Monday, January 8, 2007

How to be happy and successful

I've read on many blogs the advice given by "specialists" and "self-improvement gurus" to be good to people. They share a common belief that to be successful, you need to talk to people. To greet them in the morning or while walking through the office premises.

After reading quite a few of them, I decided of giving it a try and be nice to people for a day to see the impact on my career success. This how it unfolded:

'I started out of my house wearing a "smile" (it sure pains to keep your face like that for a long time). I greeted the security personnel at my office door (who looked at me with "extra" suspicion). I greeted my project manager next, but he frowned at me. I don't know why, but I have a feeling he thought I was trying to make up for that "tussle" I had with him 2 weeks ago. Then I went to the cafeteria and greeted the sales manager there. He gave me a look that said clearly "We ain't giving no free coffee today".

This left me wondering where did I go wrong? Does the guru-advice really work? Or is that I am having a bad day?'

Now coming to think of it, I have a 50:50 proportion of good and bad days in my life. And going by my experience, I assume, most of us have a similar share and each of us have it at different times. So, mathematically, if I am having a good day doesn't mean others are having it too. In such a scenario, the "guru's" advice clearly goes for a toss.

Surprisingly, on another usual day, I ended up completing my work 2 days ahead of the deadline and my project manager showed me how his face looks when he is happy. He communicated this to our client and he wrote back something that showed he was happy to know this too. And of course, I was happy to get such an appreciation.

So just by being productive at work, I managed to alter the mood of two people. Ain't that an achievement for a day?

So let me ask this: "Is keeping a count on how many people you greeted today, going to make you a happy successful person? Or, Is doing you work diligently going to thrust you to the top?"