Happy birthday to…

GiftThis blog is now five years old! I can’t believe it!! If you can’t either, I can prove it: here’s my very first post.

It’s been quite a ride. For the first three and a half years it was pretty quiet around here with wildly irregular posting and just a few faithful readers. And then, last year, it took off like crazy. The day before my own birthday, incidentally.

Some stats:

  • This is post number 1,203
  • There are 5,325 comments on the site
  • Akismet, the spam blogging software I use, has blocked 167,674 spam comments. Sheeesh!
  • In the last year, this blog has been read by 1.5 million(!) people.

I feel truly grateful and proud to work on something this… big. And it makes me really happy because it tells me that people all over the world have a deep, lasting interest in happiness at work.

Some of my proudest moments with the blog have been:

  • Writing posts that get read by tens of thousands of people
  • Getting feedback, ideas, tips and criticism from so many nice people
  • Getting email from a lady in Hong Kong who quit her crappy job because of something she read here
  • Being invited to speak in India, because of the blog
  • Asking for help and getting it

Now: if you’d like to give this blog a birthday present, I ask for the gift of feedback! I’d love to ask you:

  1. What do you like about this blog?
  2. What could I do to make the blog more useful to you and even more popular?
  3. What has been the most inspiring or useful thing you’ve learned here, that has helped you become happier at work?

If you’d like to answer one or more of these questions, please write a comment.

And most of all: Thank you for reading this blog!

15 thoughts on “Happy birthday to…”

  1. Hi Alexander,

    Happy Blog Birthday!!!

    The best thing i’ve ever seen on your blog was the Husky and the polar bear playing…..!

    The best thing i’ve read, is your book ‘happy hour is 9 to5’ – i loved it.

    Thanks again for everything.

    Olivia

  2. Hi Alexander,

    1. What I really like about this blog is the realistic positive outlook it gives on work and on life. After reading The Secret’s review here I realized that you are way more realistic than me… that I have a lot to learn here. :)

    2. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing and everything would be fine. Maybe more testimonials from either people working in happy environments or from people changing their environments.

    3. The most inspiring thing I’ve learned here is the fact that happiness is valued at the head level of some companies… that is not only an employee thing… It gave me hope somehow…

  3. First of all accept my heartfelt congratulations and wishes on this joyous day when you turned 5 (I mean the blog!!!). I work for a big Indian MNC IT company. I could relate to most of all was discussed on workplaces and ethics. It was more a reiteration to what people generally experience and mull over if what they felt and thought was right or wrong.

    I like the candid expressions and the lucid exposition of ideas. Most of what I wish to read (related to workplace) are either available within the site or provided as links. The design is so neat and the organization is so perfect that it makes navigation easier.

    Am glad that you are invited to India. Would like to know when and where you are gonna speak? Is it a public consortium or is it a private organization that has invited you to speak for them.

    Appreciate all your good work and would love to be associated with your writing and be in touch.

    Again accept my humble wishes for this great odyssey which is still progressing…

  4. you’re doing an awesome job! when I found your blog I was just thrilled. I’m one of those lucky ones that really enjoys my work but are often stuck with the negative guys that believes work is supposed to be torture and they will never be happy at work. Way to go! you just confirmed what I knew in my heart – I can be happy and work and that doesn’t make me a freak! :)

  5. Congrats on turning 5! I remember when I turned 5…..I was certainly ‘happy at work.’ Especially when I got the red tricycle in Kindergarten. That ensured a good day!

  6. Hi Alex,

    I’m the lady in Hong Kong who emailed you.

    Congratulations on your blog’s birthday! Yes, I have left my crappy job and crappy boss. And am now 3.5 months into my new job, after quite a bit of travelling.

    I’m not gonna lie and say my new job is a blast of joy. It’s got its bad days, but I do enjoy most of it. It’s a new environment, completely different from what I did previously, so it’s a big learning curve and most of all, it’s exposed me to a world I would never experience if I had stayed in my old job.

    It took me a year to leave.

    Am I still scared? Yes. Do I regret leaving? Not one bit. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Thanks to you. :)

    To be honest, I read your blog less regularly now. Seems like you post less now? And have more speaking engagements perhaps. Also it seems like you present less of your own ideas now, but does a lot of links to other people’s blogs, etc. I don’t know how to explain this exactly, but I mostly prefer your old posts to the ones these days.

    But hey, whatever you do, keep it up and hope people will keep visiting and maybe they’ll go “ding!” and do something about their jobs instead of sitting around complaining. :)

  7. Congratulations…you are only 5 years old?
    Still a little child…your hapiness message and good vibration have a lot to grow! So, lots of work to be done!
    Best regards.
    Luiz Ant

  8. I didn’t give this blog as a birthday present, but I did send the article about quitting your job if you’re not happy to a friend a few weeks ago.

    What I love about that article was how steadfast and uncompromising the advice: If you’re not happy, quit! It’s interesting too, because I recently left a job, which by all external appearances seemed great: I was working on issues I cared about, liked most of my coworkers, and made a good living. Yesterday, I ran into a contractor who I saw in the office sometimes, and she commented how energetic I seem now compared to when I was at the job.

    And that’s what I love about this blog. Your counsel is consistently holistic, focused on key elements of well-being that often seem undervalued and understressed in the workplace, school system, and culture. Your blog has the purpose of helping people to connect to what they care about and what they enjoy. It’s such a small shift in some respects, but so many people are so resistant to making it.

    I find myself thinking about an interview with one of the creators and writers of the Daily Show I saw recently, where he talked about how, at events, journalists seek him out and say how much they wish they could tell things like it is the way Jon Stewart does. These are well known people reporting news on TV. And this person’s point was, you have the power, why don’t you?

    So when I think of this small shift toward being happy, I also think of it as a small shift toward what inside we believe is right, and how the failure to make that shift is a failure that affects all of us. So that’s what I love about this blog. You’re talking about a small shift toward being happy–but it’s not really small, it’s enormous. And the ripples of one person making that shift are enormous, too.

  9. Hey, Alex:

    Hearty congratulations. I have been following your blog and enjoying it.5 years ia a significant landmark in blogging. All the very best to you.

  10. Congrats! Love the blog, wouldn’t change anything. I like that you revisit the same ideas, but always with references and examples to back up what you’re saying, so it never feels like a political broadcast.

    I really valued the Happiness at work Workbook, gave me a lot of food for thought.

    I’m looking for a consultant job at the moment, and am planning to pay close attention to happiness when it comes to assessing opportunities, and then again when I actually get a job.

  11. Olivia: Thanks! I loooove the husky and polar bear too. Play is all around :o)

    Peter: Excellent. And many CEOs and companies do value happiness. We just hear a lot more from the ones that don’t.

    Koke: Well THAT blast from the past was embarassing :o) Let’s just say I prefer the new design too :o)

    Ramanan: Thanks for the kind words and good wishes! I spoke in Indore last week and it was a blast! More here:
    https://positivesharing.com/2007/12/thank-you-indore-india/

    I’m sure I’ll be back in India soon. Where are you based?

    Chuck & Alfredo & Scott M & Luiz & Prem: Thanks!

    Office Lady: Thank you SO much for the kind words. I look forward to following your story as it unfolds. I’m sure there’s happiness at work in your future!

    And yes, I blog much less now because I’m so busy with customers. I need to find a way to have time for both. I refuse to neglect blogging, because it’s so much fun and so inspiring to me!

    Frank: Wow! Thanks for those words – they mean a lot to me. And yes, I believe that the journey towards happiness is a journey towards becoming more ourselves.

    Adrian: Thanks! And remember happiness – the world needs waaaay more happiness consultants :o)

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