If you’re feeling numb, burnt out, overworked, underutilized or just stale, the first thing to do is to get crystal clear about why you work. Find the purpose behind why you do what you do, whether you work as a solo business owner, in the executive suite, as an employee, or at home.
If you love your work and long for it to continue as a place of expansion, value and joy, find the purpose behind why you do what you do.
If you are taking the lead of a team that is new or struggling to reinvent itself, as a vibrant, productive collective, find the purpose behind why you do what you do- as individuals and as a team.
When you connect to the purpose and meaning behind your work you uncover your BIG WHY. Your BIG WHY is that most compelling vision you have for you work and life and the spark for the projects your begin and the actions you make to move those projects forward. As a busy professional knowing your big WHY is vital for you to engage in projects and take action that keep you focused on your long term vision amid the hubbub that comes from managing changing daily needs and a long to do list.
The more powerfully connected you are to the intention and meaning of your work, the more energy you will have to create a thriving environment for the life you and work you want. Your practical steps fall more easily in to place and are more purposeful. You slow down and really connect to that purpose, so you can focus on long-term thinking and projects, and more effectively manage daily tasks. You can shift from a chaotic mad dash to a calm productive approach.
You may think (or people in your organization) think you can’t take the time to slow down enough to connect with the purpose and meaning of your work. But what I know is when you take a brief amount of time to refocus and breath actually always you to get more done. That happens because you conserve precious mental and physical energy, and strategically decide what to do when and how, so that things are done well in a timely way. In the end you slow down enough to shift from chaos to calm.
Plus people then have space to experience the real materials of their lives every day, which increases their sense of connection and commitment. By the real materials of your life I mean, the people and things that matter most to you, that bring you joy and energizes you, which all to often fall at the bottom of your to do list. When those things get short shrift, people easy fall into a negative draining cycle, that often can result in, not taking responsibility when they should, not sharing responsibility when they should, feeling resentful, or morphing into an nagging micro manager. Each of these drains away your vitality and the teams’ vitality.
When you couple that sense of purpose with a keen understanding of your characteristic strengths then things really open up the possibilities for success for you as an individual as well as for a team. Character strengths simply put are the things that you have always been good at and like to do. Sometimes they are so natural you don’t even notice them. When you don’t it is hard to make the most of them in yourself and in others. But what I know is you have a unique constellation of these that when you use you it seems like time stands still because you flow effortlessly through a task.
- You can also more easily prioritize and delegate. Your character strengths are not squandered on things other people should be doing, but are focused on the important higher-level projects that really need your talent.
- You are freed to share your wisdom and support other people’s development, without morphing into a nagging micro manager consumed by ensuring other people get things done.
- For managers, having your staff know these, helps you better match individuals’ skill sets to tasks and create happy, invested and productive work teams.
These character strengths include Open mindedness, Gratitude, Integrity, Interest, Hope, Pride, Valor, Modesty, Kindness and Generosity, Amusement, Self-Control and Love . . . there are twenty four in all. You might be concerned that these are soft squishy skills, but I assure you they are not. The have a wealth of data behind these strengths of character.
- There is nothing weak about a love of learning and find opportunities to learn wherever you go and in whatever you do.
- There is nothing unprofessional about being creative and never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.
- There is formidable power in being an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way.
When you use your signature strengths in service of your purpose-your BIG WHY-you put forth your best, most effective efforts. It’s hard not to feel vital, and satisfied when you use these gifts in service of your BIG WHY and get things done with ease.