Creating Some Magic

Reading Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage (“The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work”), “Find a Better Job” in the latest issue of TimeOut New York (yes, I have maintained my subscription just to keep up with life in the Big Apple!), and Glen David Gold’s novel, Carter Beats the Devil—the fictionalized account of the life of Charles Joseph Carter, at the same time spurs some thoughts on work culture.

Achor defines happiness as “…the joy we feel striving after our potential” and stresses the pursuit of positivity (positive emotions) as the key to success.  He suggests a series of activities to help raise one’s happiness baseline from meditation to finding something to which to look forward to exercise.  Two of his suggestions (Commit conscious acts of kindness and Infuse positivity into your surroundings) especially overlap with the TimeOut analysis of five New York City work environments.  Common factors among the five:

  • Openly encouraging creativity and innovation—listening to ideas from staff and making them a reality
  • Providing a truly collaborative atmosphere
  • Showing appreciation for staff in some way on a regular basis—making fun at work a priority
  • Seeing the head of the company “in the trenches”—visibility and accessibility of the senior staff
  • Creating an environment of continuous learning—everyone plays a role in sharing knowledge

So, where does Charles Joseph Carter come in?!   He was an American magician known as Carter the Great during the early 1900’s. He spent his life making other people happy. Let’s create some “magic” in the workplace!


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2 Responses to Creating Some Magic

  1. Wonderful post, I really like the vibe. My late sister, Eva, a NARA supervisory archivist and team leader in the Declassification Division, was eulogized by A. J. Daverede of what now is NDC in terms that fit in well with the vision you are articulating here for a New NARA. A. J. said of Eva, “she took pleasure in other peoples’ accomplishments as if they were her own.”

    An agency reviewer wrote me the day after Eva died that she was a “people magnet” and that her laughter rang through the office in Declass. I just know she would give this post a “like” (oh, wait, this isn’t FB) if she were here to read it.

    Some of this actually fits in with a post I wrote this morning about centering and balance. I mentioned writing, reading, music, excercise, as means of maintaining balance and serenity as you encounter workplace challenges. When I was younger, I liked to draw, as well. Eva liked to walk as much as I did. I even have pictures of her and Chuck Hughes on the jogging trail at Archives 2 right after the Blizzard of ’96!

    Thanks for posting this. Very inspiring and a totally cool vibe!


  2. Molly Renda says:

    sounds like NCSU Libraries!


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