The Ultimate Perk

Being Happy @ Work

The world’s most innovative companies know that the happiness of their
employees is key to:

  • Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
  • Igniting Leadership and Innovation
  • Preventing Stress and Burnout

This webpage is for entrepreneurs and managers who care about their
workers’ happiness. Scroll Down to explore tips, tools and multi-media
resources that celebrate diverse perspectives and ignite happiness
… in the workplace.

Materials highlight a collaboration between:
Jessica Kizorek, Misato Oi, Eva Ritvo, M.D.& Coca-Cola Japan

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Photo Credit: Two Parrot Productions // Kathmandu, Nepal

Letter from the Editor

by Jessica Kizorek

Coca-Cola is more than a client to me. Their employees exist in a corporate culture that has contributed to my journey in an unforgettable way. By funding the delivery of the specific training we are about to use as a case study below, our friends at Coca-Cola made it possible for young Misato Oi to travel alongside me for three weeks on my US State Department sponsored-speaking tour in Japan last year (read more here ) on behalf of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy.

The diplomatic speech I had been hired to give in five different Japanese cities was entitled, “Women’s Empowerment: From a Global Female Entrepreneur’s Perspective.” Incorporating Misato’s fresh perspective alongside that of mine made a big difference in helping young Japanese women understand how American entrepreneurial ideals translated into the current Japanese culture and political climate. By the time Misato and I facilitated this training at the Coca-Cola Japan headquarters on September 18th, we had completed our US Embassy speeches with flying colors. Thanks Coca-Cola for making that journey possible…

Read about Coca-Cola’s perspective on the training here

Learn more about the facilitators:


Jessica Kizorek

Lead Facilitator


Misato Oi



Mike Firmature



Eva Ritvo , M.D.

Psychiatric Perspective

Misato Oi

“The strongest leaders do not hide their emotions or vulnerabilities. Rather they share, and this is the moment they establish trust with others. It is inside this trust that true change can be conceived.”

An inside peek at what at what


The following workshop was sponsored by the Coca-Cola
Women Leadership Council and was custom-created to
deliver three core tools/strategies to experiencing happiness
more easily and frequently in the professional environment.

In attendance on September 18th were both male and female
employees of Coca-Cola Japan, Google Japan, and United
Nations Women.

Case Study

Coca-Cola Japan // Tokyo September 2014


Happiness is a very personal experience, and different people describe happiness in different ways. Some people describe happiness as peaceful, harmonious, and serene. Other people describe happiness as excited, strong, and playful. One thing we can all agree on is that it feels good to be happy, and life would be more enjoyable if we were happy more often.

Here’s the problem: Happiness is fleeting. In this new digital age, our moods change quickly as we face a barrage of stimuli coming at us at warp speed. Our mobile devices can make us laugh one second (flooding our brains with serotonin) then stress us out the next second (flooding our brains with cortisol).With so much coming at us, we must first learn how to establish a strong baseline of well-being, then from there proactively train our brains for happiness in the same way we train our muscles in the gym.

Happiness is almost like a light…it’s obvious when it’s on, and it’s obvious when it’s off. Powerful leaders understand their own wiring and develop different strategies to lift their moods in the present so they can be a source of light for others…NOW. They don’t wait for something to make them happy in the future. From the outside, it almost seems as if they hold a happiness switch in their hand…and when they trigger the switch they have the capacity to light up the room, immediately boosting creativity and productivity within their teams.


From a neuroscientific standpoint, it’s crucial to understand your personal biorhythms. Some people are better in the morning, and some people are better at night. Men as well as women go through phases of the month when they are more creative and others when they feel more lethargic.

Focus on tasks at work that match your energy level of that day. If you feel particularly energized and optimistic, use that as an opportunity to take on a challenge that’s been sitting on the horizon.

But if you feel low energy and brain dead, focus on easier, more mundane tasks. You want to learn to listen to your body and listen to your mind, because that will optimize your productivity at work. It will optimize also your effectiveness. And if you have a gauge on your own mood, you will also have a gauge on the influence you have on the people around you. If you think you’re hiding your emotional state, you might want to think again.

Three Tips to

Experiencing Happiness

More Easily and Frequently in the Professional Environment


Set up

happiness triggers

Set up happiness triggers in your environment to train your brain. Different people get triggered by different things, and you have to have the power to assign different emotions to physical objects in your environment.

Anything can be a happiness thing. The thing, in and of itself, is just an object, but the meaning you assign to it can make your life a better place.

Focus on cultivating happiness in the present but also think about the happiness you’re actively creating for the future. Set up happiness triggers to remind you about your future goals, aspirations and dreams. Imagine the projects you want to work on at work, the teams you want to work with, or the position you want to get promoted into. Think about writing your own future as if you were the playwright of your own script. If you have circumstances in your life that are making you unhappy day after day, you probably want to change your circumstances at least a little bit. These triggers will remind you about what makes you happy so you can proceed along the right path for you.


