Are you truly happy?

That we all want to be happy is a no-brainer (I’m seriously hoping there’s no one who wants to be sad). In every area and sphere of our lives – love, family, health, finances, walk with God, career. Etcetera. 

When I say career, I mean your ‘livelihood’ whether as an employee, or an enterpreneur or a business owner (a.k.a hustler). All na career!

So, let’s think for a moment about all the things you need to have in your career to be truly happy (at least universally)….

  • A job that aligns with your basic strengths (many a frustration, this will save you)
  • Meaningful work (I’m hoping this is not only an oyinbo something. Lol)
  • Great team to work with
  • Fair compensation (Of course this one no dey end…..You’re just an Oliver……Oliver….Oliver Twist…Remember that D’banj and Don Jazzy’s hit? Guess we’re all Oliver Twists!)
  • Some autonomy (for employees, enterpreneurs/ business owners have all the autonomy in the world except when answering to a board, or they’re a group of partners)
  • Other fancy things like a job that gives me all the time I need to spend with family and friends (I wish I could jolt you awake! Lol)
  • And the list can go on and on…..and on…..

Now, let me be frank with you.

All the things I have listed above, as well as any other things you’ll like to add are a recipe for a happy career, no doubt. But….they will not make you happy. They cannot intrinsically make you happy. Happiness comes from within. As with any great list, this list can also be subjected to the 80:20 rule. So, find your core 20%, and you can make the rest work.

For me, two things stand out:

Do a job that both aligns with your basic strengths and is meaningful to you!

I know that may sound cliché! Simply because many of us are yet to define ‘our core strengths’ and ‘what is meaningful’ to us. You can only find that definition through exposure and really paying attention to yourself. How will you know if you’ll like jazz music if you’ve never listened to jazz. So experiment. Start by taking the job that’s available (of course within reasonable bounds of your core values), volunteer or take up a vocation if you are in between jobs, and give it your best shot. Doing something is always better than doing nothing! As you expose yourself to different situations, you can better clarify your core strengths, and what is meaningful to you.

Once you have that, then all you need to do is:

  1. Show up early. This also applies if you an entrepreneur.
  2. Give it 100%. Work late if required.
  3. Find your WOW factor. WOW means Walking on Water: as in Wow!!! It’s your differentiator. You need to find something you can do better than anyone else, polish it to a ‘t’. And then find another thing you can do better than others. Polish. Repeat. Before you know it, you could become a walking wonder a.k.a ‘Star Worker’.
  4. Take up the ‘unpleasant stuff’’. Those projects/ things that are important to the organization but nobody really wants to put up their hand for. It’s the easiest way to get visibility.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Of course you will get upset about circumstances that seem beyond your control. But express that emotion if you must and move on. Don’t get stuck in the past. Live in the present.
  6. Stay Optimistic. You can put a positive spin on almost anything. Every challenge can become an opportunity for improvement. It’s up to you.
  7. Choose to be happy. Being grumpy at something you do every day. Five or six days every week, is a sure recipe for…….well, unhappiness. And believe me; this will seep into other areas of your life. Slowly but surely. Change your job if you must, but give yourself the gift of happiness. You have a choice.

These, my friends are the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Happy Workers’; if I may borrow from the legend, Stephen Covey. I must add that this is by no means exhaustive. But, it’s a great starting point.

This is our first in the ‘StarWorker’ series, and I hope you did find these tips useful. If you did, don’t forget to share!

I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers to a happy work week, and a happier new month!


  1. Femi Adeniyi says:

    This is great Nike. I like the steps you listed. People who venture into careers without first assessing what is right for them may later find themselves in an unfulfilling and unsatisfying careers, and life by extension. Your career is pivotal to personal fulfillment.


  2. Tomie says:

    Love this write-up, especially the part on ‘Walking on Water’ – WoW.

    We need to learn to focus on our strengths rather than worry about the things we don’t do well. That’s the only way we can really be exceptional. Your weakness is someone else’s strength so don’t sweat it when that person excels in something you are average/terrible at. You go and excel in what you are unbeatable at and keep evolving.

  3. admin says:

    Thanks for stopping by Mrs B. You are right, we can do much more if we can focus on maximising our strengths and minimising our weaknesses……

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