Ok, so we’ve arrived mid-way through the first quarter of 2014. Your New Year’s Resolutions have lost their luster…maybe they are simmering, subconscious, long-term goals at this point. You are back into the work grind and it feels almost robotic again.
Ok, STOP. What if we “re-trained” our brains, mindsets better said, to look at each day as truly a gift of opportunity. Opportunity to change your surroundings from robotic to expectancy and looking for positive. What if you started viewing your colleagues in the office as real people with real souls, real circumstances, real needs, not just additional human-like furniture chained to the desk down the hall. What if we saw each day as let’s say 8 hours to not just do things the right way, but to do right…because we can.
I learned a huge lesson years ago when I was in the construction industry and it was collapsing all around us. I, all of the sudden, found myself needing to “re-invent” my identity in my job. Then it finally hit me. My identity was never found in my job…(lightbulb turns on)…therein lay the problem. They sometimes refer to this as “stinkin thinkin” in its raw form. I am not my job. My job does not define me. It is not my identity. I perform a job. I take ownership of my responsibilities. I try to give 130% every given day if at all possible. It is the right thing to do. It is a role I fulfill. One of many. All these roles assist in “shaping” me.
What if we started giving others the benefit of the doubt? What if that person that just cut you off in the business park wasn’t really trying to aggravate you, but had their elderly parent in the hospital on their mind? What if your colleague that was a tad short with you this morning had no malice toward you, however they are dealing with rough bump in their marriage?
Corporate America has attempted to brainwash us into becoming feeling-less, numb, non-emotional, unmoved beings…inhuman. I’m not suggesting weekly kumbayah sessions around a campfire to connect with each other’s feelings. However, what I am suggesting may be radical as that may seem to most. I propose re-instating integrity, kindness and a touch of grace in the workplace. Give to others expecting nothing in return. If nothing else, you will cause them to be consumed with curiosity.
For myself, I choose to be known for how I treat others. It reflects my character. It reflects who I really am. It’s the genuine article. People who know me will tell you that. They know that I am real. I am blunt. I am not good at “playing the game”. I’m good at being straight with you. I’m good at trying to reach out and help when I can. I’m good at helping strangers on the street with reckless abandon…and I’m okay with it. I rather prefer it. At the same time, I’m an accomplished marketing professional. I thrive in the business development field. I do both…and it works.
What do you think defines you to your colleagues? Is it your title? How many designations you have behind your name? The sweet, large office space with your name on the door? Those things are commendable. They are usually a result of very hard work. How do you want to be defined though? And this is not just in the eyes of others, but for yourself as well. How do you want to wake up each morning and feel? Do you enjoy being stressed out and dragging through your day just to get it over? Or would you rather take on the day as opportunities in waiting, perfectly suited for you? Give your predisposed mindsets the heave-ho and let’s do a “re-do”. The result may be life-transforming.