Happy And Performing

In his book called Brain Rules, Dr John Medina said that happy brains perform significantly better because stress hurts brains and people. Other than the jumbo-mumbo cells damage because of stress attacks, stressed brains also resulting to depression, performance decline, truancy, loss problem solving abilities and creativity and physical deterioration. Well, some dose of stress to some people pushed them to the next level of excellence, unfortunately different people requires different dose. One thing clear is we need to have a happier brain because it does more good to our body overall. Therefore we need to change our relationship with stress because our attitude towards stress can dramatically affect us. Let’s digress a little bit.

How important is your job to you? Most people would say very important because they need to pay bills, earn a living and probably build their future. Next question is, do you really need this job? Most would say yes. My final question is what are you willing to do to keep this job? This question usually makes people think because I expect commitment answers.

Now, the reason I am asking you this question is to make you realize that if you’re going to spend 30-40 years of your life working on something; it has to be something that make you happy doing because otherwise you will not achieve anything other than; paying bills. It’s very damaging to your brain. If you are in the state of feeling agitated with your job right now, time to check your brain.

Assuming Dr John Medina is right about our brains, hey every second of our thought comes from our brains and whatever anything you are right now is the result of how your brain thinks. Simply because the brain is the control centre. Have you heard of this saying that what you read today determines who you are tomorrow? Replace read to think! You got the answer. Now let’s talk about performance.

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

One scholarly article written Peter F Drucker, Spirit of Performance explains a little bit about performance. I was introduced to this piece of gem by my ex-boss (thanks boss! :)) from a book, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Practices. You got to read this book and you’ll understand why it’s gem.

Performance means the ability to produce results over prolonged periods of time and in a variety of assignments. Spirit of performance means the energy output is larger than the sum of the efforts put in. How many organizations today that you know talk about performance? Yes, almost every damn organization requires performance. But how many do you think truly practice the true definition of performance? Do you think we can achieve the true meaning of performance with damaged brains? That’s the main reason why happy brain makes happy people and improves performance. With improved performance it makes people happy and happier brains. It creates virtuous cycle (good) than vicious cycle (bad).

In another recent analysis about the relationship between happiness and performance provides remarkable finding. Happy employees apparently on average, 31% higher in productivity, 37% higher sales and 3 times higher in creativity. Happier people also spend longer hours at work because of their dedication and retained in the organization voluntarily. In my PTMBD interview with Dato’ Ameer of Mydin Holdings, he said once that he’s no longer working because he has found what he is happy doing. Look how Mydin Holdings has thrived over the years. I don’t want to insult you further, because I am sure you’ve heard these examples and quotes thousand times. But really, what have you started doing when it comes to Happy And Performing? If you are doing something, how you can make it contagious and affect other people? Let’s free up knowledge and make it flow!

You may ask how to find happiness at work, right? One statement that sums it all, “it’s always very easy to feel trapped and hopeless when you don’t know or love what you are doing”. If you are in this state right now, it is very clear that you are not happy. I suggest you to get out of that rut by taking holidays, talk to someone or let it out through writing. By all means, you have to get out of that state first. I believe motivation comes from believing in yourself and in what you do. Do not delegate your own motivation to someone else; whenever possible.

Now, let say you are already happy and meeting your performance level and you want to ramp further, right? You want to be in high performance mode, how to do it? I found basic stuffs that make a lot of sense to ramp up performance instantaneously in from Rasmus Ankersen; a Danish writer. Here’s what he outlined on how to become top performer:

  1. Must perform under conditions of intense pressure
  2. Must understand numbers drive everything
  3. Is constantly under pressure from ambitious new competitors all over the place/world
  4. Realise that last year’s result becomes next year’s baseline
  5. Constantly grows and reinvents themselves in order to stay at the top
  6. Is subject to brutal accountability; you win or lose – nothing in between
  7. Must have sustainable drive, or achieving performance goals difficult

Your application on all these seven prerequisites to become top performer are the true test to improve your performance. I recommend you to put some thoughts into it and pen it down. Remember, what you think you become. Let’s be happy and performing.

Brickbats please send to [email protected]