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The art of happiness at work and in court

May 18, 2009 The art of happiness at work and in court

Several years ago, the Dalai Lama provided material for The Art of Happiness at Work, which sequels The Art of Happiness.

How many people truly enjoy their work? How many are miserable in their work? One of the Dalai Lama’s themes in The Art of Happiness at Work is to see the bigger, optimistic picture of the work we do, including work as basic as folding shipping boxes.

Today, I stopped off at the Annapolis, Maryland, Trader Joe’s on the way back from court. I heard and saw a man ask a set of customers how best to know if limes are fresh. He then squeezed the lime and it honked the sound of Harpo Marx’s honk. (What type of sound effect would he have used if squeezing the beans?)

I wound up in this man’s checkout line, and remarked how I enjoyed the honking. It turned out we both enjoy performing magic, and he proceeded to perform a three-card monte routine for me and the person behind me in line.

This man was putting The Art of Happiness at Work into practice perhaps even without ever having read the book.

People do better work when they are happy in their work. How many times do we see grumbling judges, grumbling jurors, and grumbling courtroom personnel who would like to be anywhere else but in the courtroom? We can start turning that around by showing them empathy, humility, some humor, and our own zest for life. That is what the magician at Trader Joe’s would do in front of a jury.

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