work
    May 2007 - The Law of Attraction at Work

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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