By: Kevin Alavi – VP, Strategy & Operations
Attract, LLC | 715.483.7500 | www.attractllc.com

I’m about to share a secret with all of you. Ready? Here it is: only you can create your own happiness. Shocking isn’t it? I bet each of you reading this knows someone who relies on others to make them happy. These are the same people who want a raise because “they deserve it” and they want to be promoted because “they been working here for ‘x’ years.” When something goes wrong these people point the finger at everyone but themselves; they never look in the mirror.

I used to be guilty of this. I used to make excuses and blame others when I was unhappy or failed. I had a real hard time looking in the mirror and living in reality. After years of finding myself continually “short-changed,” I had an awakening. While I was in school pursuing my MBA, I took a Management class that focused on self-reflection and self-awareness. It was in that class that I finally realized all my shortcomings and failures were because of my own actions. It wasn’t until I completely dissected myself (and learned how to) that I realized I am in complete control of my destiny, and ultimately my happiness.

Want a promotion? Work hard so your promotion is earned. Put yourself in position to be promotable. Too many think “I have been at this company for three years, I deserve a promotion!” It’s probably the biggest mistake in thinking (and self-assessment) I see people make. Tenure doesn’t guarantee anything…except maybe a company pen stating, “Thanks for your years of service.” You want a promotion? Stand out. Perform. Execute. Be results oriented. Be a team player. Make it a no brainer when it comes time to promote someone that you’re the clear choice. If you get passed up for a promotion, take the opportunity to gather feedback on why. Believe the feedback and work on correcting it. Nothing is more amazing than when I see someone own his or her feedback and do something about it. Talk about making an impression! On the flip side, nothing is more telling when I see someone not owning the feedback and moping around when they are not chosen for a promotion. Their quality of work slips and it’s a downward spiral. Usually when I see that response to rejection, it’s clear that person wasn’t deserving of the promotion.

Unhappy with your current situation at work (or anywhere for that matter)? What are you waiting for? What do you think will change by waiting around? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I see too many people who feel “stuck” but don’t do anything about it. I was talking to a friend not too long ago. She was telling me how she needed a new job and that she wasn’t happy with her current one. I asked her to send me her resume so I could try to help. Her response was “I haven’t had time to update it.” I said in response, “so this new job is going to magically appear because you want a new one?” I encouraged her to own her situation and help herself.

If you aren’t going to help yourself, who will? You have to take the initiative. Do what you can first, like updating your resume (for example). Then you can seek help from those you know. Don’t be the person who is doom and gloom but does nothing about it. I assure you, no one is going to “save you.” Be your own “Superman” or “Wonder Woman.”  

Only you can create your own happiness. Waiting for someone else to make you happy will put you in a world of sadness and ultimately disappointment. If you are not happy, do something different. If you are feeling stuck, make a change. What are you waiting for? Happiness is just around the corner. You just have to get up and go after it.