Many years ago, I sat through a conference talk on transfer of training to the job. The speaker recommended something I hadn’t expected. He warned against having an expert teach a class because it would decrease the likelihood of people using the skills on the job. The thought was that students would feel less able to perform the skill being taught in the class because they were inexperienced. They had to start fresh. So although the instructor could tell the students that they had been successful implementing the skills, and therefore they could too, the students would believe it was only because of the instructor’s expertise. As a result, the student would be less likely to try to implement the skill on the job.

This story came to mind this past two weeks as I posted about my successes with the Happiness Challenge activities. My thought had been that I wanted to experience it with you. I wanted to encourage you that it could be done. So I began to worry. Until last week when I had two vacation days and a snow day. I ended up missing three out of the five days of the challenge activities. And I began to feel guilty (which is the opposite of the point of the challenge). Until I remembered the talk from the conference. And I realized the good part of this was that I wasn’t perfect at this activity. And, that it made me just like most people that are participating in this challenge.

But today is the midpoint of the challenge, a new week, and International Happiness Day.

Today is as good a day as any to start fresh.

Today’s Happiness Challenge activity is to offer help to someone outside of your own department.

This may stretch you a bit because you are going to have to find someone you likely don’t work with very often. And, you’re going to have to find something you can help them with.

While it will be a bit more of a stretch it will have wide reaching benefits. Because you don’t work with them as often (I’m assuming), your offer to help will seem a bit more unusual to them. The offer will stand out in their mind more. And, therefore the positive impact on them may be quite strong in terms of happiness. Bonus is you may learn more about the work they do and experience some empathy towards them.

So, I challenge you to do the Day 11 activity. Regardless of how many or how few of the other Happiness Challenge activities you may have done before today. Start fresh.

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 11 of the Happiness Challenge? Read about being more intentional about happiness and asking for advice!