Believe it or not the theme for this month’s GLAM blog club, control, is a very important part of happiness. Happiness theorists like Sonya Lyubomirsky argue that 50% of our happiness is within our control, 40% is life circumstances and 10% is genetics. Personally I think this statistic is a bit depressing but it does mean that at least half of our happiness is something we can control and therefore, something that can be increased.
Happiness theory states that how happy we are depends on how much control we have over our lives. The more we feel like we’re in control and have a say in what we do the happier we are. For librarians this can be hard – our lives at work are governed by rosters and meetings – things over which we have very little control. We feel trapped, like goldfish in a bowl.
But a wise and happy librarian once told me that the trick is to control what you can and don’t worry about the rest. This is sage advice and something I try to keep in mind to be a happier librarian. It doesn’t help to get upset or anxious about things you can’t control so focus on the things that you can: the coffee you have before your 9am shift on the Information desk, the walk you’ll take on your lunch break, the friend you’re meeting as soon as you finish work on a Friday afternoon. These are all strategies for happiness that you can control. Put them in place and you’ll be a happier librarian before you know it!