Thriving at Work and in Life is a Choice We Can Make
Thriving is our birthright. No matter who you are or where you live, we all deserve to thrive. The sad truth is that only 1 in 4 people in the world believe they are thriving, and 70% of people in the US feel disengaged at work, which costs the US economy up to $435 billion per year.
Management and leadership expert Donna Stoneham, Ph.D. has spent the past 25 years working to develop ways to help people move from surviving to thriving. Her new book, The Thriver’s Edge: Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love, and Lead, describes how transformational leadership produces life-enriching change and makes you more effective and productive in work and life.
Her book says it offers up a roadmap to making simple changes in one’s everyday life so that we learn how to thrive and become all that we are capable of.
“Work”, she says, “is not the place where we should let the obsessive drive for winning at all costs become our master. If you do that, you will feel pessimistic whenever things don’t go your way."
Although it can be challenging to feel satisfied or fulfilled in the midst of multiple demands, we can break free of the trance that tells us we’re never enough, no matter what we accomplish, if we do the following:
1.) Don’t stumble around your place of work unconscious. Wake up. Reclaim your power to make choices that help you thrive.
2.) Remember that you have what it takes. Focus on using your gifts. Remember that you are enough just as you are. Trust yourself.
3.) Don’t compete with everyone or even with anyone. Do what you do best. Give as much as you get.
4.) Don’t chase after the next thing. Change your attitude and do your best to make a difference where you are.
5.) As you climb the ladder, make sure to reclaim the authentic parts of yourself you may have lost along the way.
6.) Define success of your own terms. You can awaken from the trance of “not-enoughness” and still be successful in your life and career.
7.) Do your best to cultivate self-insight and take accountability for transforming your blind spots.
It can feel depressing when the days grow shorter and colder. Donna offers some great ways to avoid the winter blues and turn the dreary period of the year into a fabulous time where you can thrive.
Here’s a sample of some of her recommendations about thriving at work no matter what happens around you:
Do something nice for yourself each day. Fill your own well first or you won’t have anything left to give others. Do something nice for yourself each day. It can be as simple as taking a walk with a friend at work at lunch rather than eating alone at your desk. Buy yourself flowers on the way home from work or call a supportive friend you haven’t had time to catch up with, or maybe even make a date night in the middle of the week with your spouse. Go ahead and set a boundary with someone or say “no” to a request. Keep it simple, but focus on doing one thing each day that brings you joy.
Give something to someone each day and notice the impact it has on you and others. Give a gift to someone. Offer a word of encouragement to a colleague, surprise your spouse by cooking or cleaning up after dinner, give a gift card for coffee to someone as a thank you at work, or write a check to a charity. Volunteer for a cause you believe in or help someone in your neighborhood that needs a hand. Turn off your electronics and really be present to listen to people you are with. Extend yourself to others by focusing on what you can give, rather than on what you can get.
Start each day with a positive intention and notice what happens to your day. Make the choice. Wake up and see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Start the day by deliberately setting yourself in a good direction with positive intention. Say to yourself, “Today, I focus my attention on what’s going well, rather than on what’s broken,” or “Today I will be more patient with others,” or “Today, I will do three actions to help me meet my goal before I do anything else at work.” At the end of the day, reflect on how the day unfolded and notice the impact of setting an intention in creating the outcome you experienced.
Remember why you do what you do and take one action that helps you re-connect with your purpose and mission. Don’t forget or ignore why you do what you do. Remember why you've chosen the path you are on. Think about the roles you play, both at work and at home and why you chose them. Identify the ways you help and contribute your best to the world. Express your values and passion for what you care about most deeply to people. Whatever you do, whether it's teaching, leading, managing, healing, or advising others, do it with passion and purpose.
Whatever your reasons are for doing what you do, take one action each day that helps you feel renewed and recommitted to your passion, purpose and mission.