What Were You Happy About Today?

What Were You Happy About Today? cover

At the end of the day, after a bed time story, I often ask my children this question: 
"What were you happy about today?"

The responses aren’t always very clear, but sometimes you are able to pick out a few key points. 

Dance in class

Gliding this afternoon

Play with friend 

Watching video of my performance

With these you get a glimpse of what was important to them and how they felt about certain activities.  Importance could mean many things at their young age, it could be something they were happy doing, it could be something they did well and got complimented for, or it could be any random act. Slowly, over time, parents should be able to pick up certain patterns.

This check in also helps instill gratitude on a daily basis, which I find is very important, especially in a world that values speed over patience, convenience over quality, and transactions over conversations. This very basic question will help them reflect on what made them happy, and parents can guide them to better understand their feelings and appreciate the world around them.

If you apply this at work, it’s still the same question, “What were you happy about today?”, but it can have 2 distinct meaning.

  1. Were you happy with your achievements for the day?
  2. Are you happy with work?

This simple question should trigger a process to evaluate the tasks that had been accomplished (or not) today, and help yourself or your team member determine if the day was well spent, and/or how it could have been improved. Look at what was well done and congratulate yourself for it, then take a look at what was not well done and decide how that will become better for tomorrow.

The same question should also go fundamentally deeper to question and/or affirm that you or your colleague were mindfully happy about your work in general. Are you finding joy in your work? Do you actively and passionately find ways to make work great? If so, great! If not, could it be that you would be better suited in another job, occupation or field? I have worked with team members previously that were young and unsure about their career path. Through observations and many conversations, we were eventually able to identify their strengths, their interest and how that can become a path of pursuit. One colleague went from digital marketing to sports marketing and yet another went on to open her own bakery. Both successful and happy in their own ways now. 
So, friends, for today, just ask yourself this very simple and basic question: "What were you happy about today?"  In fact, go ahead and ask your team members, your family members and … also, your children. 

#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #SucceedAtWork #CareerTips #ParentingSkills #Leadership
"Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.

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