Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book review: Happiness at Work

Book: Happiness at Work
Author: Srikumar S Rao
Publisher: Tata McGraw Hill Education Pvt Ltd
Pages: 235
Price: Rs 295

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Mumbai Mirror on Wednesday, April 06, 2011 at 03:00:43 PM

You've had enough of people telling you, "Hard work pays in the end". It does not reflect in your salary slip. Your boss doesn’t appreciate your talent. You hate your job, but you can’t leave without thinking of your family and your future. You're depressed. And if someone now tells you to be “resilient, motivated and successful – no matter what” – you'd probably shut the door in his/her face.

What you need is a paradigm shift, Srikumar S Rao writes in Happiness at Work. It is not this simple. You have demanding bosses, difficult deadlines, convoluted rules and policies, difficult clients and obnoxious colleagues to deal with everyday. Don’t blame them, Rao asserts. The problem is with you. The boss, he says, is like the 'FedEx guy', who is only an instrument of delivery in the process and not the manufacturer of goodies such raises and promotions! 

After pointing the finger towards you, Rao devises strategies to help you better yourself and live your life more fruitfully. He dismisses multi-tasking as waste of time and asks you to wait a little before you move onto your next task, to become the observer instead of the subject, to look at the situation as objectively as possible. He tells you not to put 'good thing' and 'bad thing' labels on events because if you label something as 'bad', you end up creating too much stress for yourself by trying to 'think positive'. Let go of things and see the difference it makes to your life.

Instead of telling you what to do, Rao asks you questions about yourself. You may find them difficult to answer, but he eggs you on to try. He uses stories, anecdotes from his classes on creativity and personal mastery that he conducts at various business schools, Buddhist references and quotes to present to you various processes (both negative and positive) and their respective outcomes. 
Why self-help guides such as Happiness at Work are worth your money and time is because you find out there are many facing the same kind of problems around the globe. You are not alone in your misery. Just that thought makes you stronger and gives you the courage to take on your fears and stand up to challenge. You do want to lead a good life, become a better human being and help others. Happiness at Work shows you the way.

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