“The basic condition of happiness is freedom. If there is something on your mind that you keep thinking about, then you are caught and have no freedom.” (Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk and author)
I recently visited a new client’s workplace. When we went on a tour, I noticed that people seemed happy and cheerful. Most of the employees greeted me without any prompting from the business owner. There were a couple of dogs wandering around the hallways and on people’s desks. Some of the office equipment appeared to be used, the floors were old wood, and several employees would be stuffed in a room. But clearly there was a sense of purpose to their work.
As I was saying good-bye to the employee at the greeting desk, I asked her what her job was. With a big smile she said, “I have two jobs. One is to manage this place, and the second is I’m the Happiness Coordinator, which I love. It’s my favorite part of my work.”
Happiness Coordinator? Maybe in California, but in Des Moines, Iowa? I asked her, “So, what do you do as a Happiness Coordinator?” She said she gets to walk around the office several times a day to check on people, to see how they are feeling. If they are a bit down, or frustrated, or moody she cheers them up, maybe gets them a cup of coffee, or takes them for walk. Sometimes she gives them a hug or listens to them for a bit. She said, “I bring happiness to our workplace. And, I get paid to do that because we believe happiness is critical to doing our work.”
Ultimately, she was helping people to let go of what was caught in their minds so they can have the freedom to think creatively and be productive.
Do you have a Happiness Coordinator in your organization?