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Category: motivation

Finding Happiness Within Each Work Day

Filed under: ambition, Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Best Advice, Career Advice, Happiness, motivation, Professional Development

One of my mom’s favorite stories to tell us as children was the tale of the traveler and the three bricklayers.

In the story, the traveler meets the bricklayers, who are hard at work, and asks them what they’re doing.

The first man responds, “I’m laying bricks.”

The second man responds, “I’m building a church.”

The third man responds, enthusiastically, “I’m building a cathedral!”

Despite each of the bricklayers having the exact same job, their subjective experience varied significantly.

There’s a great takeaway from this parable. When we can see how what we’re doing fits into the whole—when we’re aware that each metaphorical “brick” we’re laying is contributing to something greater—we feel happiness and fulfillment.

And just like that enthusiastic bricklayer, we too can actively seek to find meaning in our work. The “why” behind what we’re doing isn’t always obvious or inherent, but it’s there, trust me.

A recent survey of over 2,000 American professionals across 26 industries found that employees experience more satisfaction at work when their jobs feel meaningful. The same survey found that raises and promotions are more common among employees who find their work meaningful; these workers also tend to be harder working and more productive.

These findings leave little room for doubt that actively finding purpose in our work every day is the single best thing we can do for our careers. But knowing this and actually applying it are two different things. That’s why we need to learn to exercise a little something I like to call the “meaningfulness habit.”

How to Embrace the Meaningfulness Habit at Work

It works like this: Any time you’re starting a new task, take a moment to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? What meaning can I give to this task?”

In High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way, author Brendon Burchard shares a similar practice called “Release Tension, Set Intention.” This involves embracing the transitions we experience throughout the day—going from eating to working, writing to attending a meeting, making a phone call to sending emails—as opportunities to release any tension we may be harboring and set an intention before going into a new task or environment.

Building on this habit, if we take a moment at each transition throughout the day to ask ourselves why we’re doing something before we do it, we can inject more meaning into the task at hand and make ourselves more motivated to complete it. This meaning could be something significant, such as furthering a cause you believe in or helping others in some way, or it could be something small, such as peace of mind or development toward a personal goal.

Not every task needs to be connected to world peace—it just needs to give you some positive feeling, identifiable with perhaps a slight smile, a sense of satisfaction, or a heightened ability to focus.

In some cases, like when you’re working on a particularly dull, repetitive task, the meaning you find may just be to keep your boss happy so you can keep your job and continue to support your partner or kids. And that’s OK!

Here are some other examples:

  • Why am I going to give this presentation? To help get more support for this project I believe in.
  • Why am I going to clean up my inbox? To reduce my stress levels and feel lighter before I go home.
  • Why am I going to fill out this spreadsheet? To keep track of our records so our team functions efficiently.
  • Why am going to attend this meeting? To support the people I work with and offer help where I can.

Even if we’re not tangibly building something—like the bricklayers—there can still be meaning behind it. It may be a stepping stone to something greater; it may be an opportunity to be an example to others; it may be a creative outlet; it may be a way to support our retirement. No reason is a bad one.

(If you’re still struggling, try reading this article on finding meaning in a meaningless job and this one on caring about more than just your title.)

Ultimately, whatever we’re doing, there’s a reason why (otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it). Which is good news because that means there’s always meaning (and happiness) to be found.

For the original article: The Muse.

6 Ways to Use Your Fear of Failure to Succeed

Filed under: Best Advice, Confidence, motivation

Whenever you start striving to reach your goals or chase your dreams, that little voice turns up. The one that tells you you’re not good enough, or smart enough, or strong enough.

It’s your fear of failure and those lies it whispers can become truths if you listen long enough. No matter how hard you try and ignore it, it can stop you powering forward. The bad news is that it never really goes away. The good news is that according to Tony Robbins, some of the most successful people leverage fear in their lives.

Here are 6 strategies to help you stop your fear of failure sucking the life out of you, and use it to succeed:

1. Accept yourself

When you fight something you give it power, and trying to control your fear will make it stronger. Instead, when you feel it, close your eyes and look inwards. Use a little acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Stop judging and start feeling and observing what’s happening in your body.

Click here to read the rest on Addicted 2 Success >>

4 Ways to Stay Motivated When Faced with Rejection

Filed under: Focus, motivation, Professional Development

Rejection is simply one of the most hurtful things that can happen to any person. What makes it even more painful is the fact that whether we like it or not, it is bound to happen.

More so, anyone can face rejection in any area of their life. Regardless of where it occurs, the effects of rejection are the same. It hurts, it’s no fun and it happens to be the number one reason people are afraid to try. When faced with rejection, it is super important to have the strength to face rejection head on, accept it, learn from it and simply keep on pushing on.

But of course, this is easier said than done. All things equal, the number one major weapon that one needs when containing and dealing with rejection is motivation. Mind you, it is a difficult weapon to master when dealing with rejection which coincidentally has a devastating effect on one’s personal motivation. However, if you are struggling with staying motivated in the face of dealing with rejection in business or life, take a look below.

Here are 4 ways to help you stay motivated and conquer rejection in its tracks:

1. Be coachable

You try, you get knocked down. You keep getting knocked down and can’t seem to figure out why? We have all heard it, it is probably one of the most popular definitions floating around today.

Click here to read the rest on Addicted 2 Success >>

Overqualified for Your Job? Here’s How You Can Start Making the Most of It

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, motivation, Professional Development

You waltz off your college graduation stage, diploma in hand, just knowing that you’re destined for greatness in your career. So, imagine your surprise when a few months later you find yourself as a receptionist with a completely unused bachelor’s degree. And you end up behind that desk for longer than you ever imagined. Yes, this is a true story. Well, ahem, it’s actually my story.

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), I knew I wasn’t alone in those circumstances. Getting the job of your dreams (or even in your field) can be tough. And, you might just wind up working in a position that doesn’t make great use of the degree you worked so hard for.

Trust me, I know this is frustrating and even a little demoralizing. But, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your seemingly futile and unrelated job.

Give these tactics a try to squeeze all that you can out of your current position. Or, just keep complaining. The choice is yours.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

Procrastinating? 3 Ways to Find Motivation for Your Work

Filed under: ambition, Best Advice, motivation, procrastination

Is the fire in the belly you once felt for your work a flickering flame? Are you avoiding the next task on your list? It can happen to all of us. It could be you need a change in career. More likely it could mean you’ve simply lost touch with what energizes you about your role now. I know the feeling. We all do on certain days. So what do you do?

Here are three ways I restore my passion for hard work. What are yours?

1. Think less about what you have to do and more about what you can make happen. On weekends, I take bizarre comfort in cleaning a room or sweeping the yard because I can tell my efforts yielded a clear and visible outcome. I stare for long minutes at the evidence I accomplished something visible. On the other hand, a day’s work at the office can sometimes have an excruciatingly incremental quality. Maybe you tried and tried and nothing seems better or different. The hard work of progress at many jobs is scarcely evident and can wear you down unless you remember why you are grinding away at it in the first place. Worry less about what’s in front of you and more about what the end result could be. Write down where you hope your efforts will lead you and post this thought in your field of vision. Sometimes, to get through the day, you need to take time to imagine where you you are headed. For me, possibility is a great motivator.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>