How to enjoy work by thinking differently

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Re-label your work. Research shows that activities we label as 'work', are naturally less pleasurable than 'play'. Blur the work life boundaries, there is little difference between a challenging meeting and an argument over dinner.

Seek out happiness. Don't wait for the interesting projects to come to you, they won't. If the CEO's new initiative gets your adrenalin pumping be clear on how you can contribute and volunteer. Put yourself in the fast lane if that's where you want to be.

Find the purpose. Who gains from the work you do? How are you improving people's lives? From the product your organisation is creating and the customers you are supporting, through to the team you are leading and developing, relish the impact you have.

Stretch yourself. Pleasure alone does not make us happy, we also need challenge. This is why, surprising as it may seem, we are three times more likely to find happiness at work. Set yourself an ambitious goal that will push you to new levels.

Build the people around you. Get good at delegating in a way that builds their skills, they will love you for it and you'll be admired by others. It also means you can spend more time doing what you enjoy.

Praise people. It is infectious and will raise the mood of everyone around you.

Appreciate the good things. Give as much attention to the positive – strengths, achievements and qualities as you do to the problems, challenges and mistakes.

Think back. "Experience is a good teacher but she sends mighty bills," said US writer Minna Antrim. Good, bad or indifferent we can always learn something. Write down everything you achieved at work last year, however small. Then reflect on what you learnt from the things that didn't go according to plan.

Stick to your focus. Decide where you want your achievements to be, plan how you are going to make it happen with clear timings and get going.