So this could change everything. A client sent me this HBR blog today entitled, “Who Says Work has to be Fulfilling?” I guess if the answer is, “it doesn’t”, then this client and many others of my coaching clients have been wasting their energy!
My instinct is that this kind of thinking gives too many people an easy out. I mean, who says life has to be fulfilling?
Yes, now I’m just being cheeky. But I respect that the initial question was raised because it challenges an assumption a lot of us have, and I like challenging assumptions; it’s what I do as a Coach.
What do you think would happen if the next time someone comes to me and says, “Can you coach me toward something bigger, better, more fulfilling in my 9-5?”, I ask them, “who says work has to be fulfilling?” Assuming I have the guts to ask, my ideal client would boldly say, “I do.” And from there, no doubt, a satisfying and successful journey will begin! View article here
We’re all busy trying to reach lofty professional and personal goals. It’s what ambitious people do. I am so thrilled to be a part of these journeys everyday with my clients. I witness it being exciting, scary, invigorating and challenging. A future orientation keeps us all motivated and focused, and as a Coach, I encourage it. But sometimes we forget that “life’s a journey, not a destination”, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said; one of those clever sayings that’s earned its place on many a fridge magnet. The message is really important and offers a refreshing perspective.
How can we make it more than a fridge magnet? We can put some action around this notion to help us adopt its meaning, which is to enjoy the process of moving toward your big dreams. Here are some tips as to how to make this happen:
1. Celebrate small achievements. Be proud of each step in the right direction.
2. Be actively grateful. Reflect on all that you have at this stage in your life.
3. Escape. On occasion, do something that isn’t on your to-do list and has very little “purpose.”
4. Do it now. Don’t wait. Whatever “it” is….big or small: Visit your Grandmother, sign up for a marathon, write a poem, negotiate your salary, replace that lampshade you hate.
5. Stop and smell the flowers. (Note: This tip also available in fridge-magnet form.) Literally STOP. Notice your surroundings. Notice yourself – your body, your feelings.
It’s not always easy. In the interest of full-disclosure, this is a constant struggle for me personally. Is it irresponsible to take my eyes off my big goals for just a moment? What am I worried about? Do I think the vision of my dream “destination” will disappear?
What I do know for a fact is that the moments of the present that make up the “journey” disappear every second. My only chance to participate fully is right now.
I could spend all day deep-diving into Discovery Channel-worthy stories about the incredible ways our brain works. Usually, I think of this as a side-interest of mine with no particular link to my day-to-day work as a Coach. “Quite the contrary!” says an Ivey Business Journal article about resonant leadership. Turns out there’s some serious science to how and why we engage others, in this case in the context of a leader. Think about the last time you inspired someone – they were truly attuned to what you were saying and instinctively, you know they were buying into your message. That’s how you distinctively connect deeply with others. Your brain was doing something that made other brains fire up a positive reaction. And you thought you just put your heads together to get the work done!