Reading through the management book “Cold shower for Managers” ("Студен душ за мениджъри"), one thought prevails – Motivation is a 100% self-motivation. And although the initial instinct is to reject that statement, when we spent some time thinking about it and digesting it, well it turns out – it’s really true. This is the short version of it, of course. One could read a million of them, such as:
- When there is a will, there is a way;
- Where attention goes, actions will follow;
- Stop wishing, start doing;
- A beautiful day starts with a beautiful mind-set…
And so on and so on…hence now we hope you’ve seen it too and instead of another motivational article, we thought a stroll down the path towards true happiness through self-awareness and mindfulness is in order.
There are many things that could be wrong with the world however just moping around and being negative about them does not change anything, standing up for the things that matter though, will!
And while there are many variables affecting us negatively daily at work (and in our private lives too but that is a topic for a different article), there are a few universal things we could do to bring happiness to our workplace.
According to HBR, for example, “finding time to be curious and learn will make your job more meaningful. Connecting with your colleagues and nurturing the interpersonal aspect of work is also quite motivating” as despite modern technologies and virtual spaces, human beings ARE tribal creatures. We have the need to socialize. Finally, “telling your boss that you are not engaged may also help, for they may be unaware of it and willing to do something to help you, especially if they value your talents.”
Hence in today’s “food for tough” series, we invite you to get a little perspective. Take a breather and jot down the things that bring a smile on your face in the left column and then also write out your gloomy list on the right.
Go on, we’ll wait!
Now look at your list. We bet that it will be no surprise that the things you truly hold dear are your family and friends, health and happiness, unforgettable experiences and acquaintances, right?! And although not everything about them is in our full control, quite a lot actually is:
- Our words;
- Our actions;
- Our decisions;
- How we treat others (how we treat ourselves);
- How we handle our feelings;
- The amount of effort we put in.
How about if we told you that almost all the things that matter to you are within you reach even at the workplace if you simply put focus on the list of controllables above. As Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup put it “Optimizing your job so that it fits with your interests, beliefs, and broader life activities, and being alert to the invisible social forces that govern the dynamics of organizations, will ultimately help you perform to the best of your capabilities.”
The "ordinary mind" or the "unobserved mind, as Buddhists call it" is always looking for drama. Whether it is the coronavirus, the political situation, the economic crisis, trouble at work, illness or another current problem, perhaps with a bit of a “help” from modern media, of course, but the mind clings to the current situation or problem at hand and remains completely blind for everything else. There is no greater suffering than being endlessly involved in problems, focusing only on the negativities and glitches. But as Eckhart Tolle says: “when you are full of problems, there is no empty space for something new to enter ... "
And so getting out of our heads, acquiring new knowledge or skill directly influences our sense of self-esteem and self-actualization, broadening our horizons and making us feel motivated, engaged and energized.
Though if getting out of your comfort zone is too out there for you right now, start small. We urge you to train your positive outlook to life by performing some of the same mundane tasks but utilizing all of your enthusiasm and cheerfulness while doing so. As the famous Wayne Dyer quote goes: “When you change the way you look at things, the way things look, change.”
It’ll be challenging and unnatural at first but practice makes perfect so if you’re consistent and committed, we promise you, you’ll find yourself enjoying life and discovering more meaning and joy in it every day.
Thus, if you haven't been struggling with motivation lately, there is a way out - be curious, connect and talk to your manager (or HR).