What jazzes you and makes you happy? Are those things present in your work life? True, there are some separations that must exist between life and work. However, following a path for your career that includes what makes you happy can bring you significant benefits. Too often, our society sends messages that we are not meant to be happy at work. In reality, being happy with your work leads to productivity, success, purpose and fulfillment.
As a teen, this was a phrase I used often thinking I was so nonchalant. Actually, today, it may have some relevance to your career and work life. All workplaces have expectations of the organization as a whole and of individual people within the organization. Some of these expectations relate to what you are supposed to be excited about – possibly a new mission, behaviors within the organization or your contribution to the organization.
Perhaps, in adult life, this is not a nonchalant question. What are you excited about in your work life? What do others expect you to be excited about? What are you not excited about that may be an indication that changes are needed?
Is there anything relating to your career that you sometimes think about, but soon dismiss as “too far out there”? It is possible there’s something in it for you. Say there is a part of you that wants to take a big leap, however you are very good at convincing yourself why you can’t do it. In our dreams are clues to what can make us happy. You may be missing out.
If there is something that intrigues you, but you think is too far out there, start with small steps. Ask yourself what it is that draws you to the idea. Look at what part(s) of it may be attainable. Dismiss any negativity about it. You may find that what you thought was too far out there, is just right!
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Do you find yourself unchallenged by your work? Routine, lack of mental stimulation, or a sleepy organizational culture can lead to boredom. Sometimes, it is okay to be bored by your work. Perhaps your career is not a primary element of life balance for you. Perhaps there are other significant demands on your time and work offers some relief. Perhaps you have other interests that offer you the challenge you want and need. All this is fine. However, if you would rather not be bored at work, it is time to take action.
If your work bores you, then you are accepting boredom as part of your life. You do not have to. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you find yourself bored with your work and would rather this not be the case. Hopefully, they can point you in the direction of change.
• Are you bored because you do not have enough to do or because the activities you undertake at work are unchallenging?
• Do you sense that others around you are bored as well? Does your organization’s culture or the nature of its work tilt towards boring activities?
• Do you see any promise in stepping up and asking for a change in your responsibilities that can lead to being challenged by them?
• What would you love to do? What do you need to be challenged and fulfilled in your work?
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If you are to have a productive and fulfilling year, what must you do? You deal with things that are urgent in many areas. Do you consider yourself enough of a priority to make your well-being an urgent matter?
Pick one or two actions that can bring you closer to having 2018 be the year you want it to be. Make them urgent and you will get them done!
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Awareness of what you love is a great guide for your work and life. It is a built-in compass for where you should go if you want to be fulfilled and happy. So much of life discourages your dreams. You may even hear from others that you are not meant to be happy. What???!!! Yes, you are meant to be happy. That is part of the journey of life – to find the bliss that leads you to your purpose.
What makes you happy and lights you up? Give it some importance in your life. It can make the difference between a life well lived and a commonplace life without meaning.
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There are many aspects to your life. How you prioritize them shapes your journey. What are the main aspects of your life – family, friends, service, career, faith, physical activity, learning or other things? What comes first? What is lower priority? It is your choice how you answer these questions. There are no right or wrong answers. Their purpose is to gain clarity on what you want to give your time and attention to.
Once you know your priorities, honor them. Don’t let unimportant things, stress or pressure from others derail what matters most to you. Live the life that you want to and you will give your best to the world.
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It is good every once in a while to bring your attention back to what really matters. In coaching, one of the first things established is what a person’s values are. Values – the essence of what makes you fulfilled and happy – are the foundation of coaching. By staying close to your values, your actions and choices reflect what is most important to you.
Values can get lost in the pressures and influences of everyday life. Your values need to stay front and center for you to be fulfilled and happy. Do you know what your values are? Do they reflect you or what others tell you? Are you honoring your values? Take some time to remind yourself what really matters to you and course-correct if you have to. Your values will always steer you in the right direction.
2017 is underway, are you? It is always a good idea to assess where you are in relation to where you want to be. Doing so, allows you to plan your moves accordingly.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
• Since the start of the year, have you been fulfilled in your work?
• What types of emotions have dominated your time at work?
• Have you been appreciated and challenged in your work?
• Is there something you want to change regarding your work?
Being proactive and keeping yourself going in a direction of your choosing prevents your being a victim of circumstance. Be an advocate for your best interests and you will get where you want to be.
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Many times, a sense of entitlement is seen as a negative thing. What if you developed a sense of entitlement that allowed you to find fulfillment in your work? What would it look like? Your sense of entitlement would come from a commitment to give your best to your work by developing your skills, using your talents and maintaining high productivity for the betterment of your organization. In return you would be valued, treated with respect, challenged to grow and acknowledged. This way, the work gets done and everyone plays their part.
Any downside to this? I don’t think so. It corrects an imbalance in many organizations that undervalue people and corrects a negative sense of entitlement on the part of workers who are not giving their best. Everyone wins.
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