How to find JOY in a JOYLESS workplace by Sam GLenn, The Attitude Guy

Now, I have no idea what your workplace is like, if your workplace culture lacks joy as a whole, or if there is someone specifically who you might call the “joy zapper.” They find a way to zap joy out of everything and everyone around them. Come on…you know who I am talking about. Right?

I just finished giving a speech, and a guy came up to me afterwards and said, “Sam, I love my work, but what is hard is my wife has the kind of job that really turns her attitude sour. Her boss adds more stress to her life, and as she gets ready to go to work, you can see her neck actually tighten up. She doesn’t walk out the door with a smile. I know it’s called work for a reason, but what can she do so when she comes home she is more joyful to be around? When she gets home, it’s like she is so full of stress and anger that it is affecting our relationship.”

I get where this guy is coming from. I don’t think I ever saw my parents leave for work happy or come home filled with joy. Honestly, they worked to provide, and that was it. Their workplaces were not supportive or engaging. After experiencing this firsthand, it added fuel to my mission to help hard-working people find more joy, fulfillment, and purpose in their work. Because believe it or not, whatever vibe is happening in your workplace will come home with you. Bringing added stress into the home is not a good thing, so here are a few very simple, yet effective, ideas that will encourage you to find more joy where you work. You might have a great workplace, so these will help bring you more joy. And if you struggle to find joy where you work, they will help you focus on finding moments of joy, too.

Here are the few tips to be happy in the workplace

  1. Start your day off by choosing an attitude that works for you. This might be listening to your favorite music when you wake up. It might be grabbing a cup of coffee, sitting for five minutes, and really enjoying the moment. Do what I do: when I wake up, I look for positive quotes and read a few to feed my attitude. Remember, a positive attitude isn’t going to stop bad things from happening, but it will give you more mental strength to deal with joy zappers throughout the day. Joy zappers might be something unexpected happening or someone you work with. Basically, every day is filled with joy zappers, so you have to really focus on choosing an attitude that works for you. Feed your attitude with positivity rather than complaints. Do what you can to put your attitude in the best place you can before you walk out the door in the morning.


  1. Start by finding just one thing that brings you joy where you work. For some of you, this may require some effort. It can be super simple – like someone who is all smiles and says hi everyday. Maybe your office always has clean bathrooms. Maybe you can get up and go for a walk around the building and feel good. The idea is to focus on a joyful moment or person. That is your seed and focus for joy. Small moments of joy feed our attitude and dissolve stress. It also changes your focus from looking for more things to complain about to finding more little things that bring you simple joy.


  1. Be grateful for the work. I think we all had jobs growing up that weren’t the most ideal, but if you can be grateful for the work, you will do better work. Be thankful that you have work so you can provide for yourself or others in your family. Trust me, this is one I practice daily.

In fact, neuroscientists have proven that every time we appreciate something, we flood our bodies with endorphins, which produce a sense of well-being. As the old Irish proverb states, "Count your joys instead of your woes. Count your friends instead of your foes." I've found that by telling people, "I appreciate you," or telling them I appreciate something specific that they have done helps me to nurture positive and supportive relationships.

  1. Expand Your Notion of Work: Aristotle believed that a happy life was to be found in creating genuine friendships. You will spend a great deal of your time and life energy working. I think it's smart of you to enjoy it as much as possible. A positive attitude toward your job reduces stress, adds to your well-being, and can better position you for advancement opportunities.

Remember You Always Have Choices

Everything in your job is not going to go the way that you hope, pray, or plan. You are going to experience unexpected challenges and change. This is inevitable. You have the freedom to choose your attitude toward the circumstances that you face on the job. You can choose a way of thinking that helps to solve problems and increase the success of your workgroup, or you can choose a way of thinking that becomes a problem to your co-workers and bosses. You have the power to choose your work attitude, and in doing so, you will either increase or decrease your happiness and success on the job.

Begin to wake up each day with the meaningful intention to enjoy your job. It doesn't have to be the job that you want more than anything; it can be the job that you're doing right now as you prepare to do better. The important thing is that you don't allow this time in your life to pass with you failing to make the most out of the here and now. If you choose to do this, you will discover, as I did and millions of others have realized, that happiness on the job is based on choices and not circumstances. It is my hope that your choice to be happy in the workplace becomes like a contagion, everyone that you come in contact with becomes infected with it, and it begins to spread throughout your workplace environment. You can be a catalyst for positive change in your workplace.


Sam Glenn is an award winning motivational speaker, author and performance artist. Organizations who love to empower their people to think better, do better, and live better use Sam’s books and hilarious speeches to ignite more purpose and engagement in the workplace. Sam is always the most requested presenter to return by conference attendees. If you attend one of his speeches, you will see why. For more information on Sam Glenn or speaking engagement inquires, contact his office at Sam and his team are ready to bring to the “WOW FACTOR” to your next big meeting.

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