“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”
—Sir Francis Bacon, 15th century British philosopher and statesman
Image from Unsplash by Marten Bjork
If time is the coin of life, how are you currently investing yours? A frequent coaching exercise for individuals who wish to master this elusive resource is a Time Log.
It begins by tracking professional and personal chunks of time in a log. The next step is evaluating not only where that time is spent, but also the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness experienced.
Sadly, statistics point to well over 50% and up to almost 70% of people experiencing reluctance and significant dissatisfaction in their vocational efforts. Perhaps we need to shift from the idea of “that’s why it’s called work,” to a far more enjoyable and engaging perspective.
To what extent do you wake up with an “I don’t want to ____” view of your current job or career? How would pursuing a vocation that far better suites your nature provide a stronger foundation for a richer and happier life?
“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”
—Frank Ocean, American singer/songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters
I hope you love your life. I hope all your personal and professional efforts are rewarding in themselves, and that there is no need to brag or boast to call attention to your successes. After all, tooting your own horn can often backfire in our world of considerable judgement.
Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current work efforts:
How much impact, influence, and say do I have in my work?
How much am I learning, growing, and bettering myself through my work?
What difference, contribution, and purpose does my work provide to others in my various communities?
Take one minute tonight after you brush your teeth to look in a mirror and reflect on all your silent successes. You may notice how others in your world often toot your horn for you.
“All the arts are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”
—Mary Caroline Richards, 19th Century American Poet & Potter
Image from Flickr by pax-h2o
Do you live to work or work to live? Regardless of how you answer the question, it is clear that we spend a pretty high percentage of our lives engaged in our work.
How many different jobs have you had so far in your life? Many of my coaching clients have multi-page resumes, often including five, ten, or more positions. Quite often, one reason they hire me is to support a transition in their professional life.
They almost always simultaneously seek to live more artfully and include a high degree of focus and effort in their personal lives.
What artistic efforts are most appropriate at this point in your life? What would make it a more beautiful masterpiece?
Though hope may seem like a soft concept, it has hard edges and bottom line implications in the world of professional and personal achievement. Shane Lopez Ph.D., a professor at The University of Kansas School of Business, and a Gallup Senior Scientist, points to the following “Bottom Line” benefits of hope:
Hope is the basis of all positive change.
Hopefulness can be learned and taught.
Hope is different from wishing due to its active quality. Wishing is passive and undermines the chances of success.
People work harder, and greater resources are put behind hopeful endeavors.
Hopeful organizational cultures dramatically enhance employee engagement and productivity.
What are the personal or professional projects you are working on that require a booster shot of hope to help them become realized?
Consider checking out Shane Lopez’s Book Making Hope Happen if you would like to learn more.
—Michael Bungay Stainer, Sr. Partner at Box of Crayons
I am currently reading the book Mastery by Robert Greene, with great fascination. The subject of mastery has intrigued me all my life. This brilliant analysis includes stories of a wide variety of historic and current masters, and how their life journeys evolved.
Fundamental to the majority of these stories is a clear and authentic passion for the type of work or activity the subjects pursued. Each person tapped into their own gifts and unique abilities, and combined them with an unstoppable drive to pursue, develop, and contribute their talents to the world.
What does doing more great work mean to you? How can you do less bad work, or stop both the bad and even some good work, to make room for more great work in the year ahead?
Consider making the book Mastery a must read for 2016.