Happily working away!

Happiness at the work place is worth working for. A new book promises you a new mindset and a schedule to begin work on that project

anushka

Anushka Dixit | February 15, 2019 | Delhi


#dream analysis   #self analysis   #mindfulness   #R Anand   #book review   #self help   #meditation   #Happiness at work   #stress management  
R Anand
R Anand

There’s no dearth of self-help books. They come in a multitude of single-topic and hybrid varieties: habit change, management, habit change in management, spirituality, spirituality in management...you get the drift. Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis, and Well-Being, by R Anand, adds to the list, promising the dream of fulfilment at what most of us do for a major part of our lives.

It’s pitched at managers and white-collars; the soldier in Siachen, the railway mechanic, the garbage truck operator may perhaps be served better by the Bhagwad Gita, or if they are of a different temperament, the Hanuman Chalisa.
 
Anand is a human resources professional, and he draws from psychology, science, leadership lessons, spirituality and so on to teach young professionals to use meditation and self-analysis tools to deal with the stress of too many meetings and phone calls, tight deadlines, long commutes, missed promotions.  
 
In ten chapters, Anand speaks of how to identify stress, its sources, and ways to handle it. There is a questionnaire to profile one’s stress patterns. He explains how distortions (universal and personal) in thinking affect our moods and worldview. In conversation, he emphasises how one can dig deep and reclaim ourselves from these distortions which have created our “default” view of the world. “Observing ourselves at work and at interactions through the tools of psychological analysis will give clues to this pre-programming. Equally, studying our dreams can give us a direct view of our unconscious. Together, we can get an idea of the nature of our distorted thinking and the reasons we have them. Insights from this analysis can make us more rational, mentally healthy and happy,” he tells Governance Now.
 
Many of the ideas in the book have been explored in self-help books and practised by thousands, but Anand’s presentation is an inviting primer to the art of being productive and creative. He introduces multiple philosophies and scientific theories which could prove helpful to 21st century professionals. The book extends ancient ideas to modern times; however, some parts may be too technical for the intended audience. The new generation, moreover, looks for everything online: courses, counselling, even self-help. So, it would perhaps have been better to link the book with an online website offering freebies such as questionnaires, productivity logs, charts, etc. An extended presence of this sort will also improve its reach.
 
The book aims to find a fix for hardships at work and the pursuit of happiness. It sets out to create a solid foundation instead of just offering, like many online resources do, ten to-do steps. The book also discusses the psychology of development, tying adult hassles to childhood experiences, and the conditioning that makes us behave as we do. Real life and hypothetical situations are presented as examples of problematic behaviour and how mental tactics can correct them. There are boxed items offering ‘Happiness mantras’. 
 
A senior vice president for human resources at HCL Technologies, Anand has two decades of work experience. He is also on the board of the National Human Resource Network. This is his second book. The earlier one was Job Readiness for IT & ITES. 
 
anushka@governancenow.com
(This book review appears in the February 28, 2019 edition)

 

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