Finding Fun at Work: Cultivating Inner Happiness in the Age of Work Aesthetics

  Anthropologist Xiang Biao once described the contemporary era as a “suspended society”: everyone is busy working, just like a hummingbird suspended in the air, vibrating its wings crazily but not daring to relax. But just like a hummingbird’s purpose is just to stay suspended in the air, The present of modern people has also been suspended. The present has lost its meaning and is just a transitional tool pointing to the future.
  This has also become the source of anxiety, stress and internal friction. Everyone is working hard towards “the person they should be”, and the process is full of “shoulds” but no “happiness”. This has also caused people’s attitudes towards work to undergo unprecedented changes. While the new and old people are still looking for their next job, young people are thinking about retiring early or engaging in freelance work.
  But freelancing faces greater uncertainty and risks. It is not a “refuge” for most people in the workplace, but an “anchor” in their inner fantasies. It is a utopia for self-comfort when the workplace is unsatisfactory, allowing people to temporarily escape. The reality is shrunk in the longing for “another way of living.”
  But the cruel reality is: people who cannot get happiness from their work will find it difficult to find happiness after resigning. Happiness is not a gift from the external environment. As long as you change the environment and live a different way, happiness will fall from the sky; happiness is an inner ability that can be cultivated. It is what Wang Yangming said, “The master of the body is the heart.”
  The more infinite the game, the more it requires inner abilities that can be cultivated. The finite game aims at winning, producing many losers in the process, and competing for the final winner; while the infinite game aims at continuation, life is an infinite game, and the work that occupies the best years of life is also an infinite game.
  Having fun in the infinite game called “the workplace” is an important competitiveness.
The general trend of work aesthetics

  Happiness is highly related to meaning, but for hummingbirds, the status quo of hovering is a lack of meaning.
  In a period when individualism is not a prominent doctrine, the lack of sense of meaning can be filled by a sense of morality. Under the premise that “work is justice” and “not working is sin”, work ethics can create a kind of moral superiority without having to worry about meaning, because It’s the “right and proper” thing to do, just like the frantic fluttering of wings a hummingbird must do to stay suspended in the air.
  Behind the “right” and “should” is the self-feeling that is deliberately ignored. Zygmunt, the sociology professor, points out that historically, the push for a work ethic has inspired many sermons to instill as many correct rules and values ​​as possible.
  But times have changed. Nowadays, people live in a consumer society. Consumption means spending money on food and clothing, and satisfying one’s desires in all aspects. The rise of consumerism has disenchanted work ethics, and society has placed more emphasis on aesthetic taste rather than moral norms, awakening personal inner emotions.
  This has also changed people’s attitudes towards work. No matter how much emphasis is placed on correctness, people will still seek a sense of meaning and gain from work. Blindly emphasizing “must” and “correctness” will only continue to aggravate the originally tight labor-capital conflict. , workers tried to “mentally quit”, while managers lamented that their subordinates were not fully committed to their work, and would be labeled “black-hearted capitalists” if they were not careful.
  In the era of personalization, work aesthetics has become a general trend.
  Zygmunt believes that for modern people, work is no longer the axis of self-construction and identity, and is no longer the only way to moral improvement and confession and redemption. Like other activities in life, work is subject to aesthetic scrutiny, and the value of work The criterion must include the ability to experience pleasure.
  But just like every love begins before the other person is the perfect lover, and every job begins before the beginning and is a perfect career. It is not easy to “do one thing and love the other”, and ” Do one thing, blame another one.” The biggest loser is actually oneself.
  At a time when work aesthetics inevitably affects everyone’s emotions and value judgment standards, what are some down-to-earth methods that can help people find fun at work?
Build your own world

  If you want to be happy, clarifying the definition and boundaries of happiness is the first step.
  ”There are very few people who are mutually successful with their work and can feel happy at work, and many managers cannot do it. Just like some bosses who boss around, or sit on the boss’s chair and count money, or continue to put themselves at risk. I’m very busy, but is that really happiness? I don’t think so. It’s more like filling a void, and at most it’s a sense of satisfaction.” said Wang Lie, a 1994 P&G alumnus and founder of CMAA Management Consulting.

