20 Sep Pathway to fulfillment at work
Fulfillment at work?
Is it really possible?
Are there people who actually look forward to going to work on Monday?
These are few questions that I frequently come across from a score of corporate employees. Over a period of time, it has become a norm that one has to go to work only because
One has EMIs to pay or
One needs money to sustain or
To fulfill the basic necessities.
So that leads me to think, is this the actual reason why people work?
The most common language we hear in the corporate world has words such as “I am facing a lot of stress at work”, “There is a lot of office politics”, “I don’t feel like getting into it”, deadlines, conflicts etc.
If that is the reason you go to work, then I am afraid to say that, it’s not a good enough reason as the key driver is not fulfillment or happiness, rather, it is fear and anxiety.
And when the key drivers are fear and anxiety then you would inadvertently attract things that you are fearful of. You might experience one or more of the following things at work:
- Frequently getting into conflict with colleagues
- Stakeholders or immediate direct line manager do not understand you or have unrealistic expectations
- Boredom and monotony
- People taking advantage
- Being suppressed etc.
If you have experienced either of the above points in last 10 days, then this article can be of use to you.
So the question is, what the pathway to fulfillment at work is, and how one can create a good experience at work as that’s where we spend more than half of our awake time.
To answer, let’s understand that fulfillment is nothing but a combination of four things:
– Knowing what you like doing & pursuing that Liking
– Knowing what you are strong at & pursuing that Strength
– Knowing what you are born for & pursuing that Life Purpose
– Appreciating what you have Gratitude
- Liking– Take some time out to reflect on what are those specific tasks or activities that you especially like doing at work. Once you have identified that, make it a point to do such activities at least once in a day. If you are engaged in doing what you love, your energy will certainly go higher and it will act as a fuel to continue with lesser interesting yet significant aspect of your work. Listing down such things will give you tremendous clarity. It will also move your focus away from what you don’t like to what you like. So let’s not waste a single minute. Just stop reading this article and reach out to the nearest notebook that you have. Write down all the activities that you do at work and then circle on one or two things that give you maximum energy.
- Strength – Most of the time we have a tendency to focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. We do the same for our subordinates and our bosses do the same for us. As that’s a human tendency. It’s important that we shift our focus from our weaknesses to our strengths. That’s a significant step in your leadership development effort. There is a saying that energy flows wherever we put our attention. So, If you focus on weaknesses you will soon see them growing and if you put your attention on your strengths, they shall certainly grow.
So, what is the best way to recognize your strengths? There are two ways, extrinsically and intrinsically.
Extrinsically, you can ask your colleagues, your boss and your friends to share what they consider as your strengths. Also, observe in which aspect of your work you get maximum compliments. Intrinsically, you can observe, what activity gives you maximum joy. Any act that is a combination of the above two aspects is your strength.
So take out some time reflecting what those one or two activities are that give you joy as well as get you compliments.
- Life Purpose– All humans have their unique purpose in this life, however very few are aware of it. If your actions are not aligned to your purpose, you will feel a kind of vacuum in what you do. So it’s important that you are aware of your life purpose. Jack Canfield, the famous author and leadership development expert in his book, the success principles in chapter 2 shares a wonderful three-step process to identify one’s life purpose. Do make it a point to read that book and identify your life purpose, if you haven’t done it yet.
- Gratitude – Finally, even if you are the richest person on earth, and you don’t have gratitude for that, you will not be fulfilled. Valuing what you have is a very significant attribute for being fulfilled.
A very simple exercise that you can practice each day can bring a big difference. As you wake up in the morning, just spend 10 mins with yourself. Just reflect on three things that happened a day before for which you are thankful and write it down. Keeping a gratitude journal and regularly updating it will further reinforce the feeling of gratitude and hence fulfillment, deep within you. It can be simple things such as how a colleague helped you with MIS; how you got that sanction from the senior management on your project; how you received the appreciation email from your clients etc. These may be very small things, but if you become conscious of these small good things, you attract more of these in life.
To conclude, Fulfillment is an outcome of the conscious constructive actions that you take and its absence is a reminder that you need to spend some time with yourself.