Brain Food: Your route to the top - Think Differently

Redefine your work. Research shows that activities we label as 'work' are naturally less pleasurable than 'play'. Blur the work/life boundaries - there is little difference between a challenging meeting and an argument over dinner.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Seek happiness. Wait for the interesting projects to come to you and they won't. If the CEO's new initiative gets your adrenalin pumping, work out how you can contribute, and volunteer. Put yourself in the fast lane if that's what you want.

Find the purpose. How are you improving people's lives? From the product and the customers, through to the team you are leading and developing, relish the impact you have.

Stretch yourself. Pleasure alone does not make us happy - we also need challenge. For this reason, we're three times more likely to find happiness at work. Set yourself an ambitious goal that will push you to new levels.

Build the people around you. Delegate in a way that builds your staff's skills. They'll love you for it and you'll be admired by others - and spend more time on what you enjoy.

Praise people. It's infectious, and will raise the mood of everyone around you.

Appreciate the good things. Give as much attention to strengths, achievements and qualities as you do to problems, challenges and mistakes.

Think back. 'Experience is a good teacher but she sends mighty bills', said US writer Minna Antrim. Write down all the things you achieved at work last year, however small. Then reflect on what you learnt from things that didn't go so well.

Stick to your focus. Decide in what area you want to achieve, and plan how you are going to make it happen, with clear timings. Then get going.

- The Mind Gym: Give me time, published by Time Warner Books (£12.99), is available in all good bookshops.


Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime