I believe that one of the key factors for happiness at work, and this includes projects, is PASSION. Passion comes from feeling like you are a part of something that you believe in, something bigger than yourself.
This meaning by itself is still fluffy if you expect a formal definition of the term. Alas, I am not sure whether or not it is a) possible or b) desirable to offer a formal definition. Passion is, just as ‘happiness’, very personal and subjective in its meaning and its implications. Hence, I like to stay it with the attempt of the offered description of passion, i.e., passion comes from feeling like you are a part of something that you believe in, something bigger than yourself.
Careful! Passion is contagious and the gate to being and expressing yourself
And yet as ‘passion’ is subjective as it may be it is not limited in its scope. Passion can be contagious. Look at a group of people who are passionate about their activities, may it be music, sports or work. When you observe them not only can you see the smiles in their face, you can literately feel and sense their passion, their excitement and energy. These people share something in common, something that moves them, something that excites them. And they love every minute of it. What would you do as an observer or bystander?
I can speak for myself: most likely, watching a passionate group of people would make me smile for I like it when I see people who are happy. And I may even admire them for having found their passion and expressing it. It is cool and it is worthwhile striving for. It may remind me of my own passion. Or it may remind me that I yet have to identify my passion in a specific area and express it. Fact is that expressing your own passion releases energy and it comes back to you multifold in a very positive way. It is a ‘flow’ state where time seizes to exist and you enter a state of ‘being’.
Achieving a flow state is a wonderful experience. It is fun, exhilarating, exciting, stress-relieving, enjoyful, dramatic and pure. It is multi-dimensional in the sense that it can come from your work or project, from your own personal self or from and with your team, or – even better for a project or work setting – from all of these levels, i.e, individual, group and project levels. This is what happens in WOW projects. WOW projects are projects that add value, projects that matter, projects that make a difference, projects that leave a legacy. And those are projects that bring happiness into our daily work life. Both on the individual and team level.
Passion is a key ingredient to this WOW experience. So, go out, find your passion and do it with passion.
Learn more about how to find your passion and use it in your projects at work. For example, have a look at my seminar “Finding the Spirit of WOW Projects“.
I will be giving a keynote address on ‘Leadership, Happiness and Project Success’ at this year’s PMI Netherlands Summit on Thursday 12 June 2014.