How was your fresh start yesterday, Fed Fans?  I hope you got to partake in something that made you at least 10% happier. For instance free hugs were being given out in honor of International Happiness Day in downtown DC. Or, you could have just done yesterday’s Happiness activity which was to offer help to someone outside of your department. For myself, I was actually asked for help by someone outside of my department. I must admit that it was something I normally would have delegated to someone on my team. But I decided to do it as my Happiness Challenge activity of the day. Which got me to thinking that part of it being a happiness activity was intentionality.

Intentionality is defined as “The power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs…It derives from the Latin word intentio, which in turn derives from the verb intendere, which means being directed towards some goal or thing”. At least that’s the definition of intentionality according to the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Said differently, a task that was mundane and possibly even a typically annoying request was something I turned into an activity that made me happier. Happier because I did it with the intention of making both the requester and myself happier for having done it. I made the task represent my happier state for having done it.

Today’s day 12 Happiness Challenge activity is to request advice from a team member. Think of something you’ve been struggling with. Perhaps a decision. Perhaps something that has no obvious solution.  And ask a team member what they’d advise if they were in your position.

Please, please do not ask for advice on something you’ve already decided on. That is seeking confirmation rather than actual input.

But when you undertake today’s Happiness Challenge activity, I’d ask you to consciously remember why you are doing it. You are doing it (selfishly) because you are struggling with something. But also keep in mind that you are doing it to feel happier. And, you are doing it to allow the team member feel valued and their input worth requesting. But most importantly you are doing it to represent greater happiness and civility in the workplace.

And whatever their advice, thank them for it. Let them know you appreciate their perspective. If you happen to go in the direction recommended, give them credit for having given you the advice. When you do share the credit, you both get a bonus happiness opportunity.

So try out intentionality today and tell us how it went.

Now, the hardest part of keeping on track with a challenge is the accountability and support to keep on going. I hope you’ll follow along with me and the other Fed Fans that are participating. I also hope that you’ll share your successes with us either on twitter #happieratwork or on the Fedability facebook page. You can find me on twitter @danaesims_iopsy. Or, you can leave a comment in the space below.

I look forward to hearing how today’s challenge goes!

Ready to move on to Day 13 of the Happiness Challenge? Read about giving MEANINGFUL positive feedback.

Did you miss Day 11? That’s ok! You can still read about getting a fresh start on the challenge and offering help to be a little happier!