“Every time I see the little red Coca-Cola ambassador pin I received as a gift for delivering the training I think of the exhilarating moments I shared with the Tokyo team. I consciously anchored those magical moments to the pin so that experience of happiness washes over me every time I see it on my bedside table.”


Praise Others

Feel it Yourself

It’s impossible not to smile when someone praises you or thanks you or is grateful for you. All of a sudden, it just feels good. Even though we might pretend we don’t want it, deep down even the toughest men like a little praise once in a while. When the community encourages each teammate to praise their colleagues, a culture of smiling soon emerges. When you praise someone else and make them feel good about themselves, it immediately puts a smile on their face. And what do we know about happiness? It’s contagious.

People who give praise are usually emotionally intelligent, observant, and like making others feel good about themselves. Praise can be as simple as a quick email saying ‘You did a great job on that. Thanks for the effort.’

Relationships thrive when we know that others notice and care about us. It improves feelings of warmth and respect, and in turn builds closer teams.

Giving praise where praise is due makes us feel like we’re increasing someone else’s sense of self. Praise not only makes someone else’s day, but boosts our own feel good levels. Win/win


“Receiving praise releases serotonin, the brain’s happy chemical. It feels fantastic and is very motivating especially in demanding work environments where serotonin release can immediately contribute to confidence and creativity.”


Listen for Happiness in Others

Hear it in Yourself

If you want a surefire way to increase your mood, start by getting someone else to turn on their happiness. Invite someone to share what makes them happy, and their happiness will light you up.

It is scientifically proven that happiness is contagious. Brain scientists have identified a region of the brain they call mirror neurons that fires both when we do something and when we watch someone do the exact same action. There’s even evidence that this happens on an emotional level when we observe the physical manifestations of someone else’s emotional state.

When someone in the room really shares authentically about what makes them happy, not only can you see the happiness on their face…you can feel happiness radiate off their body. Inviting people to talk about what makes them happy does service to your own happiness, but also does service to your community. Happy vibes contribute to imagination and productivity. If you want to create happiness around you, you can be very powerful by doing it.

Science reveals that we are designed to internally mirror one another’s experiences. We are wired to feel one another’s pleasures and pains. Because of these mirror neurons, you can choose to spread happiness at any time you wish.


“Others will naturally follow when you trigger their mirror neurons. Act happy and confident, and so will the people around you. When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”


Realize your happiness will naturally ebb and flow like the ocean does…in and out…in and out. Your happiness levels will change just as the circumstances and seasons of your life change. Be in harmony with that natural flow of happiness, but at the same time learn tools to be able to consciously boost your happiness level on command.

A person who’s masterful in the art of happiness can hold the switch to their own happiness right in their hand. No matter what’s going on around them – the boss being unhappy, the deadline being missed, the thing that didn’t go according to plan – in the midst of that they have the mental prowess to say, “Nothing gets in the way of my happiness…because I say so.” That’s power. It’s power not only over yourself, but it’s power in being a leader and a contribution to your teams at work.


Protected: Coca Cola Happiness Training

Protected: Emotions

Protected: Gauging Happiness

Protected: Gauging Unhappiness

High-tech Artistic

Training Approach

Rather than a typical dry business presentation approach, we dipped into Jessica’s skill as an artist and Mike Firmature’s skill as a computer programmer to create a unique and highly memorable high-tech artistic learning experience.

Electrified props at the training included a red remote-controlled “Choose Happiness” Coca-Cola painting and a red “Happiness Cape” that glowed red along the edges when the battery-powered switch in the hem of the cape was activated.


Happiness Cape

The Coca-Cola brand is all about spreading light, and in doing so being a source of happiness in the world. What if you could hold a happiness switch in your hand and, at a moment’s notice, you could turn on your happy? Just like you can program a computer chip to do something very specific (like run LED lights in alternating Coca-Cola red and white patterns), you can program your work environment to be filled with happiness and good vibes. It has to be a conscious creation…that kind of programming doesn’t often happen by accident.

The Remote

Controlled LED Painting

Created in Miami especially as a training tool / gift for Coca-Cola Japan, this remote controlled LED painting is a high-tech variation on the tin can telephone and an exploration of how friends connect in the digital age. Light illuminates the surface, shattered mirrors invite people to see pieces themselves in the Coca-Cola brand, and gold flakes emerging from the open can represent all things happy.


TEDx Talks

Michael Norton

“How to buy happiness”

10:58 · Filmed Nov 2011

Subtitles available in 35 languages

Nic Marks

“The Happy Planet Index”

TEDGlobal 2010
16:49 · Filmed Jul 2010

Subtitles available in 35 languages

Shawn Achor

“The happy secret to better work”

12:20 · Filmed May 2011

Subtitles available in 40 languages

Dan Gilbert

“The surprising science of happiness”

21:16 · Filmed Feb 2004

Subtitles available in 41 languages



Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?

Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Happiness Articles

© Two Parrot 2015. All Rights Reserved.

WordPress Image Lightbox