  The biggest difference between satisfaction and happiness is “stamina.” The feeling of satisfaction is like watching a short video for a whole hour, or staying up late to watch an entire TV series. Although you will have fun following the plot while watching the TV series, it is like overeating, which only fills the inner space at that time. The feeling of emptiness can be felt after it is over, and you will not feel happy if you think about it in a few days.
  Happiness is not a passive killing of time, but an active ability.
  ”If a person often feels lonely, lonely, cold, etc., then he most likely relies on others to obtain happiness. Those managers who keep themselves busy and fill all their schedules are like working out their muscles in the gym. Big people.” Wang Lie made an analogy.
  ”They work hard, are very diligent, and work out like crazy, but when you ask them what they are doing, you will find that they can’t give an answer. If you look again, you will see that there is another type of people in the gym – they are just doing it. Stretching, but the whole state is very relaxed.”
  People who work hard to build large muscles eventually become hummingbirds in the workplace – they are busy and tense for a long time, and they obviously look like they are working hard, but they can’t find it when walking. In this state, they just continue to consume energy and lack growth. They fill up their schedules more and seek peace of mind through busyness.
  But there are a few successful and happy people who are not tense, but are as gentle as jade, showing warmth, comfort and relaxation in every word and action. Their happiness is not sought outside, but generated from within. Just as Wang Yangming repeatedly emphasized the “nature of the heart”, happiness is obtained by oneself, and one must build one’s own inner world rather than relying on others or other things.
Stay in things, get out of things

  But no matter how solid the inner world is, it is inevitable to be impacted by the outside.
  In an online discussion about internal friction in the workplace, there was a highly praised comment that resonated with many people: “The source of internal friction in the workplace is not the work done, but the complex interpersonal relationships involved behind it. It is not hard for a person to do things quietly, but when you think about the things behind , it is very hard to deal with a lot of worldly affairs and communicate the interests and demands of all parties.” There
  are always people who are high-spirited and complacent and want to make a career in the workplace, but they find that the internal atmosphere is smoky and they are deeply involved in various emotional conflicts. , I can only lament that “interpersonal relationships are too complicated” and “do not fit in with the company atmosphere.”
  People do not live by chance and fate, but by their own understanding and views of the world. If you get too caught up in your emotions, you will lose sight of the future.

  ”When you meet someone you don’t like, don’t stay involved. The more you think about it, the more you get sucked into it. I have always joked that I came to this earth to experience life and observe different human beings. I am just a bystander. One day, I will To build a ‘human museum’ to record different people, there will definitely be bad people among them. That is a good time for me to observe and experience life.” Wang Lie said.
  ”Attitude determines success or failure” may sound mysterious, but it makes sense. To a certain extent, attitude is more important than ability. A positive attitude can continuously broaden the boundaries of ability and push a person forward further.
  The characteristic of human nature is that people always pay more attention to themselves. When an individual encounters grievances, if others advise him to “maintain a positive attitude” or “think more about other happy things when you are unhappy”, no matter how good the persuader’s starting point is, it will not be useful to the individual who is experiencing a trough. The words sound too light and airy, like watching a fire from the other side.
  A better suggestion is: try to change your perspective, step out of the incident, and pretend that you are an observer, and the injustice you have suffered is just the material accumulated from walking in the world. This is not “Today is too unlucky, and I have experienced another bad thing.” , but “It’s okay, add another observation sample and experience a new experience.”
  Stay within the situation, because everyone must face the immediate situation; get out of the situation, because the immediate situation is always the immediate matter, and there is a bigger picture in life, and you should not be blinded by small things.
Work Smarter is not empty talk

  ”I once met a girl who was having a hard time at work. She was in design, but it is difficult to have standards in the design industry. Everyone can express a few opinions,” Wang Lie recalled, “so every time her boss made changes, According to the opinion, she went back to work and worked hard, even using C4D. As a result, the boss wanted to make changes again, and she worked all over again, staying up late every day, endlessly.” This is not an isolated
  case in the workplace. There is always Party B complaining that “Party A’s request for expression is unclear and changes repeatedly” and “the phrase ‘almost feels’ is the scariest thing, because you never know which feeling is worse.”
  ”Later I told the girl, ‘Next time your boss gives his opinion, don’t do so much first. Instead, spend 5 minutes first, draw a sketch on paper and ask the boss if this is what he wants.'” Wang Lie recalled, “After the modification is completed, you can also do a review to sort out the key elements and thinking directions. If you encounter similar problems in the future, you can follow the template framework.” Hard work is not the way to solve all problems
  . Hard work is the foundation, but on top of that, we must work methodically, work smart, and use limited bullets on the most critical matters. After all, the happiness that work can produce often comes from completing a difficult task, rather than from repeated revisions and internal friction.
  First-class companies establish SOPs, and first-class individuals conduct reviews.
  If you want to remain competitive in the infinite game of the workplace for a long time, you do not rely on a single brilliance, but on refining the essence through revisions in the past, so that each project is no longer separated by a single time, but can be summarized. , reusable, and can lead to the accumulation of experience in the future.
There is a degree of relaxation, and the mountains will not change

  The thinking mode of most working people is formed within the rules of a limited game. They need to punch in to prove commuting, use 996 to show a positive work attitude, and give up annual leave to prove their enthusiasm for work.
  But just as there is no conflict between getting off work at 10pm and fishing during the day, the result of giving up vacation may be to fall into a more efficient working mode. Rest is an active behavior. Active rest can nourish the body and mind and continue unlimited play, while passive rest is just being led by life, and the feeling of fatigue is still real.
  Bai Yansong once said: “If you separate the word ‘blind’, it means ‘eye’ and ‘death’. The eyes are dead, so you can’t see. If you think about it this way, if you separate the word ‘busy’, could it be that the heart is dead? But? , everyone is busy, for profit and fame. Therefore, I don’t dare to say ‘busy’ anymore, because once the heart is dead, what’s the point of running around?”
  Finite games are games within boundaries and need to seize resources. Therefore, no troughs are allowed, let alone any relaxation. The infinite game is about boundaries and requires the creation of resources. Rest is the reconstruction of physical and mental resources.
  Really smart people know how to take the initiative to rest.
  ”Some colleagues like to save their vacations together, such as taking vacations together during the New Year, but traveling all the way home and visiting relatives during the New Year is not easy. Some people do not take vacations at ordinary times, but take vacations together when they leave. These are all passive rests. ” said a senior manager.
  ”An inefficient organization wastes time in lengthy meetings and various trivial communications. Everyone is working overtime and no one dares to mention vacation. This becomes a vicious circle. Everyone’s work is Those who have no nodes are passively accepting the work arranged by the boss and lacking the initiative to adjust their status. The foreign working model is to take active vacations. For example, after working for a period of time or completing a certain project, I will take a vacation to recharge my batteries before starting again. Next paragraph.”
  Don’t be stingy about taking the initiative to rest. In the long infinite game, be diligent when you need to do things, and rest when you are not in good condition. Everyone is the product manager of his own life. He must be careful about his career and himself. Responsible for the working status.
  As you journey towards the distance, remember to keep your heart up to speed.
  After all, what Infinite Games pursues is unchanging green mountains and ever-green waters. It is not a hummingbird that dares to relax in one go, but a life that is relaxed and self-consistent.
Initiative and “sweetness”

  As the founder of a consulting company, Wang Lie established a WeChat group called “Lao Wang and His Friends”, whose members include some current and former colleagues. This is a highly active WeChat group. Colleagues who have resigned will still chat in the group and enthusiastically share each other’s current situation.
  Wang Lie calls this group a club, and the criteria for joining the group are simple—people who can enjoy their work and have initiative. “I especially like people’s initiative. This is the most precious gift. You don’t have to be smart, but you must have initiative.” Wang Lie said, “There are colleagues in the company who have been here for a long time and have always been in their workstations. , and have never added me on WeChat. It’s okay, but these people will not join my club.”
  People who can maintain initiative at work for a long time have often tasted the “sweetness”. “Sweetness” can keep people curious, and “sweetness” can make people jump out of their comfort zones and enjoy the work that seems to be hard work to outsiders.
  ”For example, if an Olympic athlete retires and engages in another non-mental sport, he will most likely do well because he knows that when his efforts reach a certain threshold, it will be like boiling water. Just like that, it changed like a ‘bang’,” said Wang Lie.
  If a person often climbs mountains, has seen the beautiful scenery at the top, and knows the steepness and number of corners along the way, he will not regard the long and pitted stone steps as a pain, because he knows how many stone steps are left. Also know that big breakthroughs and beautiful views await, so the bumps along the way don’t translate into negative emotions.
  But more often than not, those who complain that “there is no hope for work”, “there is more and more hopelessness”, and “the physical and mental condition is getting worse” are because they have not completely walked this mountain road, and they will always be stuck halfway. , I have never seen the peak, and I don’t know how many ups and downs there are left to experience.
  When they looked up, the so-called “peak scenery” was actually full of unknowns; when they turned back, all they knew was the tired mountain road. It is often not the things that overwhelm people, but the emotions caused by the things. If you have not experienced threshold, you will feel that every stage is exhausting.
  ”For example, when you were studying, a person once had the lowest score in math, but after working hard, he got admitted to a prestigious school. This is the ‘sweetness’.” Wang Lie said, “Anyone who has tasted the ‘sweetness’ can often automatically resolve the unhappiness along the way. People’s thinking can be transformed, and you can copy the mentality you had while studying at work. Thinking about staying up late at night to read and the results you achieved, and then looking at the ups and downs you have experienced in the workplace, you will naturally change your mind.”

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